Influence the future of TUANZ: Board nominations now open

One of the opportunities that members of TUANZ have is to put their name forward for election to the Board. Being part of the Board gives you the opportunity to influence the future work of the organisation and how TUANZ impacts the direction of the digital technology landscape in Aotearoa New Zealand.

We are now seeking nominations for the Board and encourage you to carefully consider nominating yourself or someone else to this role who can make a difference and help us to make sure New Zealand makes the most of the digitally connected world. More information about the Board member roles and responsibilities can be found here


This year, there are six seats available on the TUANZ Board. Board members serve for two years. To join the Board, you or your organisation must be a fully paid-up TUANZ member. If unsure about your membership status, please contact us at accounts@tuanz.org.nz.

While any member may be nominated, we especially encourage members with the following skills or experience to consider nomination:

  • Risk & financial management
  • Security or data protection
  • Leading large corporate IT teams
  • Members who work within non-technology and telecommunications companies.

Nominations can be made using this form no later than 5pm, Wednesday 7 August.

Online Voting & Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting will be held at the Tech Users Summit on Thursday, September 12, 2024. Voting will be online before the AGM, and results will be announced at the meeting. Details and registration information will be sent out soon. All TUANZ members are encouraged to attend either in person or online.

Timeline

  • Now: Call for Nominations for Board representatives issued to Members
  • 7 August: Deadline for nominations to be received
  • 14 August: List of nominees to be issued to voting members and electronic voting commences.
  • 28 August:  Electronic voting close
  • 29 August:  Any proposed notices, motions or remits to be advised to TUANZ.
  • 12 September: Annual Meeting, results of online voting announced.


Notices and Remits

If you have any remits, motions or other items that you would like raised at the AGM, please send these through to alysha@tuanz.org.nz by 5pm Thursday 29 August 2024.

Media Release: Digital competitive slipping: NZ tech leaders raise concerns about cyber

June 18, 2024

Press Release – TUANZ

New Zealand’s digital leaders are facing a technological tipping point, with generative artificial intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity emerging as key priorities for 2024, according to a new report by TUANZ.

However, in 2023, New Zealand’s ranking in the Portulans Network Readiness Index (NRI) fell by four positions, from 19th to 23rd.

This reflects some of the concerns raised by CIOs and technology leaders, including AI talent concentration, digital skills, and high-tech and medium-high-tech manufacturing.

The fourth annual ‘TUANZ Aotearoa’s Digital Priorities in 2024’ report, supported by One New Zealand, highlights some key digital trends and concerns.

Craig Young, TUANZ chief executive officer, says the rise of AI alongside strengthening cybersecurity and digital equity were some of the key themes outlined by tech leaders.

“Over the last few years, we’ve seen digital leaders trying balance technological evolution with supporting business as usual. It’s evident our world – and the technology we rely on – is developing at an ever-increasing pace,” says Young.

“In order to stay ahead of the curve, Aotearoa New Zealand’s business and technology leaders need to be flexible, adaptable and resilient to unexpected challenges and disruptions.

“To do this, we require innovative thinking, in partnership with government, to create an environment that supports the progressive regulation of emerging tech and data privacy, particularly as AI is fast-approaching and is likely to impact jobs across the motu.

“The recent Budget was particularly lacking in any new technology focus areas, which feels like a missed opportunity as New Zealand looks to improve lagging productivity through high-tech solutions.”

The TUANZ Digital Priorities Report was compiled following interviews with 36 technology leaders from around Aotearoa.

Tony Baird, Chief Technology Officer at One New Zealand, said Kiwi businesses were quick to adapt to using new technology during the COVID-19 pandemic, and wants to see this continue.

“The adoption of cloud technology has helped pave the way to emerging opportunities for AI as a tool to help augment and support human workers, freeing them up to focus on higher value tasks,” says Baird.

“When it comes to these tools, it’s essential we learn how to utilise them to our advantage to streamline business processes while navigating the challenges around data privacy and ethics policies to protect consumers.

