Green Party launches plan to boost ICT and create jobs

The Green Party has today launched a $30 million plan to boost New Zealand's ICT sector, create jobs and drive innovation.

The Green Party has today launched a $30 million plan to boost New Zealand's ICT sector, create jobs and drive innovation.

The ICT (Information Communications and Technology) plan is the seventh component of the Green Party's economic priority this election - building a cleaner, smarter economy that works for all New Zealanders.

Key planks of the Green Party plan are:

  1. The establishment of a Game Development Fund, starting at $1 million and increasing to $5 million by 2017 to support more game developers to create and commercialise their products
  2. Championing local business by requiring reporting on how much government ICT spend goes to local companies and reducing barriers to local companies competing for contracts
  3. A $15 million fund over three years to support internship programmes in partnership with industry and the tertiary sector to give hundreds of additional New Zealanders the opportunity to develop skills and experience in the industry

"Innovation lies at the heart of any smart, green economy," said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.

"The Green Party's plan will create well-paid new jobs while fostering low carbon industries and encouraging weightless exports like those in the ICT sector.

"Game developers are currently locked out of the government support and grants that other creatives receive. Our plan remedies this anomaly.

"We will create a new Games Development Fund that will allocate up to $8 million of grants over the next three years to kick start this emerging industry.

"We know that many talented New Zealanders have to move overseas for ICT job opportunities. With the right government support we can ensure there are great ICT job opportunities here in New Zealand.

"One of the ICT sector's greatest challenges is a shortage of skills. We will invest in talent and training.

"Our internships are about supporting the enormous home-grown ICT talent we have, and building a local industry to ensure as many people can stay here in New Zealand to work.

"Our internships will give people a foot in the door of the industry and help to drive new innovation.

"We will also champion local business by ensuring New Zealand companies are not locked out of government contracts by the way they are structured.

"The Green Party has a proven record of leadership on ICT. We have led the charge in calling for a second internet cable, a chief technology officer, and internet rights and freedoms.

"The ICT sector can make a significant contribution to a thriving, smarter New Zealand.

"We can't continue to export more and more raw logs and milk powder. Growing the ICT sector helps to diversify our economy while growing jobs and high value exports." said Dr Norman.

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