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Government Has Responded To E-Commerce

October 4 1999

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hon Maurice Williamson
Minister for Information Technology

GOVERNMENT HAS RESPONDED TO E-COMMERCE

The National-led Government has responded to the importance of E-Commerce and taken action to accelerate and promote it, Information Technology Minister Maurice Williamson said today.

He was responding the launch of Labour's E-Commerce policy.

"It's ironic they've released the policy just days after we announced our E-Government Vision Statement, which outlines our expectations of how Government services will change through to 2005," said Mr Williamson.

"By 2005, we want New Zealanders to be able to electronically register anything with Central Government, make all their payments to Government on-line and consult with decision makers through their computers."

Mr Williamson said the Government was already using E-Commerce to reduce compliance costs.

"The Companies Office on-line is saving businesses up to 30 percent. We are also making sure the law does not hold back businesses using E-Commerce," said Mr Williamson.

"We also launched the revamped Government On-Line (NZGO) web site last week, which is the first point of call for people seeking information on Government agencies. This site received 1, 393, 880 hits last month which shows that E-Government is becoming hugely popular and relevant to so many New Zealanders."

Last month the Government also launched its E-Commerce web site, recognising its importance to New Zealand's emerging knowledge economy.

"The purpose of this web site is to provide business people and the wider public with easy access to all available Government information on E- Commerce. This includes tax, consumer protection, privacy, the legal environment and trust and security issues," said Mr Williamson.

Mr Williamson said the site included a number of links to useful overseas information, including an APEC commissioned guide on E-Commerce and the Law for small and medium businesses (SMEs) in each APEC economy.

"The Government also delivered additional funding of $405,000 in this year's Budget to speed up work in E-Commerce. This is being used by the Information Technology Advisory Group within the Commerce Ministry to address E-Commerce issues and deliver more certainty to businesses."

Mr Williamson said the promotion of E-Commerce among SMEs was one of the areas being focused on by the advisory group.

"The Government is committed to the development of E-Commerce in New Zealand and has already taken a number of steps to address it. All Labour seem to be proposing is continuing with our policies as well as creating unnecessary intervention."

ENDS


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