$20 million boost announced for digital technologies

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The government is spending an additional $20 million over four years on its digital technology industry transformation plan.

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Photo: 123RF

In a pre-budget announcement, Digital Economy and Communications Minister David Clark said the tech industry had grown about 77% faster than the general economy over the past seven years. .

He said that in 2020 alone it contributed $7.4 billion to the economy.

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David Clark
Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

Clark said the budget funding will support the growth of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) community.

He said it would also help take the marketing initiative, called The history of technology and innovation in New Zealandto key markets such as the United States, Australia and Europe.

“New Zealand has a number of globally successful SaaS businesses and we want that to grow. The SaaS subsector has seen sustained growth despite the Covid-19 pandemic and has nearly doubled its export revenue and workforce in five years.

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“As a small island nation, far from traditional markets, a strong digital economy allows us to take advantage of what Kiwis have to offer – no matter our location, time or place.”

He said while the industry is to develop local talent, the government’s recent announcement on immigration changes would help ensure skilled labor can come from overseas, including managers. ICT and security specialists, software engineers and multimedia specialists.

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Roles had been greenlisted for a fast track to residency, as long as they attracted salaries above certain levels specified by the Immigration Department.

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