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New Zealand’s Digital Future Starts Now, Says Harré

New Zealand’s Digital Future Starts Now, Says Harré

The next three years will be critical to whether New Zealand will be a player in the global digital economy – let alone a leader, says Internet Party leader Laila Harré.

Ms Harré told the Deloitte BusinessNZ Election Conference in Wellington today (Monday) that the current government was in denial about the speed at which the Internet was transforming New Zealand’s global economy.

“This unprecedented rate of change offers New Zealand an enormous opportunity. Our traditional twin handicaps of geographic isolation and a small domestic market disappear if we commit to achieving global digital leadership.”

Ms Harré said there had to be an urgent investment in the right infrastructure and there was a need to make those choices with transparency.

“We desperately need the second submarine cable or it will be impossible to attract investment. Our current connection is too slow and too expensive, and there’s no back-up.”

Ms Harré told the audience there had to be meaningful investment in research and development, with core public policy questions to be addressed.

“There must be equality of internet access for our young if we are to achieve a knowledge-based society and economy. Transformation of the scale we envisage will touch every region, every institution, every economic sector – including the public and community sectors – and the life of every child.

“Internet MANA backs New Zealand’s future prosperity by offering a plan based on a vision of Aotearoa as a global leader in the digital age.”

Ms Harré urged those at the BusinessNZ conference to use their positions as commerce and community leaders to raise awareness and excitement about the task ahead.

“The next three years aren’t the time for focus group-inspired tax cuts or employment law changes to meet the demands of the low-wage domestic service sector. Let’s set our sights higher than that – much higher.”

Note: Ms Harré’s speech to the BusinessNZ forum is attached.


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