Appendix 2: summary of consultation feedback

Since 2019, MBIE and NZTech have been working in partnership, with ongoing input from the wider sector, to develop this ITP for the Digital Technologies sector. In September 2019, 2 workshops were held with key sector representatives in Auckland and Wellington to discuss the scope of the ITP. It was agreed the ITP would focus on supporting the growth of the digital technologies sector itself, rather than a focus on addressing the broader uptake of digital technologies across the economy. The ITP would identify the key foundations for a strong sector and the growth opportunities that could be more actively pursued.

In November and December 2019, workshops were held in Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin to gain broad input from the sector on developing a long-term vision for the sector. This also provided the opportunity to understand the sector’s key challenges and opportunities, which the ITP could seek to address. Workshop attendance was open to those working in or with the digital technologies sector. More than 150 people attended the 6 workshops.

In early 2020, workstreams were developed based on key issues that had been identified through these workshops.

An ITP reference group was established in August 2020, made up of key regional and sector representatives. This reference group has provided input to the development of the ITP, looking across all workstreams and providing a range of perspectives from businesses, Economic Development Agencies, industry organisations and Māori.

As key initiatives in the ITP action plan were developed, the wider sector has also had opportunities to be involved through interviews, workshops and feedback on draft papers. A draft ITP was released in February 2022, with feedback welcomed over a 6 week period. 

48 submissions were received on the draft ITP.

What people liked:

  • The ITP recognises the value of the industry to New Zealand, and submitters noted that it was good to see that the government is focused on this (alongside other sectors).
  • The ITP aligns with other stakeholder areas of focus, e.g. TECH Tāmaki Makaurau strategy.
  • Most submitters strongly endorsed the focus of the skills workstream.
  • The Tech Story was well-received, and efforts to involve all the regions have been appreciated.
  • Immigration will continue to be important, and we need to ensure that we can efficiently attract the right skills to New Zealand to support business growth.
  • The national focus on AI is important given its increasing use as a general-purpose technology, and stakeholders were interested to see the proposed AI Strategy.
  • Some submitters were pleased that government procurement is included as a focus, noting limited tangible action at this stage.
  • The draft ITP focuses on the right things, albeit not enough specificity of actions.

What to improve:

  • Be clearer on what is funded and what is not (even if it is still deemed a priority).
  • The measurement aspects for the ITP needs strengthening (targets, KPIs etc, noting data trickiness).
  • More specificity needed on the possible actions – refine these towards the most important.
  • Despite the low emissions profile of the industry, e-waste and computing power emissions should be acknowledged.
  • SaaS should not be the only focus. Interactive media and product-based models should also be considered.
  • Ensure initiatives apply across New Zealand, not just Wellington and Auckland. g. consider how the SaaS Community can work in the South Island.
  • Government can support skills development via procurement decisions (e.g. valuing involvement by graduates/interns etc).
  • Include neurodiversity when framing diversity opportunities.
  • Consider clarifying the focus of the ITP against a framework of users, implementers, and creators. The ITP focus is the latter.
  • There is no mention of Intellectual Property in the ITP – it is important for value and asset creation.