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ICT industry deserves govt support

19 March 2013

ICT industry deserves govt support

A report showing that a third of ICT companies view insufficient local demand as a barrier to growth shows the need for government procurement policy to back Kiwi businesses, Green Party ICT spokesperson Gareth Hughes said today.

Statistics New Zealand’s Information and Communication Technology Supply Survey released today shows that 33 percent of ICT companies found “insufficient local demand for goods and service” a barrier to growth. This comes a day after it was revealed that National hired an Australian firm to build the pre-registration website for Mighty River Power.

“New Zealand’s ICT sector has huge potential. The Government needs to back it, rather than sending work across the Tasman,” said Mr Hughes.

“It’s very disappointing to see government contracts like Novopay and the Mighty River Power website heading offshore when there are companies here that are perfectly capable of doing the work.

“If the Government contracts with local companies it means jobs and income for Kiwis which has a multiplier effect throughout the economy, and helps build capacity in the sector. If the Government sends those contracts offshore, the jobs and money are lost.

“There is no reason why government ICT contracts need to head overseas. All we need is a government that believes in New Zealanders.

“The Greens want to back New Zealand’s ICT industry by making government agencies consider the wider economic benefits to New Zealand of supporting the local ICT industry when making purchasing decisions.

“We would also supply cornerstone investment to a second international cable to lower prices so that our companies can compete on an even footing with international competitors.

“The Greens would also invest in ICT education and training, to create the next generation of high-skill ICT workers,” said Mr Hughes.

Additional information:
Green Party ICT discussion paper

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