Techleaders, a growing group of top executives from the country's biggest companies and organisations, are backing the pioneering work of the Productivity Commission to try to better understand the impact of technology changes on the future of work in New Zealand.
Techleaders are part of the large NZ Tech Alliance which consists of more than 20 tech associations that represent more than 1000 Kiwi businesses and organisations.
Techleaders chair David Kennedy says the Productivity Commission was tasked by the government to work out how New Zealand can manage the risks of fast-expanding tech changes and gauge the impact on the future of work and the workforce.
“The commission has launched an inquiry into tech change and the future of work in New Zealand, and last week released an issues paper seeking input on the future of the tech landscape for Kiwis,” he says.
“Having seen first-hand the impact that deploying new automation technologies can have on people's jobs, we have pooled our collective thoughts to help develop best practice to minimise the impact.
“Last year Techleaders created a simple set of digital principles for organisations working through digital transformation to remind them to put their people first. We believe that the changing landscape is creating a situation where companies must focus more on the human side of technology, both from a customer and employee standpoint.
“It is our strongly held belief that the prosperity of New Zealand is inextricably linked to how well our organisations embrace a digital future and how well they evolve.
“We also know that skills needed by the workforce are changing rapidly so getting the link between education and industry will be important, as will the ability of the education system to adapt and evolve faster.
“It is great to see the government taking this critical area so seriously with things like the Tripartite Forum and now this Productivity Commission study.
“Techleaders are looking forward to supporting the Productivity Commission as it undertakes this work,” Kennedy says.
The Techleaders form a comprehensive knowledge base from a cross-section of New Zealand business, all of whom are actively involved in transforming their businesses, incorporating digital first approaches.
The Techleaders' executive is from organisations such as Auckland Transport, Downer, Fonterra, Fletcher Building and Westpac, which are at the tech coal face driving change.