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Govt. to appoint chief technology officer to close digital divide

15 Nov 2017

The New Zealand Government has outlined its priorities across digital technology, media, and open government – with the appointment of a chief technology officer at the top of the list.

The Chief Technology Officer would be responsible for preparing and overseeing a national digital architecture, or roadmap, for the next five to ten years.

In a keynote speech at NetHui 2017, the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media and Government Digital Services and the Associate Minister of State Services, Clare Curran, says “This Government will be modern, future-focused and innovative.”

“We will also work collaboratively with industry, non-government organisations and communities.”

Curran says the Government will begin work on a blueprint for digital inclusion to address a number of key digital initiatives, including:

  1. The emerging digital divide
  2. Establish RNZ+ as the centrepiece of a full non-commercial public media service for all New Zealanders
  3. Institute a process for the proactive release of government information
  4. Create a framework for strengthening citizens’ rights in the digital environment.

“This Government intends to progress its goals to close the digital divide by 2020, and to make ICT the second largest contributor to GDP by 2025.”

Further, Curran says she will convene reference groups in her key portfolio areas and task them with pulling together thought leaders and actors in each area - from inside government and across industry, local government, Māoridom, non-government organisations and community groups - to ensure that the best thinking is applied to developing Government policy.

Curran adds, “New Zealanders rightly expect that their government should behave in a predictable, open and transparent way and ensure that nobody is left behind. The internet and digital tools are fundamental to us achieving these goals."

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