“The tech leaders highlighted both the risks and opportunities facing Kiwi businesses, to ensure we emerge from the current economic challenges stronger on the global stage.”

Other key priorities highlighted in the report include building resilience in a changing world, embracing cloud and off-site technology, addressing constrained resources, and promoting digital equity to ensure no one is left behind in the digital transformation.

The “Aotearoa’s Digital Priorities in 2024” report is available for download on the TUANZ website at www.tuanz.org.nz .

Zoe Udy elected as Deputy Chair of TUANZ Board

On 28 May 2024, Zoe Udy was unanimously elected to the role of Deputy Chair of the TUANZ Board. 

Zoe grew up a digital native, further expanding her interest in technology by studying Computer Science and pursuing a career first in IT Project Management, then in Solution Architecture. Zoe is now working with a Digital Agency based in Te Whanganui a Tara. Zoe is passionate about the ways technology can help to provide positive and equitable health outcomes for all New Zealanders. 

Zoe spent several years as the Chair of FLINT Wellington, and believes that by engaging students in technology education at key stages, and then supporting them through their early professional careers, we will build a diverse and capable workforce for many years to come.

Zoe was elected to the TUANZ Board in 2019, and to the position of Deputy Chair in 2024.

“We are thrilled to see Zoe’s journey from a member of FLINT, to a leader of FLINT, and then election to the Board, and now as Deputy Chair. I would personally like to acknowledge Zoe for her ongoing commitment of time and contribution to TUANZ,” says Tristan Ilich, Board Chair, TUANZ.

For more information about the TUANZ board, please see our Governance page.

Tech Users Summit 2023 Communique: Unlocking our Digital Future

The Tech Users Summit 2023 was a day of inspiring speakers, networking, table and panel discussions, challenging our vision that by 2033, all individuals and businesses in New Zealand will have unrestricted access to the technology and services they need to thrive; no one misses out on the opportunities available to them in the digital technology world; and digital engagement is safe and inclusive for all New Zealanders.

This year we focused on the hot topics of the year – AI, Cloud, Streaming, 5G, Satellites and Security. We looked at what that will look like, current developments, how we harness the strategy and momentum in transformation in these areas, what we can all do to achieve the kinds of things we want for New Zealand, and how we can make sure no one is left out or left behind.

We have put together a communique, including an overview of the day’s key themes and takeaways, plus thoughts on where to next. Topics discussed include:

  • The future of connecting
  • Emerging technologies
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Security & Privacy
  • Connectivity infrastructure

Thanks to everyone who was involved for making the Tech Users Summit 2023 a success. We look forward to next year’s event.

TUANZ welcomes new board members

The Tech Users Association of New Zealand (TUANZ) welcomed new board members at its Annual General Meeting held online last night. Congratulations to Annaliese Atina and Sid Kumar who have been appointed to the board. They join existing board members Tristan Ilich, Jenna Wooley, Zoe Udy, Caitlin Metz, Andy Edwards, Matthew Harrison, Paul Littlefair, Vaughan Baker and Kaity Mitchell.

Special thanks to outgoing board members Wendy McGowan and Maxine Elliot.

“I would like to acknowledge our Board members for their ongoing commitment of time and effort in providing their esteemed leadership. I would also like to thank our members who enable us to continue to speak for all users of digital technology in Aotearoa New Zealand,” says Craig Young, CEO of TUANZ.

At the AGM two long standing members were recognised for their service to TUANZ with the granting of Life Membership status. Don Wallace of Wellington was a member of the TUANZ Board from the first board in 1986 until 2007, while Ernie Newman was the CEO from 1999 to 2011.

“We want to help ensure New Zealand makes the most of our digitally connected world. 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; no one misses out on the opportunities available to them in the digital technology world; and digital engagement is safe and inclusive for all New Zealanders.”

We continue to support the Digital Boost Alliance, a joint public-private initiative that supports the uptake of digital tools for small businesses, communities, and individuals. Working together our members are helping drive digital acceleration in Aotearoa.

