Govt to measure progress towards a digital New Zealand

Stats NZ and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) have unveiled a plan to measure New Zealand’s progress towards becoming a digital nation.

Paul Stocks, deputy chief executive, Labour, Science and Enterprise at MBIE said the data captured would be used to inform future policy decisions and continued investment in New Zealand’s digital economy.

“In the changing nature of work, it is fundamental that Kiwis have the skills to understand emerging technologies, and that businesses have access to the right people with the right skills and experience,” he said.

“To achieve these goals, we need to understand the value of our digital technology sector to our economy. We cannot do this without accurate measurement approaches.”

Government Statistician Liz MacPherson said the plan aims to ensure the Government collects essential data to track and understand how new and emerging technologies are affecting New Zealand.

“Our ability to understand and respond to the many impacts of New Zealand’s digital transformation will be dependent on the availability of timely, accurate, fit-for-purpose data.”

According to MacPherson, the aim of the work is “to ensure that policy makers have a rich and credible evidence base to hand as they grapple with the effects of digital transformation on our society and economy.”

“Specifically, we need to improve the way information on our digital industries is collected and co-ordinated, and we need to build a better knowledge of the way digital technologies are impacting the social, cultural and economic wellbeing of New Zealanders,” she said.

The plan development process identified four key priority areas that require attention: digital inclusion; defining and valuing the digital sector; digital security; digital technologies and their impact.

It says the next step in the process is to identify how the data needs of these priority areas can be met, and it presents a set of recommendations to lead this work into the future

Additional funding required

It also identifies the key stakeholders best equipped with the relevant skills, experience and expertise to make this happen, and says Stats NZ and MBIE will work closely with thes key stakeholders to progress initiatives, but will require additional funding to do so.

The plan contains an invitation to anyone who would like to be involved by: providing further advice; adding to the stocktake of relevant information; commenting on future work planning and prioritisation, or funding allocations or applications; addressing any related matters to support work programmes that help ensure data and measurement systems remain fit-for-purpose.

The plan has been co-developed by Stats NZ and MBIE with feedback from government and industry experts “to ensure that the best direction was taken,” MBIE says.


Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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