Digital Strategy Launched
Information Technology Minister David Cunliffe yesterday launched the Digital Strategy, a practical and achievable action plan for ensuring all New Zealanders benefit from information and communications technology (ICT).
"This strategy is about creating a digital future for all New Zealanders whether they're at home, school, work or in the community. The government will provide nearly $60 million through the Growth and Innovation Framework to implement the Strategy as part of Budget 2005," David Cunliffe said at the launch at Parliament today.
"This includes $44.7 million of contestable seed funding over four years which will be available directly to communities and partnerships. We have set up the Community Partnership Fund of $20.7 million to support grassroots initiatives that will build ICT skills in communities and regions, and help create distinctive New Zealand material in digital form.
"The Broadband Challenge, a fund of $24 million, will be made available to enable affordable broadband roll-out based on competitive open-access principles. This fund will promote high-speed capacity in regional centres and support innovative ways of making broadband available to smaller communities.
"A further $10.4 million will support ICT productivity in businesses and $3.9 million will support the development of a cultural portal to provide an online presence for New Zealand's creative sector.
"Overall, the government has committed to spend up to $400 million over the next five years to make the Digital Strategy happen. But this won't be enough on its own to achieve our objectives. That's why we're providing new seed funding in Budget 2005 to encourage local government, economic development agencies and others to form partnerships and take action at the local level."
David Cunliffe said the government was committed to creating digital opportunities by bringing the benefits of ICT to all New Zealanders.