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Forward thinking tech summit kicks off in Wellington

By Catherine Knowles, Mon 22 Feb 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

A major government and tech industry summit will be held in Wellington's Te Papa museum February 23rd, with the aim of seeing how these two sectors can can work together to drive better outcomes.

According to the government’s Sector Reports more than 100,000 people are employed across the technology sector, with annual growth rates exceeding any other sector. The summit, which was organised by NZTech, will look at partnerships, commercial strategies, and understanding new technology trends, and how they can be applied to deliver better government.

Graeme Muller, NZTech chief executive, says that better use of technology by government has the added benefit of supporting the growth of New Zealand tech businesses, the fastest growing export sector in New Zealand and now our third largest export sector behind agriculture and tourism.

“Helping New Zealand businesses grow through better use of technology while helping tech companies successfully export and grow internationally is important and the governments approach to technology is paramount. About 40% of all the money spent in New Zealand on ICT technology is spent by the government amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars,” Muller says.

The summit in Wellington is about enabling agencies to share innovative ways of using tech to drive better public services, and to discuss successful partnerships and collaboration across government agencies with the tech sector, he says.

“Our challenge requires a holistic approach ranging from improving the immigration of talent into the country, through to longer term actions to improve the education of Kiwi kids to increase the number of people entering the tech sector in the future.

“The summit will include executives from most government departments, a number of local governments, health boards and NGO's. Senior public sector leaders, including chief executives, chief information officers, chief financial officers and service delivery executives will also attend. Deputy Prime Minister Bill English will open the summit.

“Leaders from the New Zealand tech sector and the government will discuss and share success strategies for successful deployments of technology, of innovative uses of technology and of cross department collaboration to improve people’s experiences,” says Muller. 

Key note presentations will include the chief executive of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, David Smol; Deputy Commissioner of Transformation at Inland Revenue, Greg James; and the Australian chief technology officer, John Sheridan.

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