The money will go towards two projects that are part of the Digital Technologies Industry Transformation Plan. The government worked with industry to develop the plan which aims to boost export revenue and create better paid jobs.
In his official statement Minister for Digital Economy and Communications David Clark says:
“We will support the growth of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Community and take ‘New Zealand’s Tech and Innovation Story’, a marketing initiative led by industry in partnership with government, to the world.”
New Zealand tech sector economic contribution
The minister’s statement says the digital technologies sector contributed $7.4 billion to the economy in 2020.
This number puts the $20 million earmarked in the budget into perspective.
You might expect an industry capable of generating $7.4 billion in a year to find its own $5 million to pay for promotion and marketing initiatives.
And you’d be right.
Yet the government wants to push the sector towards its goal of shifting our export industries away from carbon emissions and towards creating many more new high income jobs.
It gets to decide how the budget money is spent.
100% Pure Technology
Part of the money will brand New Zealand as a player in the more dynamic parts of the technology industry.
While there’s no doubt every other rich nation plans to do the same, there are reasons to be optimistic. This country has a solid history when it comes to building New Zealand’s brand.
We’ve done it with food and wine exports, with tourism. Putting New Zealand on the technology map is no different. Overseas technology companies see New Zealand as a place to buy expertise.
Addressing the skills will need a lot more spending over time, but there is money in the budget allocation for this.
The minister’s statement says: “…It will also support the delivery of short courses for digital skills development.
“We know for the digital sector to grow, it needs access to the right people. Historically, there has been a skills mismatch, but the key to future success is training our domestic talent with the right skills, and encouraging New Zealanders to participate, whatever their background.”