Following the pandemic, TUANZ’s events programme has returned with strength, including its flagship conferences Tech Users Summit 2023 and the Rural Connectivity Symposium. Throughout New Zealand the Future Leaders in Technology (FLINT) teams host regular events to connect and empower those who aspire to be the leaders of New Zealand’s digital future.

Learn more about TUANZ and explore our current work programme.

For further comment or interview, please contact Craig Young

Phone: 021 488 188 

Email: craig.young@tuanz.org.nz  

FLINT Auckland Micro Hackathon

Join us on Wednesday 29 May as we come together for an engaging and fun-filled Micro Hackathon hosted by our FLINT Auckland team at AWS. You need no experience at using AI tools, nor do you need to be coder. We’ll be using a fun, intuitive platform called PartyRock with drag-and-drop modules

What is a Hackathon?

A hackathon is like a marathon for creating cool stuff with tech! You will work in teams, brainstorm ideas, write code, and build prototypes to solve problems or make something new.

What are you Hacking?

Your task is to design an AI application that makes learning personal. Think of it as creating a smart learning assistant that can figure out what each student is good at and what they struggle with, and then helps them improve by providing tailored help and activities. Your apps will aim to make learning as effective as getting help from a one-on-one tutor. This means every student could learn more effectively, just like they would with their own private teacher.

Expected Outcomes

At the end of the hackathon, you’ll present your project to a panel of judges. This is a great chance to share what you’ve built and get valuable feedback on your idea, its design, and how well it works. You’ll have the opportunity to win prizes and gain recognition. Plus, there might be chances to keep working on your project after the hackathon, either by yourself or with new friends and potential partners you meet at the event.

This is your chance to dive into new technologies, boost your skills in cutting-edge AI technology, and expand your professional network by connecting with mentors, industry experts, other participants, and potential employers or business partners.

We look forward to welcoming you!

TUANZ has put forward the following recommendations to Government:

  • 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 apprenticeship schemes.

For further comment or interview, please contact Craig Young

Phone: 021 488 188

Email: craig.young@tuanz.org.nz 

TUANZ looks to the next Government to make a fresh commitment to improving security and safety online

Ahead of the general election in October, The Tech Users Association (TUANZ) has called on whoever makes up the next Government to commit to continuing to take the lead on improving security and safety online.

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.

Online scams are a rapidly growing problem, posing significant threats especially to individual users. The increasing prevalence of technology and the widespread use of the internet have provided scammers with a vast playground to exploit unsuspecting victims.

“Scammers are employing even more sophisticated techniques to deceive and manipulate users, making it difficult to distinguish between legitimate and fraudulent activities. It’s crucial for individuals to learn to remain vigilant, educated, and cautious while navigating the digital landscape to protect themselves from falling victim to these increasingly prevalent online scams,” says TUANZ CEO Craig Young.

TUANZ is calling on the next Government to develop a fresh national strategy that leads to enforceable legislation and regulations.

“The strategy should ensure the enhancement of the capabilities of Government agencies in investigating and combating cyber security threats. This includes developing a coordinated approach within agencies that have cybercrime in their mandate,” says Craig.

In addition, TUANZ would like to see the implementation of guidelines encouraging more detailed cyber security disclosures.

“We need to bolster collaboration between government agencies, law enforcement, and private sector entities to share information and intelligence about emerging scams and cyber threats,” says Craig.

TUANZ would also like to see the next Government prioritise the development of a digital identity system in Government that is enhanced and more sophisticated than what is currently in use.

“We’d also like to see the development of comprehensive privacy and data protection regulations that keep pace with technology, ensuring they address clear guidelines for the collection, use, and sharing of personal data, with a focus on obtaining informed consent, ensuring data security and empowering individuals with control over their data,” says Craig.

