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Creating a digital NZ - statement and backgrounder

Hon David Cunliffe
Minister for Information Technology
Hon Judith Tizard
Minister Responsible for the National Library

Unlocking, protecting and preserving New Zealand's stock of digital information is at the heart of a discussion document released today by Information Technology Minister David Cunliffe and National Library Minister Judith Tizard.

"The digital content strategy continues the government's wider Digital Strategy launched last year to help New Zealand maximise the power and potential of information and communications technology," says Information Technology Minister David Cunliffe.

"This Labour-led government is taking a strategic approach to getting New Zealand's government, business and community information online," he says.

"We can leverage off digital content to help progress New Zealand's economic transformation into a innovative and creative knowledge based economy.

"We now want direct feedback from business and the community on the goals, approach and ideas proposed."

National Library Minister Judith Tizard says the document encourages New Zealanders to think about our digital future.

"The goal is to unlock New Zealand's stock of digital content and provide New Zealanders easy access to the information which is important to our lives, our businesses and our national identity."

"Getting New Zealand online is important to ensure that our unique heritage and national identity is strong, visible and available – we won't be swamped in the global environment."

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Judith Tizard says projects like the National Library's Digital Heritage Archive demonstrate the importance of identifying what digital information needs to be identified, captured and preserved for current and future generations.

The final strategy will provide a framework for and prioritise government's actions over the next five years.

Presentations and workshops for the industry, community and cultural sectors will be held over the coming six weeks – details of these presentations and workshops are available on the Digital Strategy website.

Copies of the draft discussion document and a list of workshop venues and dates are available at www.digitalstrategy.govt.nz or www.digitalcontent.govt.nz or by emailing the National Library at digitalcontent@natlib.nz or phoning 04 474 3000 ext 8337.

The document is available here on a 3.2 MB PDF file:


The closing date for submissions is Wednesday 20 December 2006.



Draft New Zealand Digital Content Strategy
Questions and Answers

What is digital content?

· Digital content is any information available in electronic form – data, photographs, text, graphics, 3D images, spatial models and maps, music, film, and software applications.
· Digital content is on computers, television, radio, CDs, DVDs, handheld mobile devices including cellphones – and any other carriers of information that come in the future.
· Digital content can be created, manipulated, duplicated and reused with ease, is easily transmitted and accessed globally – anywhere, anytime – stimulating new ways of social networking such as blogging and interactive television. It can be aggregated into powerful data sets of information to generate new knowledge.

What is the New Zealand Digital Content Strategy?

The Digital Content Strategy is about bringing New Zealand online, building digital foundations to improve access, unlocking our stock of content and accelerating its creation, and leveraging the opportunities that emerge as a result. It will:

· build digital foundations
· unlock content
· leverage opportunities.

Why should organisations and individuals engage with the draft Strategy?

It is their opportunity to engage with government on whether we have got it right in identifying the challenges, objectives and actions to take us into the next decade. Are we on the right path to our digital future? Input in the draft Strategy is a way of ensuring that New Zealand take appropriate opportunities to make content available online to enrich our lives, leverage commercial opportunities and tell our stories to the world.

What is the timetable for finalising the Strategy?

Anyone can take part in workshops and make submissions on the draft Digital Content Strategy. Submissions close with the National Library on 20 December. The strategy itself is expected to be finalised in the first half of 2007.

Why do we need a Digital Content Strategy?

A Digital Content Strategy will help New Zealand proactively promote economic, social and cultural opportunities, including maximising business returns from digital content opportunities. It will unlock and generate additional value from our unique digital content by creating, collecting, storing, manipulating, and re-using content with ease.

How is the Digital Content Strategy different from the Digital Strategy?

The New Zealand Digital Content Strategy is one of the initiatives announced by the 2005 Digital Strategy and builds on the Digital Strategy. The Digital Strategy is about three interrelated enablers of "content, confidence and connection" (the three Cs). The New Zealand Digital Content Strategy will focus on the content aspects of the Digital Strategy.

What are the Vision and the Outcomes for the draft Digital Content Strategy?

The draft Digital Content Strategy proposes creating a digital New Zealand with the following outcomes:
· New Zealanders are creating, accessing, sharing, using, preserving and protecting a broad range of quality content that supports our push to transform our economy and strengthen national identity and community; and
· New Zealand businesses are digital-content savvy and New Zealand has a strong and internationally competitive digital content industry.

