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Digital economic upgrade to boost jobs and incomes

Digital economic upgrade to boost jobs and incomes

A Labour Government will support the ICT sector to make New Zealand a tech-savvy nation and put ICT at the heart of our economic upgrade strategy, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.

Among several new initiatives David Cunliffe announced today are plans to establish 1200 digital apprenticeships and support first-time entrepreneurs with ‘Garage Grants’.

“Technology is a game changer. We can become a prosperous nation supported by a vibrant IT industry.

“Our focus on investment, innovation and industry will see a digital upgrade to create better jobs that pay higher wages where they are desperately needed.

“To boost innovation we will work with industry and public science bodies to develop new products and technologies. We will also back start-ups with ‘Garage Grants’ which will enable entrepreneurs who want to transform their clever ideas into something big.

“To encourage investment we will provide tax deferrals in the form of accelerated depreciation to ICT manufacturers and research and development tax incentives to encourage investment in new technology and plant.

“To support industry development Labour will review the points system for the migration skills shortage list, and we will establish 1200 digital apprenticeships at a cost of $2.1 million in the first year.

“We will also:

Create a government-backed app store to assist fledgling New Zealand software developers to get into the market
Instruct government agencies to implement a whole of government approach to Open Software
And establish the role of Chief Technology Officer reporting directly to the Prime Minister and Cabinet

“Labour’s Digital Economic Upgrade requires a hands-on government that knows what it takes to get us there and which isn’t afraid to lead, take risks, and enable people,” David Cunliffe said.

“There will be a further policy announcement in the future on digital infrastructure and connectivity.”


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