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NZ's First World Secure Data Centre Initiative

Plan To Set Up New Zealand's First International Secure Data Centre Gains Momentum

Auckland, October 1, 2001 - Businesses and government agencies meeting here have endorsed a plan to set up a world data security centre in New Zealand, an initiative that is gaining momentum in the wake of the terrorist attacks in the United States.

The plan is being co-ordinated and facilitated by IT business strategist Gary Connolly of The Digital Agenda who, since the September 11 attacks, has met industry representatives and government agencies in both Auckland and Wellington to initiate a collective, national course of action.

"There is a window of opportunity in the world right now, which will not last long. America will long remember September 11th, but I believe that business globally will forget it before the January 'New Year round' begins, Mr Connolly says.

Robin Ducker of Auckland University's business arm, UniServices Ltd, hosted the meeting in Auckland to discuss the plan, which builds on a Catching the Knowledge conference recommendation in August. The recommendation was to "make New Zealand the world's leading information age security centre". It proposed that New Zealand should focus on niches such as security products, remote offshore Internet security management and secure storage of confidential information.

Mr Connolly's initial proposal is to set up five diverse data centres handling a variety of data, from totally locked down secure archival data, data encrypted and the storage non-transactional to scaled down yet still secure storage.

"At the highest level the data is held with a view to total disaster recovery", he said. "The scaled approach handles companies (local and international) who are looking to achieve anything from secure, safe storage of information, through to the top level vault-like holding of unchanging information."

The Auckland meeting was attended by representatives of Auckland University, data security companies including Telecom and government agencies Investment NZ and TradeNZ. The group agreed to commission a discussion document to further explore the proposal, gather information about what resources already exist in New Zealand and outline possible courses of action.

Mr Connolly said the document would be used as a blueprint to involve other interested parties around New Zealand, build partnerships and gain ground using a collaborative, 'business clustering' approach.

The meeting also agreed to take other steps, including: 0 Leverage off the expertise and skills available in the group and any other partnerships. 0 Seek partnerships with others interested in joining the group. 0 Recruit an overseas consultant with international secure data centre experience. 0 Investigate the legal ramifications of setting up the necessary vault and secure facility. 0 Work collaboratively to ensure that the group is embarking on a plan with a target market. 0 Formulate a strategy for branding and marketing New Zealand as a leading international secure data centre.

In Wellington last week Mr Connolly met representatives from Industry NZ, KPMG and Telecom International. He plans to travel to the South Island to explore partnerships in that region.

The Auckland group plans to meet regularly to progress the plan. The next meeting is scheduled for later this week.

Prepared for The Digital Agenda by Communicator.

Ends


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