Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Technology Likely To Provide A Covid Silver Bullet

It is likely that technology will provide the silver bullet that New Zealand needs to manage covid-19, NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says.

The resurgent outbreak of covid in the community has served as a reminder that Kiwis will be having to manage the impacts of this disease for some time.

“Whether it is faster contact tracing, easier tests or even a vaccination, it is likely that technology and biotechnology, both strengths of New Zealand, will provide the solutions needed to allow the economy to continue operating while the pandemic continues,” Muller says.

“While tightening up our borders and increased testing will help to limit the chance of future outbreaks, fast and accurate contact tracing is the key tool for getting ahead of the virus when a new cluster emerges in the community.

“The initial uptake of the government’s covid tracing app was extremely low and very few businesses were displaying the QR code. But the recent Auckland outbreak has seen the use of the app dramatically increase as we all now understand the value in collecting this information to protect ourselves and the communities we live in.

“It's likely that the need for contact tracing and even health passports will become commonplace over the next several years as we continue to deal with covid and plan for future pandemics.

“While the use of a manual app may respond to an immediate need, it is essential that more automation is deployed if we really want to reduce the risk of future spread.

“A simple starting point for more automation has to be the introduction of the option for Bluetooth enabled contact tracing.

“Apple and Google have joined forces to create a standard that has allowed them to put Bluetooth contact tracing on almost every phone in the world, free of charge, in people’s next phone update.

“The Ministry of Health has indicated that they are considering this technology and potentially connecting it to the NZ covid tracer app to further enhance contact tracing.

“Hopefully, our government will be looking to integrate this global operating system-based solution into covid tracking in New Zealand. There is so much public interest in this. I’m surprised the government has not published a roadmap for the planned evolution for their covid tracking app.

“The other technology where New Zealand has a strength is biotechnology and we are already seeing New Zealand scientists developing possible solutions such as the recently announced work by ESR on simple, fast saliva tests.

“The government has invested $10 million in supporting local vaccine research with New Zealand’s leading universities and biotechnology research institutes coming together in a national Vaccine Alliance to collaborate on the assessment, development and production of vaccines for covid and future pandemics.

The New Zealand technology sector continues to thrive and support the New Zealand economy during the global pandemic. Software companies are still able to operate and export, high tech manufacturers like Fisher & Paykel Healthcare are producing critical hi-tech products for the world and the biotech sector is designing future solutions.

Unofficially, the tech sector is no doubt now New Zealand’s second largest export industry, employing over 100,000 Kiwis and thousands of other people around the world.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On That $4 Billion Hit To National’s Economic Cred

National released its economic and tax policy last Friday. Weirdly, the plan was announced right at the end of the news week, when whatever impact it managed to generate would be likely to dissipate over the weekend. Well…. that now seems all for the best. The plan is now known to have a $4 billion hole in it. Apparently, National used outdated figures for the amount it stood to save from NOT paying into the Super Fund. Amusingly, the $4 billion mistake was almost exactly the same size as the $4.7 billion that National still promises to give away in tax cuts... More>>


Government: More Border Exceptions For Critical Roles

The Government has established class exceptions for border entry for a limited number of veterinarians, deep sea fishing crew, as well as agricultural and horticultural machinery operators. “Tight border restrictions remain the backbone of the Government’s ... More>>


PM: Auckland At Bolstered Level 2, Rest Of Country Provisionally At Level 1

Pandemic alert levels for the whole country have been reviewed by Cabinet and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is announcing whether restrictions will be eased. More>>


Labour: Supporting Workers And Valuing Their Contribution

Making sure working New Zealanders are safe, healthy and that their contribution to the economy is valued is at the heart of Labour’s Workplace Relations Policy.
“This is Labour demonstrating its commitment to helping working New Zealanders by increasing sick leave, raising wages, protecting them while they are at work, growing jobs and investing in the economy,”... More>>


PREFU: Economy Doing Better Than Forecast

The Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update released today shows that the near-term economic recovery has been stronger than the Treasury and many economists predicted at the May Budget, as the economy bounced back strongly out of lockdown... More>>


Electoral Commission: Candidate And Party Lists Released

17 registered political parties and 677 candidates will be contesting the 2020 General Election Nominations have now closed and the Electoral Commission has released the electorate and party list candidates for 2020 online at vote.nz . Advance voting ... More>>

National: Plan To Restore NZ’s Prosperity

National’s Economic and Fiscal Plan carefully balances the need to invest in infrastructure and core public services while also reducing tax pressure on Kiwi families and businesses. National Leader Judith Collins and Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith unveiled National’s ... More>>


NZ First: Party List

New Zealand First has a proven twenty-seven-year history of bringing balance and common sense to our government. Amid the continued setbacks of COVID-19 restrictions, New Zealand First has once again sustained its profile by selecting a strong team ... More>>

Election: Arriving Travellers In Isolation To Be Able To Vote By Telephone

Up to 5,000 people in managed isolation or quarantine will be able to vote by telephone in the general election and referendums after an amendment to electoral regulations last week. Chief Electoral Officer Alicia Wright says the Electoral Commission sought ... More>>

National: Investing In Our Children’s Future

A National Government will prioritise lifting achievement for all New Zealand children, no matter their background or ability, National Party Leader Judith Collins and National’s Education spokesperson Nicola Willis say. “Parents just want what’s best for ... More>>





InfoPages News Channels