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NZ to establish government CTO

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Tuesday, 14 November, 2017

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The newly elected New Zealand Government has made the establishment of a chief technology officer the top priority for its new digital agenda.

Speaking at Internet NZ’s NetHui 2017 internet forum, Minister for Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media and Government Digital Services Clare Curran outlined the government’s plans in the digital technology, media and open government spaces.

The position of CTO will be responsible for preparing and overseeing a national digital roadmap for the next five to 10 years.

The government also plans to establish a blueprint for digital inclusion to address the digital divide between New Zealand citizens, institute a process for the proactive release of open government data and create a framework for strengthening citizens’ rights in the digital environment.

“This government will be modern, future-focused and innovative. We will also work collaboratively with industry, non-government organisations and communities,” Curran said.

“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. 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.”

Curran added that she plans to convene reference groups covering her key portfolio areas populated with local and national government, NGO, community groups and Maori representatives to guide government policymaking.

Image courtesy NASA.

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