“We need to continue to invest in awareness campaigns through agencies like CERT NZ to educate citizens about the various types of online scams and the precautionary measures they can take. This includes promoting digital literacy and responsible online behaviour from an early age. We also need to further encourage public-private partnerships, especially in relevant industries like the financial sector to combat online scams.”

TUANZ has put forward the following recommendations to Government:

  • 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.

For further comment or interview, please contact Craig Young

Phone: 021 488 188

Email: craig.young@tuanz.org.nz 

TUANZ calls for the next Government to commit to addressing the increasing digital inequity in NZ

Ahead of the general election in October, The Tech Users Association (TUANZ) has called on whoever makes up the next Government to commit to addressing the increasing digital inequity in New Zealand.

Leaders within TUANZ’s membership believe COVID-19 further highlighted the digital divide in New Zealand and this inequity must be addressed to prevent the divide from widening.

“The cost of living crisis is making it harder for stretched families and whanau to access the digital essentials as affordability becomes an increasing issue. This is further exacerbated by the cost of devices and the lack of digital skills within some households. Some estimates are that 20 percent of Kiwis lack the essential digital skills needed to use the internet safely and effectively,” says TUANZ CEO Craig Young.

130,000 households in New Zealand do not have internet access at home (Stats NZ) with Census data showing that those without access are primarily in lower income households.

“As technology develops at a quicker pace, including the explosion of tools like generative AI in 2023, we are likely to see a growing gap in this inequity,” says Craig.

TUANZ believes to have the biggest impact on digital inequity we need to direct our limited resources to those on the lowest incomes.

“To do this we need to have a joint agreed definition on the size of the current affordability issue as well as any eligibility criteria. To help calculate how many households can be supported, we suggest using the upcoming DECA (Digital Equity Coalition Aotearoa) research in this area to determine the cost of the basic package of meaningful digital access (internet access at home, access on the go, devices and basic skills),” says Craig

“We also agree with DECAs recommendation that any funding be distributed through

community intermediaries who have intimate knowledge of their communities and are often a

first point of contact for people in their communities. This could be in the form of bulk funding for essential digital skills, devices and wrap-around support. Funding for connectivity could be built into the model or addressed separately, for example through an MSD (Ministry of Social Development) payment or government subsidy for an equity product or products.”

TUANZ states whatever solution or approach is developed, it should be co-designed with Government, industry and the community.

“This would be the best approach to ensuring that the solution is successful in being delivered to those that need it. It would build on research done by groups like DECA and Government Departments, and could discuss what contribution various parties could contribute to the solution. For example, initial work shows that the current lowest cost wholesale connectivity product is around $40 per month whereas initial work by DECA, and also being advocated for in Australia, is that the affordable product needs to be around $20 per month at the wholesale level.”

TUANZ supports the overall intent of the Government’s Digital Strategy for Aotearoa, but would like to see more traction and intent in implementing the actions from the strategy.

TUANZ has put forward the following recommendations to Government:

  • Make digital literacy and proficiency for all New Zealanders a priority for Government.
  • Support the concept and development of Affordable 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.

For further comment or interview, please contact Craig Young

Phone: 021 488 188

Email: craig.young@tuanz.org.nz 

TUANZ calls for the next Government to ensure users are at the centre of our use of AI

Ahead of the general election in October, The Tech Users Association (TUANZ) has called on whoever makes up the next Government to commit to ensuring users are at the centre of our use of AI.

The exponential growth of AI presents amazing opportunities alongside significant challenges, if tech companies and decision makers fail to adequately consider the needs of end users.

This could lead to opaque AI systems, biased algorithms, intrusive data collection practices, systems that lack transparency, and ineffective mechanisms for feedback or redress. Users have limited control and understanding of their personal information, which could lead to eroding trust in AI technologies.

“We already know that there is a digital divide – both in the having of tech and the understanding of tech, so while we can attempt to educate everyone, we should also be mindful of any increases to inequity that AI or its proliferation may bring about,” says TUANZ CEO Craig Young.

