Tech sector's value tipped to outstrip tourism by 2020
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Official figures showing that spending on hi-tech goods and services rose $3 billion to almost $23 billion in the past two years unleashed a wave of industry breast-beating and political sniping.
Candace Kinser, chief executive of information technology industry body NZICT, says the figures suggested the technology sector would contribute more to the economy than either tourism or dairying within seven years.
Green Party ICT spokesperson Gareth Hughes says they showed the ICT industry "deserved more government support" in the form of procurement policies that favoured local suppliers. He complained that an Australian firm had been used to build the website that lets people pre-register for Mighty River Power shares.
New Zealand's ICT sector had huge potential, he says. "It's very disappointing to see government contracts like Novopay and the Mighty River Power website heading offshore when there are companies here that are perfectly capable of doing the work."
Speaking at a conference organised by Gen-i in Wellington, ICT Minister Amy Adams said businesses had been a little slow to wake up to the opportunities.
"We have the ninth highest internet usage per capita in the world. We have 80 per cent of New Zealanders saying they buy online, but about 30 per cent of New Zealand businesses do not have an online presence."
Statistics NZ's ICT manager Hamish Hill says: "Each time we've run this survey, we've had to include more businesses from increasingly diverse industries."
Businesses made $5.8 billion in computer and phone sales in the 2012 year, $800 million more than two years ago.
Sales of internet connections also rose sharply, up 44 per cent to $1.3 billion.
"Some of this may appear contrary to expectations, since the cost of many of these hi-tech goods has gone down over the same period," Hill says. "The fact is, more people are buying these items and getting connected. They have become a necessary part of life."
Posted by MikePearsonNZ at 8:18:32 on March 21, 2013
Local suppliers, in all countries, tend toward being SMEs. What the Greens and others have talked about is copying policies in other countries (including those we have FTAs with) that make sure government procurement does not *exclude* SMEs.
This is a much better approach than grants, useful though these may be, as helps build a dynamic, capable and competitive market.
It's not about favouritism, its about what the UK's CBI calls "procurement for innovation".
Posted by DonChristie at 21:11:34 on March 25, 2013
Ok, so let's spend tax money on local "suppliers". Great idea. Except: Many of them supply goods (and in some cases services) that originate off shore anyway. Plus it's not really helping the economy to spend internally raised money on internal organisations in this way as there is a risk that they become so consumed with servicing government that they then lack the capacity to earn money from offshore.
A MUCH better approach would surely be to provide grants, as well as other forms of aid, to local companies in essence as investment in their business, with the express aim of attracting overseas interest in purchasing the products and services they provide. In this way, the government would be helping locals to export tech, thereby improving the balance of trade defecit, and ensuring that our export economy is more diverse than simply pushing dairy products off shore.
Posted by Anonymous at 13:01:54 on March 20, 2013
Providing grants does the opposite by subsidising weak companies and feeding the consultants who write grant proposals.
Can't understand your logic.
Posted by Anonymous at 23:30:13 on March 22, 2013
Posted by Mark L at 16:14:18 on March 23, 2013
GRANTS. We wont be having any of that in NZ. The world is a level playing field. Haven't you read your dogma?
Aid. we provide aid to the islands including over a $100m pa to Fiji; to Philippines ($500k recently for a flood); and Korea (ask Winston) yet zip for our farmers in a drought.
Don't expect any form of taxpayer aid if you are a working NZer/Business and paying tax. Write that down.
Posted by Steve C at 18:58:46 on March 21, 2013
Posted by Mark L at 13:07:24 on March 20, 2013
Posted by Anonymous at 9:24:34 on March 20, 2013
Posted by Steve C at 19:00:19 on March 21, 2013
What has Amy done for ICT in New Zealand? Answer, sweet FA.
What have any of them done?
Read the article, her answer to the fact that dozens of ICT NZ companies are being cut out of NZ contracts is they aren't ready.
She's a fool.
Posted by Anonymous at 20:17:50 on March 20, 2013