Kiwi technology leaders form advisory group

We will work together to answer the toughest questions around the impacts and opportunities of new technologiesDavid Kennedy, Transaction Services Group

New Zealand technology leaders have banded together to help address tech-related issues of national importance.

Tech Leaders has been set up with the support of NZTech and is composed of passionate New Zealand tech, digital and ICT focused-executives from leading organisations who will use their experience to help address tech-related issues of national importance.

“Tech Leaders is committed to delivering change to the very fabric of New Zealand,” says David Kennedy, global chief information officer, Transaction Services Group, and chair of the group.

“Never before has a group of the most senior tech executives got together in this way for the sole purpose of ensuring the prosperity of New Zealand, " says Kennedy, in a statement.

"We will work together to answer the toughest questions around the impacts and opportunities of new technologies."

“Large firms are piloting artificial intelligence tools and fleets of vehicles will soon become driverless, potentially costing thousands of jobs," he points out.

“This is just one of the questions we should be askinghellip; What should the government and New Zealand’s largest firms be doing to protect the livelihood of Kiwi families that rely on driving jobs for the food on their table when, not if, autonomous vehicles are widespread on New Zealand roads."

The educational system is one of the areas the group will focus on.

“To ensure international and domestic success of Kiwi businesses, it is vital we act now to consider what’s being covered in our education system,” he states.

“Learnings should be designed to develop global leading talent who can cope with all the opportunities and challenges of tomorrow’s world.”

“Our education system needs to be producing these type of employees today. We do not have a shortage of skilled people – however, we need to be sure the education being provided is equipping people to succeed in today’s business, as well as tomorrow’s world.

NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says New Zealanders are seeing dramatic tech changes the likes of which have never been seen before.

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“Electric car charging stations are popping up all over New Zealand and we are seeing the introduction of driverless cars and buses. A string of artificial intelligence and IoT devices are continually being introduced into our daily lives.

“With the ultimate goal of improving the prosperity of New Zealand underpinned by technology Tech Leaders will define, communicate and promote initiatives around the use of technology from their experience and perspective.

“These tech executive, from organisations such as Auckland Transport, Downer, Fonterra, Fletcher Building and Westpac, are at the coalface, driving the tech change in large New Zealand companies and organisations.

“What they can see is new tech out there which will make New Zealand more efficient and businesses will benefit,” says Muller.

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