Digital advisory group to be established

A new advisory group is to be set up to advise the Government on how it can build the digital economy and reduce digital divides. 

Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media and Government Digital Services Minister, Clare Curran, called for expressions of interest today.

“I’m committed to reducing the gap between the digital ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’. This group will help us achieve that,” Ms Curran says.

“Digital technology is changing the way Kiwis live their lives, affecting the way we do business, work, and interact with each other and our communities. Given the pace at which our world is changing, we need to ensure no-one is left behind.

“The advisory group will bring immediate focus and a plan to ensure all Kiwis have affordable access to digital services, and the motivation, skills and trust to fully participate in our digital world.”

Its first task will be to provide advice to the Government on the development of a Blueprint for digital inclusion and digital enablement.

“I’m also keen for the group to consider possible future scenarios and identify what’s needed from government to enable everyone – businesses and individuals - to take advantage of the opportunities provided by digital technology,” Ms Curran says.

“There’ll be up to 15 people in the group, with the ability to bring in additional members or expertise to address particular issues. I’m particularly keen for it to reflect New Zealand’s diverse communities and to include all age groups and ethnicities, including perspectives from Māori.

“Genuine collaboration is needed if we are serious about increasing productivity, growing the digital economy and reducing the digital divides. That’s why I haven’t pre-determined the group’s membership and am seeking the best thinkers across the community.

“I want to harness the enthusiasm and great work that’s already happening across the country, and to see what we can deliver together for New Zealanders,” Ms Curran says.

Expressions of interest close on 31 January 2018.Terms of Reference and an application form is available at: : http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/science-innovation/digital-economy/dedimag

Note for Editors:

In her first scene setting speech at Nethui on 9 November the Minister set out her priorities which involved:

  • Setting up this advisory group and two others in three main portfolios areas to look at Broadcasting & Digital Media; ICT/ Communications; and Open Government. The brief for each is to build a consensus view of the current state of its sector, to pose scenarios of possible future states, and to state what would be required from Government to achieve the optimal future state. 
  • Laying the ground work for establishing the position of a ‘Chief Technology Officer for NZ’ with responsibility for preparing and overseeing a ‘National Digital Architecture’ or roadmap for the next 5-10 years.
  • A blueprint for digital inclusion
  • Setting the framework for the establishment of RNZ+ as the centre-piece for a full non-commercial, public media service for all New Zealanders.
  • Establishing a process for the pro-active release of government information
  • A framework for strengthening citizens’ rights in the digital environment

https://www.beehive.govt.nz/speech/address-nethui-2017-aotea-centre-auckland 

The key questions for the Digital Economy and Digital Inclusion Advisory Group to consider include:

  1. What is the current state of the ICT sector and ICT capability throughout the economy, society, and government?
  2. What are the possible future scenarios and their relative merits?
  3. What would be required to achieve an optimal future state?
  4. What should a Blueprint for digital inclusion and digital enablement look like?
  5. How might we most effectively work together to build our digital economy, improve productivity and increase the economic benefits of the internet?
  6. How might we better understand the ‘digital divides’ between people who can have access to the internet and can use digital tools, and those who do not?
  7. What would it take to eliminate digital divides by 2020?
  8. How might we identify develop the skill sets needed for the work of the future?
  9. Do we need to take steps to accelerate/optimise infrastructure rollouts such as UFBl/2/2+, RBl2 and 5G? If so, what steps could and should we take?
  10. How should Government evolve its own ICT use in sectors where it plays a prominent role, such as health, education and justice?
  11. What would be needed for New Zealand to:
    1. Increase its position relative to other countries in measures like the Networked Readiness index
    2. Increase the amount that ICT contributes to GDP so that it is the second largest contributor to the economy by 2025?