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CMANZ denies calling for a Computer quota

Press release:

March 22nd.

From: Computer Manufacturers' Association of New Zealand.

CMANZ denies calling for a Government quota on locally-built computers

The Computer Manufacturers Association of New Zealand says it has never asked the Government to impose purchasing quotas for New Zealand-built computers, and has no intention to push for such a quota. A report in the New Zealand Herald yesterday morning said the Computer Manufacturers' Association (CMANZ) would lobby the Government to impose local technology quotas in public sector computer contracts, and quoted CMANZ executive committee member John Gould as saying the association would ask Information Technology Minister Paul Swain for quotas at a meeting with the association in May. However, Mr Gould says at no stage did he suggest to the newspaper's reporter that CMANZ wanted a quota system imposed. He says CMANZ has never asked for quotas to be adopted by Government, and will never ask for them.

"It isn't something that we could sensibly expect any government to implement. "All we have ever hoped for is that the government and government organisations will give a bigger mindshare to local brands when making IT purchases. "We obviously would like to furnish any information which will help Government realise that many local brands offer an excellent choice compared to international brand computers, but at no stage would we expect quotas to be imposed," Mr Gould said. "Recently-published statistics from the New Zealand computer market show that local brands are growing steadily more popular with all types of buyers, and we expect that trend to continue," he said. "New Zealand-built computers currently account for around 35-38% of all new computer sales in this country. CMANZ member companies are responsible for 60% of that 35-38% figure, or approximately three out of every five computers built here." Mr Gould says in Australia the percentage of locally-built computers is higher, at around 45%. CMANZ would like the New Zealand percentage to grow and to at least match the Australian level, but CMANZ would never expect to be helped in that aim by the imposition of Government quotas. Before the election last year, media reports correctly stated that CMANZ would "lobby" Government to consider local brands when purchasing IT equipment.

The Labour Party's then spokesman on IT, Marian Hobbs, was quoted in a computer industry newspaper that she would go further and consider a quota system.

Alliance leader Jim Anderton was quoted in the same article that the "computer assembly" industry was the type that New Zealand needs to develop, but he would not favour quotas being introduced.

The pre-election report in the industry newspaper also quoted CMANZ chairman Colin Brown saying his assocation was not asking for quotas.

He was reported saying CMANZ simply planned to analyse why local assemblers miss out on government and big business sales, and would then try to overcome whatever obstacles it identifies.

John Gould says CMANZ's stand on this issue remains unchanged.

For further information, contact: Mr John Gould, Ultra Computer Company Ltd, tel 0-9-415 4141, fax 0-9-415 4341.



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