Digital economy research

Data on the digital economy and digital inclusion is important to government decision-making. This page lists some of the reports and research that have been completed on these issues.

Business uptake of ICT project

We want to enable and support New Zealand small-to-medium businesses to use the latest technologies and develop new products and services through digital innovation and technology. This is so they can grow, disrupt and compete across the globe.

In early 2017 we initiated a programme of research on business uptake of ICT. We selected 3 sectors to assess and understand their approach to — and engagement with — ‘doing business digitally’. The sectors were:

Useful insights

Some of what we learned during the ‘Discovery’ phase with PwC(external link) is available below. These insights might be useful for local councils, economic development agencies, not-for-profit organisations, industry organisations and others who are looking at ways to help businesses to see the value technology can provide.

The personas document represents how different businesses engage with technology — the initiator, the follower, the sceptic and the delayer — reflecting common defining traits across all businesses interviewed as part of this project.

Four personas [PDF, 1.1 MB]

The journey map shows the stages that all the business personas go through.

Emergent journey map [PDF, 120 KB]

Get involved

If you would like to know more, or be involved in the next phase of this work, drop us a line at

Business ICT use and productivity growth in New Zealand

New Zealand firms appear to be underutilising the full potential of ICTs to boost productivity. The Digital Economy team commissioned this study to better understand the relationship between ICT use and productivity growth as part of an evidence base to inform advice.

Infographic — summary of the research findings [PDF, 218 KB]

Research Report [October 2017] — Business ICT use and productivity growth in New Zealand [PDF, 4 MB]

Virtual gets real: The explosion of cross-reality in New Zealand

The NZVRARA (The New Zealand VR/AR Association Inc), with our support, released the first of 2 reports commissioned on the New Zealand VR/AR Ecosystem, with the second report pending.

The report profiles a rapidly-growing local industry that’s predicted to:

  • contribute to New Zealand being a Digital Nation — with annual revenues of NZ$324M
  • employ over 2200 people in 2019.

Virtual Gets Real report (October 2017) [PDF 8.5MB](external link)

Information and communications technology sector report

This report (1 of our Sectors reports series) profiles New Zealand’s fast-growing information technology software and services sector.

Information and Communications Technology sector report [July 2017] [PDF, 2.9 MB]

Digital Planet 2017: How competitiveness and trust in digital economies vary across the world

The Fletcher School at Tufts University prepared the July 2017 Digital Evolution Index (DEI), a “pulse check” of the global digital economy.

Digital Planet 2017(external link)

World Internet Project

The Government is continuing to strengthen its understanding of digital participation and literacy issues by supporting the research of the World Internet Project.

World Internet Project website(external link)

World Internet Project NZ(external link)

The Internet in New Zealand 2017(external link)

Accelerating a connected New Zealand

We are a member of the IOT (Internet of Things) Alliance. This June 2017 report discusses the impact of the Internet of Things on the New Zealand economy.

Accelerating a connected New Zealand e-book(external link)

From tech sector to digital nation

The New Zealand Technology Industry Association (NZTech), in partnership with us, has released a vision for New Zealand as a digital nation. The August 2016 report is an analysis of the impact of the tech sector and technology on the New Zealand economy.

From Tech Sector to Digital Nation e-book(external link)

Investor guide to the NZ tech sector

The Technology Investment Network, in partnership with us, has put together a guide for people interested in investing in, or attracting investment to, the New Zealand technology sector.

Investor Guide to the NZ Tech Sector 2018 [PDF, 5.4 MB]

Investor Guide to the NZ Tech Sector 2017 [PDF, 4.7 MB]

Investor Guide to the NZ Tech Sector 2016 [PDF, 4.7 MB]

Digital New Zealanders: The Pulse of Our Nation

Jointly with the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA), we commissioned research into digital inclusion. The aim of this was to:

  • gain a deeper insight into the New Zealand context
  • broaden the evidence base from which digital inclusion policy, programmes and initiatives could be developed.

Digital New Zealanders: The Pulse of Our Nation [PDF, 2.7 MB]

The research:

  • identifies groups most at risk of digital exclusion in New Zealand
  • outlines digital inclusion initiatives underway in New Zealand
  • analyses the policy and measurement frameworks used in other countries to tackle digital exclusion
  • offers an analysis of the basic digital capabilities New Zealanders need to thrive in an increasingly online world, and
  • makes a number of recommendations focused on improving the digital capabilities of New Zealanders.

The report will form a key input for our and DIA’s ongoing consideration of what is needed to improve digital inclusion in New Zealand.

The research was completed by the Digital Inclusion Research Group, which includes Zwimpfer Communications, Auckland University of Technology, Victoria University of Wellington and a number of independent researchers.

Other documents

Other documents that relate to building a digital nation include:

Building a Digital Nation: Part of BGA Building Innovation [PDF, 813 KB]

Building a Digital Nation: Fact sheet [PDF, 203 KB]