The political agenda

So David
Cunliffe has taken the ICT portfolio for himself.

This is
quite significant – I can’t recall any other party leader paying this much
attention to the portfolio or the sector itself before.

Cunliffe of
course was Minister of Communications and IT during the previous Labour
government and so is very familiar with the industry, the regulation and the
potential of the sector.

All too
often in the past decade we’ve seen politicians pay lip-service to the idea of New
Zealand being a digital economy. All too often we’ve seen them utter pat
phrases about New Zealand’s potential and how we are standing on the cusp of a
new era.

strongly supports any move to promote New Zealand’s digital capabilities. We’ve
worked alongside organisations like the IITP and NZ Rise to promote New Zealand
companies and New Zealand innovation and we’d love to see our next government
get in behind as well.

We need to
encourage youth into the industry. We need to encourage investors to spend
their money on New Zealand ICT companies. We need to build the infrastructure
to deliver on those services.

ICT has huge
potential for the New Zealand economy and a renewed focus on the sector will be
very timely. If nothing else, Cunliffe’s decision to take on the portfolio
himself will bring the sector into sharp relief and hopefully it will make the
other parties sit up and pay attention.

If nothing
else, it’s put ICT firmly on the political agenda for the year ahead and that’s
great news.