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What role does the Māori tech ecosystem play in the development of local talent for the tech sector? It seems like a huge opportunity, but there is a lot to learn and understand. If you are interested, please join our next Connect Event: Exploring Māori tech success on 16 June in Wellington. I’ll be joined by NZTech and EdTechNZ Board member Duance Grace, past Board member Kaye-Maree Dunn and guests as they explore Māori tech participation and skills opportunities.
Kaye-Maree will provide an update on the Digital Technologies Industry Transformation Plan (ITP) project that is mapping the Māori tech ecosystem, sharing emerging insights and their importance. Duane will discuss an initiative underway connecting kura and tech apprenticeships. I’ll also highlight the value of digital apprenticeships, including current work underway with Ngai Tahu.
Further to last week’s budget announcement regarding the $20 million that will be used to support the Digital Tech ITP, much of this funding will be used to help grow software as a service (SaaS) exports and to promote New Zealand’s Tech Story, We See Tomorrow First. To help accelerate the tech sector’s growth these workstreams will need to be supported by the other workstreams such as addressing skills issues and the significant potential that will come from increasing Māori participation in tech. I am looking forward to an upcoming session with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to better understand the plans for the budget funds with the hope that we can make this relatively small amount go a long way.
In other budget announcements, the government agency tasked with providing cyber resilience support to private sector organisations and individuals, CERT NZ was provided $30 million. But as our economy becomes rapidly more digital, we need to see even more spending for cybersecurity. The risk of not investing enough leads to increasing identity theft of Kiwis, financial losses by businesses and risk of catastrophic infrastructure shutdowns, like the Waikato hospital last year. Read more.
Another exciting announcement from the Government landed last week, further demonstrating the commitment to growing the tech sector. Minister Woods announced $250 million will be invested over the next four years to complement the research and development (R&D) tax system to encourage firms that struggled to qualify for the tax incentive to invest in innovation. Our hope is that new R&D grants will help accelerate New Zealand’s tech exports. The Minister also announced the creation of the Startup Advisors Council to provide direct advice to Ministers on how to build and support New Zealand’s startup ecosystem. Startups are major contributors to economic growth and jobs. Generally, most startups these days are tech firms, so it is great to see increased Government focus in this area.
Meanwhile, if you’re considering Canada as a market or as an entry pathway to North America, Bertrand Raoult from the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service will be in Auckland 21-23 June. Please contact me if you would like an introduction.
PS: Congratulations to Seequent for their big win as the Supreme Award winner at the AmCham Awards. Read more.