Labour launches ICT Policy at Nethui

Labour leader David Cunliffe & ICT spokesperson Clare Curran released part one of their 2014 ICT policy  at Nethui 2014 this morning.

I’ll do a detailed breakdown later as I have a busy morning at Nethui.

I’ve taken out the big ideas as I see them, Labour do look like they’ve read our 2008 Green Paper calling for a National Digital Arrchitecture (take a bow Ernie Newman).

Biggest idea I see is the establishment of National CTO role reporting to the PM like the Chief Scientist, this is quite different and separate to the current GCIO.

Labour want to see more high skill, high value jobs created, to this end they propose 1200 ICT apprenticeships as well the impact of their capital gains tax on start ups.

They have two interesting ideas to stimulate innovation, first is the idea of ‘Garage Grants’ small start up funds to get the next Kiwi Steve Jobs going (Rod Dury 2.0?) and to give them something to focus on we have the ‘X’ Prizes.

This is very interesting if it is done right, its worth having a look at the X Prize concept and where it came from, the most famous X Prize was the idea of rewarding the first private venture to put a manned spacecraft into space and return it safely to earth. The prize was $10,000,000 and it was winner takes all.

Imagine if Richard Pearse had been rewarded for flying before the Wright brothers.

Lots of questions but if it is done right and with private sector involvement and focus in selecting the prize areas it could be a game changer for how Kiwis see themselves and technology.

The worst thing that could happen is for this to be seen as another science grant system and it gets captured by the usual suspects.

There will be a second policy dealing with connectivity issues, such as the UFB, RBi & what comes next.

It will be interesting to see how the Government responds and what vision they release.

I’d give this policy a B+ on first pass.

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