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Government Backs Digital Content

Hon Pete Hodgson
Minister for Economic Development
Hon David Cunliffe
Minister for Communications and Information Technology

23 September 2008 Media Release

Government Backs Digital Content

Economic Development Minister Pete Hodgson and Communications and Information Technology Minister David Cunliffe announced today government funding of up to $2 million over two years to the Auckland Regional Council for the region’s digital content sector.

“Growing this sector significantly contributes to New Zealand’s economic transformation. The digital content sector extends well beyond the traditional high profile entertainment and is of significant strategic importance to New Zealand. It stretches into health IT, Biotech, manufacturing and marine,” Pete Hodgson said.

The funding is for the Digital Content Sector Development Initiative, developed by the council’s economic development unit, AucklandPlus, in consultation with the industry. The initiative is designed to address key issues in the industry including improving collaboration, building capability and increasing commercialisation.

“Parts of New Zealand’s digital content sector lead the world in their specialist areas, but recent studies of the sector have identified both challenges and opportunities for its innovation and growth,” Pete Hodgson said.

“Digital content is an international high-growth sector. Through New Zealand’s Digital Strategy we are committed to helping Kiwis create, share and use new digital content,” said David Cunliffe.

“This Auckland initiative and other regional initiatives for the digital content sector being progressed by Grow Wellington and Canterbury Development Corporation,
will help kick-start a more integrated national approach to developing our digital content industry – a key action identified in the government’s Digital Strategy 2.0.”

Mr Hodgson said government work now underway to build such a national approach to the digital content sector includes:

• developing a business case for a national sector entity

• working on a strategic plan between industry and government, in partnership with key industry groups such as Creative Digital Content Auckland and the NZ Games Animation and Visual Effects Trust

• examining the options for co-production or other specific investment funding for the sector.

• action plans for developing significant opportunities in the interactive gaming, e-learning, digital entertainment and geospatial industries.

“Through such work the government is committed to making New Zealanders leaders in the digital world,” Mr Cunliffe concluded.


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