by CIO New Zealand

Gov’t to establish advisory group on digital inclusion and enablement

Dec 15, 2017
Digital TransformationGovernmentIT Leadership

What would be needed for New Zealand to increase the amount that ICT contributes to GDP so that it is the second largest contributor to the economy by 2025?

An advisory group is to be set up to advise the Government on how it can build the digital economy and reduce digital divides.

“I’m committed to reducing the gap between the digital ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’. This group will help us achieve that,” says Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media and Government Digital Services Minister, Clare Curran.

“Digital technology is changing the way Kiwis live their lives, affecting the way we do business, work, and interact with each other and our communities. Given the pace at which our world is changing, we need to ensure no-one is left behind.

“The advisory group will bring immediate focus and a plan to ensure all Kiwis have affordable access to digital services, and the motivation, skills and trust to fully participate in our digital world.”

Expressions of interest close on 31 January 2018.

Its first task will be to provide advice to the Government on the development of a blueprint for digital inclusion and digital enablement.

Curran cited the formation of the advisory group as among the priorities in her first 100 days of office.

Curran says some of the key questions for the Digital Economy and Digital Inclusion Advisory Group to consider are:

  • What is the current state of the ICT sector and ICT capability throughout the economy, society, and government?
  • What would be needed for New Zealand to: Increase its position relative to other countries in measures like the Networked Readiness index and increase the amount that ICT contributes to GDP so that it is the second largest contributor to the economy by 2025?
  • What are the possible future scenarios and their relative merits?
  • What would be required to achieve an optimal future state?
  • How might we most effectively work together to build our digital economy, improve productivity and increase the economic benefits of the internet?
  • How might we better understand the ‘digital divides’ between people who can have access to the internet and can use digital tools, and those who do not?
  • What would it take to eliminate digital divides by 2020?
  • How might we identify develop the skill sets needed for the work of the future?
  • Do we need to take steps to accelerate/optimise infrastructure rollouts such as UFBl/2/2+, RBl2 and 5G? If so, what steps could and should we take?
  • How should government evolve its own ICT use in sectors where it plays a prominent role, such as health, education and justice?

Curran says there will be up to 15 people in the group, with the ability to bring in additional members or expertise to address particular issues.

“I’m particularly keen for it to reflect New Zealand’s diverse communities and to include all age groups and ethnicities, including perspectives from M?ori,” she says.

“Genuine collaboration is needed if we are serious about increasing productivity, growing the digital economy and reducing the digital divides. That’s why I haven’t pre-determined the group’s membership and am seeking the best thinkers across the community.”

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