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Minister travels to Europe and Japan

Hon Megan Woods

Minister for Government Digital Services


15 October 2018

Minister Megan Woods will travel this week to Estonia, Norway and Japan to attend a series of meetings and bilateral engagements covering a number of her portfolios.

As Digital Services Minister, Woods is representing New Zealand at the Tallinn Digital Summit in Estonia from October 15-16 to discuss digital issues such as Artificial Intelligence technologies and the free movement of data. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to attend.

“It’s exciting that for the first time New Zealand has been invited to the table at this important global digital Summit. As New Zealanders we are world-class innovators and this Summit is an opportunity to share and explore ideas that benefit and safeguard New Zealanders in this fast-moving, modern digital age. It is a great opportunity to discover further new ways of using technology and data that will benefit New Zealanders and our economy,” says Woods.

The Summit is an annual gathering of strong digital nations and brings together Prime Ministers and digital Ministers, with influential digital leaders, to understand the social and economic digital future.

Minister Woods then heads to Norway from October 17-20 for a number of meetings on energy and just transitions-related issues.

She will call on ministerial counterparts as well as meeting with industry and union representatives and will also have meetings related to her Research, Science and Innovation portfolio.

“Norway is a world leader when it comes to renewable energy and I am keen to learn more on their transition to a low-emissions economy and what lessons we can apply to our own transition towards a low carbon economy.”

Dr Woods will also be in Japan from October 21-23 to learn more about the development and application of hydrogen energy. She will have discussions with ministerial counterparts in addition to meeting with various industry players who are developing and using hydrogen energy.

“Hydrogen has the potential to help New Zealand towards its zero emissions goal. Not only could it become an important transport fuel, but our abundant renewable energy could also be used to develop hydrogen for export.”

EDITORS NOTES on the Tallinn Digital Summit 2018:

1. Estonia is the host nation of the Tallinn Digital Summit (TDS). The inaugural Summit was hosted in September 2017, and this year’s event is on 15-16 October 2018. The Summit will be conducted in English.

2. The 2017 Summit was aimed at facilitating Europe becoming a digital leader, globally, in the years to come. The 2018 Summit marks a departure from this approach given the Ministers invitation to the event. Other non-European participants include Israel, South Korea, and Japan – our invitation is likely to reflect our position in the Digital 7 (D7), of which Estonia is an inaugural member.

3. The Chatham House rule is applied to the Head of Delegation working lunch on data and trade. The media will not be present during this lunch.

4. Other parts of the programme are open to accredited media.


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