ICT Policy

Key Principles

  • Benefits of ICT need to be shared among everyone
  • ICT should be used to enhance productivity and reduce resource use
  • Development of ICT must be socially responsible and sustainable.
  • The use of Free and Open-Source software should be encouraged.

Specific Policy Points

Equity and Access

  • Support the establishment of community ICT hubs in schools, public libraries and community centres.
  • Support research into the feasibility of municipally owned free wireless Internet systems
  • Ensure that all government websites are accessible to people with disabilities
  • Aim to provide world-class hi-speed Internet access at reasonable cost to every community
  • Ensure that all government databases, where possible, are made freely available to the public.

Free Open-Source Software (FOSS)

  • Require government departments to consider FOSS where appropriate.
  • Encourage a level playing field between commercial vendors of software and FOSS

ICT and Education

  • Support the balanced use of ICT in education
  • Encourage the development of educational ICT service providers.
  • Ensure that the Ministry of Education provides information and support to schools about the benefits and advantages of FOSS.

Taxation and Software Business Issues

  • Support the development of independent software ventures in Aotearoa/New Zealand.
  • Modify patent laws to specifically exclude software from being patented (software can still be copyrighted), unless it is part of a larger development involving non-software components.
  • Ensure that our information systems are developed and maintained by New Zealand companies.
  • Work with industry to:
  1. Improve the availability of venture and seed capital for local commercial software companies.
  2. Develop a Research and Design industry to encourage graduates to stay here to help build our capacities.


  • Support review of the Privacy Act 1993 and the Official Information Act 1982, to improve the public access to information.
  • Support amending the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 to include a right to privacy.
  • Publicize the right of people to see and correct personal information held on them.

ICT and Worker Issues

  • Ensure that workers are protected from unreasonable employer demands on their non-work time.
  • Monitor the health of workers for known harms of ICT.

E-Waste and ICT Energy Efficiency

  • Develop strategies to reduce e-waste that includes a public education programme >
  • Use a combination of incentives and regulation to ensure that the negative environmental effects of e-waste and ICT products are internalised by the industry.
  • Set a timetable for the transition to mandatory Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)
  • Promote the development and use of energy efficient ICT products.
  • Fund organisations that collect, process; reuse and resell used ICT products.
  • Ensure that e-waste is not exported to regimes with weaker environmental and occupational standards than our own.

ICT Obligations and Protocols for State and Industry

  • Encourage public scrutiny of any ICT system that is responsible for the safety of human life or for democratic processes.
  • Develop professional registration for ICT personnel working on safety critical applications
  • Review software used in the state sector, on an ongoing basis, for security issues.
  • Support legislation that increases the reliability of the Internet.
  • Ensure that copying, as defined in Intellectual Property (IP) law, applies to digital works.
  • Prohibit the removal of identifying data and distribution of altered digital work.
  • Ensure that ISPs are not liable for anything done via email, or via their service provision.

Read the full policy here