Labour would establish the role of Chief Technology
Officer if elected, Leader David Cunliffe announced today.
"Technology is a game changer. We can become a prosperous
nation supported by a vibrant IT industry," Mr Cunliffe said.
The party would also establish 1200 digital apprenticeships
and support first-time entrepreneurs with 'Garage Grants', he
"A Labour Government will support the ICT sector to make New
Zealand a tech-savvy nation and put ICT at the heart of our
economic upgrade strategy."
The Chief Technology Officer would report directly to the
Prime Minister and Cabinet and produce an annual Digital
Technology Roadmap and a National Digital Architecture for
New Zealand report.
They would also be charged with undertaking a wide-ranging
inquiry and stock-take of the way information technology
projects were managed by government agencies.
The Garage Funds brief stemmed from the idea that some of the
biggest tech companies in the world - including Apple,
Microsoft and Facebook - were born in garages, basements and
The scheme would enable and support entrepreneurs to
transforming their ideas through to $10,000 grants.
Successful applicants would also receive individual training,
mentoring and support from successful entrepreneurs.
The fund will be administered through the Ministry of
Business, Innovation and Employment and cost $3.2 million
over the first four years.
"Our focus on investment, innovation and industry will see a
digital upgrade to create better jobs that pay higher wages
where they are desperately needed," Mr Cunliffe said.
Labour would also review the points system for the migration
skills shortage list, to support industry development, he