A new advisory group is to be set up to advise the Government on how it can build the digital economy and reduce digital divides.
Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media and Government Digital Services Minister, Clare Curran, called for expressions of interest today.
“I’m committed to reducing the gap between the digital ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’. This group will help us achieve that,” Ms Curran says.
“Digital technology is changing the way Kiwis live their lives, affecting the way we do business, work, and interact with each other and our communities. Given the pace at which our world is changing, we need to ensure no-one is left behind.
“The advisory group will bring immediate focus and a plan to ensure all Kiwis have affordable access to digital services, and the motivation, skills and trust to fully participate in our digital world.”
Its first task will be to provide advice to the Government on the development of a Blueprint for digital inclusion and digital enablement.
“I’m also keen for the group to consider possible future scenarios and identify what’s needed from government to enable everyone – businesses and individuals - to take advantage of the opportunities provided by digital technology,” Ms Curran says.
“There’ll be up to 15 people in the group, with the ability to bring in additional members or expertise to address particular issues. I’m particularly keen for it to reflect New Zealand’s diverse communities and to include all age groups and ethnicities, including perspectives from Māori.
“Genuine collaboration is needed if we are serious about increasing productivity, growing the digital economy and reducing the digital divides. That’s why I haven’t pre-determined the group’s membership and am seeking the best thinkers across the community.
“I want to harness the enthusiasm and great work that’s already happening across the country, and to see what we can deliver together for New Zealanders,” Ms Curran says.
In her first scene setting speech at Nethui on 9 November 2017, the Minister set out her priorities which involved setting up this advisory group and two others in three main portfolios areas to look at Broadcasting & Digital Media; ICT/ Communications; and Open Government. The brief for each is to build a consensus view of the current state of its sector, to pose scenarios of possible future states, and to state what would be required from Government to achieve the optimal future state.
The Minister also is laying the ground work for establishing the position of a ‘Chief Technology Officer for NZ’ with responsibility for preparing and overseeing a ‘National Digital Architecture’ or roadmap for the next 5-10 years.
Expressions of interest close on 31 January 2018.