“This flows through to challenges around privacy and sovereignty of data. AI’s ability to process personal data may compromise privacy as data is collected, stored, and used without consent or knowledge. The lack of robust regulations and ethical frameworks surrounding AI will exacerbate the problem, leaving individuals vulnerable to the misuse and exploitation of their private data.”

TUANZ recommends the next Government develop a national AI strategy to address the challenges associated with the growth of AI and ensure that the interests of individuals and end users are protected. It should involve the public in the co-development of policy and governance to ensure that the national strategy aligns with our values and needs in Aotearoa.

In addition, TUANZ recommends the next Government encourage the adoption of ethical AI principles in AI development and deployment and promote AI systems that are designed to respect human values and rights.

“The development of comprehensive privacy and data protection regulations also needs to be prioritised with clear guidelines for the collection, use, and sharing of personal data, with a focus on obtaining informed consent, ensuring data security, addressing data sovereignty and empowering individuals with control over their data,” says Craig.

“We also need to invest in AI education and workforce development programs to build a skilled workforce capable of understanding, developing, and utilising AI technologies.”

TUANZ has put forward the following recommendations to Government:

  • Develop a 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.

For further comment or interview, please contact Craig Young

Phone: 021 488 188

Email: craig.young@tuanz.org.nz 

TUANZ calls for the next Government to commit to accelerating digital adoption and capability in SMEs

Ahead of the general election in October, The Tech Users Association (TUANZ) has called on whoever makes up the next Government to commit to maintaining the momentum in improving digital adoption and capability in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

The advancement of technology has the potential to reshape the landscape of business across New Zealand, driving innovation and economic growth. However, the digital gap among SMEs is holding New Zealand back as a country overall and in the aim to become world-leading in the adoption of technology.

Recent data from Yellow shows that one-third of SMEs still lack an online presence, 22 percent of SMEs with no website say they would like one, 12 percent say they would like a Google Business Profile and 9 percent say they would like a Facebook page.

“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,” says TUANZ CEO Craig Young.

Various reports have identified the value to be found in increasing digital transformation. One report shows a value of $46 billion worth of economic value in our non-technology sectors by 2023 (Google 2021).

“It’s clear that we need all of our businesses, regardless of size, to embrace and adopt digital transformation if we are to achieve an effective, inclusive, and sustainable digital transition of the whole economy,” says Craig.

To help accelerate digital adoption and capability in SMEs, TUANZ recommends the next Government continue to support the small business Digital Boost programme. “We have heard that most participants in the Boost education platform show an uptake in business digital capability, including new and complex digital tools such as payment gateways, digital marketing and cloud services”

The Digital Boost Alliance programme, which sits next to the Digital Boost programme, is working through a number of initiatives over a longer term period. It’s a collaborative effort between the government and private sector organisations focused on motivating and inspiring small businesses, individuals and communities across New Zealand to lift their use of digital technologies. TUANZ recommends the Government should remain committed to partnering with the Alliance in developing solutions to assist SMEs participating in the overall project.

“With the growth of new technologies such as generative AI, programmes that support the digitisation of SMEs need to be continually updated to introduce these sorts of new tools to users to ensure they are able to integrate the opportunities they provide.”

To lower the cost of digitalisation, TUANZ recommends the Government should take an active role in incentivising SMEs.

“The focus must be on improving digital adoption and digitalisation practices with businesses who are resistant to change, unable to make informed investment decisions or those that struggle to navigate ambiguity or uncertainty. These incentives can be seen in other countries such as Denmark, Australia and Singapore and could include utilising the tax system to provide greater subsidies for digitisation, specific rebates for pre-approved digital packages, or direct grants to businesses through the Boost platform.”

TUANZ has put forward the following recommendations to Government:

  • 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 programmes like the Digital Facilitation Scheme.
  • Lower behavioural barriers to digitalisation by facilitating SME networks.

For further comment or interview, please contact Craig Young

Phone: 021 488 188

Email: craig.young@tuanz.org.nz