Story image

“Go home Dotcom”… Drury slams “depressing” political ICT plans

26 Jul 14

As the political heavyweights debated the future ICT roadmap for New Zealand last night, Rod Drury sat shaking his head in the crowd.

Taking the stage amidst the backdrop of Auckland’s evening sky, key political figures debated long into the night about the future of New Zealand’s ICT sector.

Chaired by the New Zealand Technology Industry Association, CEO Candace Kinser orchestrated discussion with technology representatives from National, Labour, the Green Party and the Internet MANA parties.

But as the opinions flowed and policies were outlined, Xero’s charismatic CEO reawakened a conversation which, in the eyes of the entrepreneur, drifted widely off the overriding issue.

“I find this really depressing but I’ll try to be positive about it,” he said, in his typically outspoken manner.

Addressing Internet Party leader Laila Harre first, Drury told the recently elected head of the Kim Dotcom funded political party: “We’ve been in the industry for 20 years and you don’t speak for us, Kim Dotcom should go away and it’s kind of insulting to hear what you speak about because it doesn’t take into account the hard work we’ve done for the last 20 years.”

According to Drury, panelists Harre, Amy Adams, Clare Curran and Gareth Hughes spoke about “incremental stuff which everybody else is already doing”, branding the discussion “boring.”

Displaying a genuine passion for wanting to drive the ICT industry forward across the country, Drury believes all parties have an opportunity to “completely change New Zealand”, believing the appointment of a Chief Technology Officer to be the “way forward.”

“We have many companies in the tech space who can spend tens of millions of dollars,” he added. “We know the answer, you guys clearly don’t know the answer. What we’d love to do is actually use technology to change New Zealand.”

Insisting the best way to instil a positive change in the ICT industry is through engaging the private sector, Drury again referred to the need for a CTO.

“We need someone in the middle who can engage with both ends and say ‘these are the things that we need to change New Zealand’ which would help unlock investment and change the market,” he added.

Yet for Drury, the frustration is that the political parties are “not listening” - “We can absolutely change New Zealand with ICT,” he added. “We’re really good at it and would love to do it.

“I think you’re all really great people but you need to work together and with us to help change New Zealand - just give us a chance to do that because the old model hasn’t worked.”

Is appointing a CTO the right way forward for New Zealand’s ICT market? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below

Dimension Data nabs three Cisco partner awards
Cisco announced the awards, including APJ Partner of the Year, at a global awards reception during its annual partner conference.
WatchGuard’s eight (terrifying) 2019 security predictions
The next evolution of ransomware, escalating nation-state attacks, biometric hacking, Wi-Fi protocol security, and Die Hard fiction becomes reality.
Rimini Street hits NZ shores with new subsidiary
The third-party support provider for Oracle and SAP has opened a new Auckland-based office and appointed Sean Jones as NZ senior account executive.
Why the adoption of SAP is growing among SMEs
Small and medium scale enterprises are emerging as lucrative end users for SAP.
Exclusive: How the separation of Amazon and AWS could affect the cloud market
"Amazon Web Services is one of the rare companies that can be a market leader but remain ruthlessly innovative and agile."
HPE extends cloud-based AI tool InfoSight to servers
HPE asserts it is a big deal as the system can drive down operating costs, plug disruptive performance gaps, and free up time to allow IT staff to innovate.
Digital Realty opens new AU data centre – and announces another one
On the day that Digital Realty cut the ribbon for its new Sydney data centre, it revealed that it will soon begin developing another one.
A roadmap to AI project success
Five keys preparation tasks, and eight implementation elements to keep in mind when developing and implementing an AI service.