As we get ready to face the polling booth tomorrow, I’ve been reflecting on the campaign and how it impacts on the ICT sector in New Zealand.
I was hoping that we would get some serious discussion going on how ICT is going to shape our countries future. The Government is now 6 years into the biggest program of ICT infrastructure investment in New Zealands history: how’s that going? Are we going to be able to use that as a base for building a prosperous and sustainable future?
We’re also becoming acutely aware of the impact of the digital world and our place in it, our notions of sovereignty, security and safety are all being challenged. We have been offered alternatives during the campaign but again this is an area that gained little to no media traction.
Despite all of this I think its fair to say that this has been a cyber election in many ways, we’ve got a dedicated Internet Party, hacking, blogging and cyber surveillance have dominated the headlines and sadly drowned out the policy debates.
Interestingly its been National that have opened the chequebook for both urban and rural Kiwi’s in New Zealand’s heartland with over $300 million of new spending on extending the UFB from 75 to 80% of NZ towns and money for filling in mobile blackspots and extending rural broadband.
The idea I hope survives from other ICT policies is the need for more vision and leadership driven by a CTO for New Zealand – we do need one.
And I think a digital bill of rights is inevitable, but we need to understand just what is at stake.
Vote well tomorrow.