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Government responds to ICT Taskforce

Hon Paul Swain
03 November 2003

Government responds to ICT Taskforce

Multi-million dollar government initiatives have been unveiled by the Information Technology and Communications Minister Paul Swain, in response to the report of the ICT Taskforce.

The ICT Sector Taskforce is one of four industry taskforces established by the government in May 2002.

"The ICT Taskforce advocated an ambitious target with its aim to take 100 New Zealand ICT companies through sales levels of 100 million dollars by 2012," says the Information Technology and Communications Minister Paul Swain.

"I congratulate the Taskforce and its chair Murray McNae for this ambition and vision."

"The ICT Taskforce shares the government's vision of an economically successful New Zealand, and the value of working together to achieve targets."

Mr Swain says the government is working in partnership to support the growth ambitions of the ICT sector, with a range of initiatives to boost technical and business skills, build stronger industry networks, and improve information about the sector.

The initiatives include: -

The launch of the HiGrowth Project, the ICT implementation body. This is being set up as a charitable trust with a 5-member board and a 30-member advisory council. It will receive $1.5 million over 4 years.

Tertiary initiatives include a pilot scheme Enterprise Training for Emerging Industries to receive $11.55 million over 4 years; and the Entrepreneurship and Knowledge Transfer initiative targeted at graduates, which will receive $10 million over 4 years. (These initiatives apply to all 4 Taskforces)

The technology curriculum in secondary schools will be supported through projects to the tune of $8 million over 4 years. (This applies to all 4 Taskforces)

A national ICT awareness programme known as FutureIntech will be targeted at secondary school students, and cost $5.6 million over 4 years.

The collection of ICT statistics is being boosted with an extra $6.038 million over 4 years, which will help track growth in ICT and identify gaps and opportunities, as well as conveying a more complete picture internationally.

Funding of $1 million this financial year and $1.5 million per annum for the following nine years is being made available for the GIF Sector Project Fund, which will be available for the industry bodies set up as a result of the four Taskforces.

$500,000 over 3 years will go towards a leadership programme for business leaders in the ICT sector.

Mr Swain says the government is also convening a working group of industry and government representatives to look at issues of government ICT procurement.

Work is also continuing on the ICT Taskforce's recommendations in relation to tax and regulatory issues, and the Business Law Reform Bill, due to be passed by April 2004, will improve investment opportunities in the ICT sector.


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