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Smart digital investment transforms local economies

23 July 2014

For immediate release

Smart digital investment transforms local economies

Digital investment can have a significant impact on a community, but funds need to be used in a targeted way through smart investment to deliver economic results.

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) held an in-depth master class session on how local economies are transformed by smart digital investment, as part of its conference at Nelson.

The session highlighted the way in which investment in digital infrastructure can stimulate economic growth and enhance community life.

Speakers included Wellington City Council Chief Executive Dr Kevin Lavery, Intergen Chief Technology Officer Chris Auld and Whangarei District Council Mayor Sheryl Mai, with Crown Fibre Holdings Stakeholder Relations Manager Anna Verboeket joining the panel discussion.

The master class session covered case studies from international and New Zealand examples including the experience of Wellington City and Whangarei District.

“Smart digital investment is not just ‘pipes and boxes’ but also inspiration that propels cities, towns and regions into the new digital age,” LGNZ President Lawrence Yule says.

“The discussion at the master class helped participants to understand the potential of the digital revolution to improve services and outcomes for communities, with a panel discussion that captured issues and ideas for future consideration.”

At the session, participants discussed how smart digital investment is about transforming the whole economy and it is also about local leadership doing something extraordinary with the new technology available.

“Putting in the infrastructure is only the beginning,” Mr Yule says. “The community needs to be made aware of the potential and how they can utilise infrastructure for better economic outcomes such as businesses utilising cloud technology to its potential, exporting knowledge and ideas to market, and improving the utilisation of data by building data skills and culture.”

The session was kindly sponsored by Microsoft.

The 2014 LGNZ Conference took place 20-22 July at Nelson, with more than 550 local government delegates attending to take part in master class sessions, hear presentations from high profile speakers about significant issues and opportunities facing the sector. The theme of the conference was Powering Local Economies, Building Vibrant Communities.


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