Why is building our digital foundations important?

· Building our digital foundations will provide cost efficiencies by ensuring content can be easily found, used and re-purposed; and guard the community against spam and inappropriate content, the illicit manipulation of content, and other forms of cyber-attack.
· Solid digital foundations will ensure digital content important to New Zealand is preserved in perpetuity and not lost, ensure rights and interests of those who produce content, allow us to maximise returns from our investment in digital content – our intellectual and cultural property – and connect New Zealanders to services and opportunities which are increasingly only available through a digital medium.

What are the proposed actions for delivering on strong digital foundations?

These are to:

· Adopt and promote appropriate international standards related to content creation, digitisation and management of rights.
· Make publicly funded and community-generated content visible and easily accessible by storing it in interoperable, standards-based "digital warehouses."
· Make New Zealand content visible to the world by providing gateways to uniquely New Zealand digital content and non-digital content.
· Build on the government's investment in the National Digital Heritage Archive by developing an across-sector strategy for the preservation of formal digital content.
· Review the institutional form of organisations involved in the preservation of, and public access to, film, video and sound content.
· Support introducing a Creative Commons licence for New Zealand.
· Promote greater public understanding of rights and responsibilities under Copyright legislation, including protection of intellectual and cultural property rights.

Why is unlocking content important?

Unlocking content is important because it ensures New Zealand is well placed to take up opportunities and address the challenges of the changing digital content world; and provides new opportunities to educate, entertain and inform.

What are some of the proposed actions relating to unlocking content?

Proposed actions to unlock content are to:
· Significantly increase the store of New Zealand digital content on-line through a nationwide digitisation programme of key local, regional and national content.
· Provide support and advice to communities on the standards and tools that enable creation and sharing of content.
· Support the creation, sharing and preservation of digital content by community groups, hapu, iwi, and individuals through the establishment of a community digital content network.

Why is leveraging opportunities relating to digital content important?

Leveraging opportunities, whether commercial or non-commercial, related to digital content is important because it could foster new product development and knowledge that will contribute to a transformed economy; and has the potential to be a major area of skilled employment and export-led growth over the coming decade.

What are some of the proposed actions relating to leveraging opportunities?

· Promote greater awareness and use of digital technology and digital content by New Zealand business.
· Support the development of strong and internationally competitive New Zealand digital content technologies and solutions.
· Support the development and retention of a skilled digital workforce.
· Commission research and compile regular quality data to assist with understanding and responding to digital content trends, opportunities and challenges.

How has the development of the Strategy been informed?

Drawing on commissioned research and research produced by other nations and New Zealand organisations, a framework with five key elements was identified as a means of analysing gaps and opportunities, and examining possible responses:

· Understanding digital content
· Protecting digital content
· Preserving digital content
· Accessing and sharing digital content
· Creating and using digital content.

What has the government already been doing?

The government's commitment to New Zealand digital content is evidenced by a range of recent initiatives:

· The government's announcement in June 2006 of measures for the transition to free-to-air digital television, the development of a digital broadcasting strategy, which will actively encourage the introduction of new digital broadcasting services and repurposing of content for use across a range of digital platforms.
· Content-related projects, including the digitisation of community content and digital storytelling, have received funding in the first round of the Community Partnership Fund, which straddles the confidence and content enablers.
· A $60 million action plan for e-Learning in schools, announced in July 2006, including $4.1 million for the second phase of digital learning object development for the Learning Foundation, a collaborative online educational initiative between the Australian and New Zealand governments.
· Initiatives to build a greater presence for New Zealand branded content and culture online, such as NZLive.com (launched in September 2006) and the further development of Te Ara – The Encyclopaedia of New Zealand.
· In September 2006, the first major milestone of the National Digital Heritage Archive was achieved with the launch of an open source web curator tool for harvesting digital content from the Web, developed in co-operation with the British Library.

Who is responsible for bringing together the New Zealand Digital Content Strategy?

The National Library is responsible for co-ordinating the development of the Strategy. The National Library is working across the government, business and community sectors to develop a New Zealand-wide strategy.

How will the initiatives that form part of the Strategy be funded?

Initiatives will be funded through the normal budget process – they will have to stand on their merits against other budget proposals.


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