Our Position Papers

Ahead of the general election in October, The Tech Users Association (TUANZ) is releasing a series of six position papers on tech related issues in New Zealand, including recommendations to the next Government on how to address them.

1. Ensuring Users are at the centre of our use of AI

We know from our discussion with members that while the exponential growth of AI presents amazing opportunities, it also presents challenges as tech companies and decision makers fail to adequately consider the needs of end users.

Recommendations
• Develop an holistic national AI strategy.
• Encourage the adoption of ethical AI principles by the NZ technology sector.
• Develop comprehensive privacy and data protection regulations.
• Invest in AI education and workforce development.

2. Committing to connectivity as a core utility

Our vision is that by 2033, all individuals and businesses in New Zealand will have unrestricted access to the technology and services they need to thrive. This is reflective of the fact that the last few years have shown that high-quality connectivity has real value and is an essential need in today’s world. If there was any lingering doubt, the significant weather events of early 2023 made it clear that we need to invest in resilient connectivity for our rural communities.

Recommendations

  • Government recognising and prioritising connectivity is a key utility like electricity or water.
  • Government needs to continue to invest to close the gap between rural and urban quality of service and to consider the socio-economic benefits in their business case discussions.
  • Development with the industry of a national connectivity register linking addresses to connections to ensure help is provided to the right people.

3. Maintaining the momentum in improving digital adoption and capability in SMEs

Our vision is that all businesses (and individuals) can thrive using technology but we know that the SME digital gap is holding New Zealand back as a country overall and in the aim to become world-leading in the adoption of technology. In fact, some of our larger corporate members have indicated they are concerned about the rate at which small businesses can adopt or invest in new technology, when compared with their own businesses.

Recommendations

  • Invest in continuing to develop the Digital Boost Programme and in particular the education platform.
  • Follow Singapore’s example of providing access to low-cost advisor services on digitalisation for small business through such programmes as the Digital Facilitation Scheme.
  • Lower behavioural barriers to digitalisation by facilitating SME networks.
  • Develop a range of financial incentives to reach the next tranche of SMEs that have yet to see the benefit to digitisation.

4. Addressing the increasing digital inequity

Digital equity exists when everyone can access and eectively use digital technologies to participate in our society, democracy and economy. Digital inclusion is the means to achieving the end goal of equity.

  • Recommendations Make digital literacy and proficiency for all New Zealanders a priority for Government.
  • Support the concept and development of Aordable Connectivity services.
  • Support the co-development and invest in programmes to deliver services to improve digital capability among those that are currently unable to make the most of the opportunities.

5. Improving our security and safety online

Cyber and online security is an issue that is never going to go away; it just keeps getting bigger every year. An increased reliance on digital devices post-pandemic and the growing number of open platforms and interconnected systems has created more opportunities for cyber criminals.

Recommendations

  • Develop a new national cyber security strategy.
  • Implement guidelines on cyber security disclosures.
  • Implement an improved Government digital identity system.
  • Develop comprehensive privacy and data protection regulations.
  • Instruct relevant Government agencies to develop public-private partnerships in specific industries.

skillshortage

6. Deal with our skill shortage by developing pathways to attract diverse talent

We know that digital leaders in Aotearoa are concerned about their access to talent, the skills gap, stang churn, and attracting more talent to support IT project demand and/or growth. In fact they consider it as one of the biggest challenges facing their organisation in 2023.

Recommendations

  • Simplify and expedite visa application processes for skilled migrants in all tech and supporting sector roles.
  • Work to support and develop programmes that encourage more Māori, Pasifika and Wahine into tech education and roles.
  • Develop with industry and education institutions internships and digital apprenticeships schemes.
©2022 Technology Users Association of New Zealand