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The E-Commerce Strategy – One year on.

1 November 2001 Media Statement

The E-Commerce Strategy - One year on.

Information Technology Minister Paul Swain has delivered his progress report on the government’s E-commerce Strategy.

Paul Swain has delivered the report to an e-commerce summit in Greymouth - a year to the day after the E-commerce strategy was delivered at the government’s E-commerce Summit in Auckland.

“In round figures last year's strategy document identified some sixty actions and commitments for attention by government in partnership with the private sector.

“E-commerce -which is about business doing business in a networked electronic environment - is critical for the development of the New Zealand economy given that it puts New Zealand business on the front doorstep of the world.

“There is a real commitment from the government to promote e-commerce as part of its push for the knowledge economy and I am pleased with progress to date.

“This Progress Report provides an indication of how we have done with each one. It’s a snapshot of e-commerce related initiatives across the whole of government, and it places these initiatives in the context of the government's overall drive for economic transformation.

“The E-commerce Strategy set out the Government's vision that New Zealand will be world class in embracing e-commerce for competitive advantage.

“One year on I am pleased to be able to report that work on implementing the strategy is advancing well.

“Our latest research for instance indicates that some 61% of businesses now have a website, up from 33% last year.

“I am particularly encouraged that through the E-commerce Action Team (ECAT) and the Regional E-commerce Events the Government's vision of a partnership model is being realised.

"Each sector represented on ECAT have developed Six-quarter action plans, and these are available on www.ecat.govt.nz.

“We have made good progress but more remains to be done. This work is not only the responsibility of the Government, but also the responsibility of business and the wider community.

“A number of regions have shown admirable leadership in promoting e-commerce initiatives and in formulating plans to enable high speed Internet access and I appreciate and thank them for their farsightedness and commitment,” Paul Swain said.

The full Progress Report is available on www.ecat.govt.nz - attached are the highlights.

ENDS

E-commerce Strategy Implementation Highlights

The Strategy contained over 60 commitments and actions. The following are some of the highlights of the year's work to November 1, 2001.

Leadership and communication:

- The E-commerce Action Team (ECAT), made up of industry and business leaders and experienced e-commerce individuals, was set up in March 2001. It has worked on raising awareness of e-commerce issues across the broader community represented by its members and identifying ways of meeting specific sector needs.

- A key objective of ECAT is to promote the establishment of additional regional or sector based E-commerce Action Teams and to support existing groups. Several "mini-ECATs" have formed, including a research ECAT; an Education ECAT (EduCAT); a rural ECAT lead by Federated Farmers; the Waikato ECAT (WECAT) and the Hawkes Bay E-commerce Development Committee. See www.ecat.govt.nz for details.

- Six Regional E-commerce Events have been held in Waikato, Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa, Taranaki, Manawatu and the West Coast collectively attracting around 1100 participants. These have been very successful in building awareness of the opportunities afforded by e-commerce and helping businesses learn from each other. Most importantly they have acted as catalysts for the establishment of local groups and e-commerce initiatives. Further events are planned.

- The ECAT website (www.ecat.govt.nz) is being developed as a key instrument to support business and the wider community to build their e-commerce capability and develop support networks. It contains links to a wide variety of information including the E-commerce Guide, case studies, current research and statistics, ECAT Network member pages, a calendar of e-commerce events and training and e-commerce news.

- The ECAT Network was launched in June 2001 and provides a channel for businesses, non-profit organisations and individuals to share their experience and interest in e-commerce. Members contribute to the resources on the ECAT website through their member pages. Anyone may join the Network, which currently has over one hundred members. In addition anyone may join the e-commerce-contacts mailing list, which currently has over 750 subscribers. This list is used to notify updates to the ECAT website, publicise events and stimulate feedback on practical e-commerce questions and issues.

- The E-government Strategy was released in April 2001 with the mission that by 2004 the Internet will be the dominant means of enabling ready access to government information, services and processes. Work continues on a comprehensive range of projects including implementation of secure email, development of a new government portal, the e-procurement pilot and work on establishing interoperability and standards. See www.e-government.govt.nz for details.

Building Capability

- The E-commerce Guide was published in November 2000 and has been well received. Over 8000 copies have been distributed. Copies are available from BIZ offices, from the Ministry of Economic Development or online at www.ecommerce.govt.nz/guide/index.html

- In addition to the Guide, additional information has been made available through the www.ecat.govt.nz website. An example is the Multi-Currency Credit Card Services FAQ that provides information about the multi-currency credit card services available in New Zealand. These services are often important for selling goods and services via the Internet. The need for such information has been a recurrent theme at the E-commerce Regional Events.

- Industry New Zealand through the BIZ programme has developed an eight module e-commerce training programme aimed at small and medium businesses. This programme is now available through the BIZ provider network. See www.bizinfo.co.nz for details.

- E-commerce and e-business strategies have been included as a qualifying category in the Enterprise Award Scheme administered by Industry New Zealand.

See www.industrynz.govt.nz/sme/sec03_overview.shtml for details.

- Trade New Zealand is well advanced in implementing its e-commerce strategy including a revamped website, a client e-business education programme, an online database to profile all New Zealand exporters (NZ Exporters Online) and advice on digital marketplaces.

See www.tradenz.govt.nz for details.

Enabling Regulatory Environment

- The Electronic Transactions Bill will enable statutory requirements for writing, signature and the retention and production of information to be met using electronic methods. It has been reported back from Select Committee the second reading is pending.

- The Crimes Amendment Bill (No.6) will address computer-related crime. It has been reported back from Select Committee and is awaiting Parliament's consideration of the Committee's report.

- The Telecommunications Bill is designed to create a more efficient and competitive telecommunications market in New Zealand for the benefit of both business and domestic consumers. It has been reported back from Select Committee and is currently awaiting a second reading.

- Work on reform of evidence law, including electronic evidence, is at the policy approval stage.

- Government has issued the New Zealand Model Code for Consumer Protection in Electronic Commerce to assist business to develop self-regulatory mechanisms. It has supported the development of the e-Marketing Standards Authority (eMSA) and provided advice to business associations considering their own codes of practice.

- A National Infrastructure Protection Strategy report was prepared and Government has approved the establishment of a Centre for Critical Infrastructure Protection.


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