New guide, policies to drive investment in tech sector

Published on the 13/05/2017 | Written by Newsdesk

investment in nz tech

Government commits to boosting interest in NZ’s 3rd biggest industry…

Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges and Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith have taken the covers off the 2017 edition of the Investor Guide to the New Zealand Technology Sector, which showcases the breadth and variety of technology companies. The government also stressed its commitment to the industry with programmes which provide ‘pathways for young people to enter the tech sector’.

“The tech sector is New Zealand’s third largest exporting sector, contributing $16 billion to GDP and it is growing fast,” said Bridges in a statement. “It presents multiple opportunities for New Zealand and international investors.”

Figures provided in the report demonstrate an industry in rude health. With 12 percent revenue growth in the past year, company sizes are expanding rapidly, with 21 percent of the over 28,000 companies in the sector boasting annual revenues exceeding $50m. The industry employs just shy of 100,000 people; the biggest growth was seen in fintech, at 23.1 percent, and digital media at 15.9 percent.

Bridges added that New Zealand technology is gaining recognition internationally. “Along with our innovative and can-do culture and the fact that we are ranked first in the world for ease of doing business by the World Bank Group is a huge drawcard for investors.”

He said high profile successes like Vend, Xero, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare and Vista Group are leading the way. “But, a growing number of early stage companies like Soul Machines and 8i, are attracting significant international attention for their technologies in artificial intelligence and virtual reality.”

Bridges said among the top priorities of the Government’s Business Growth Agenda is to ensure that these businesses are supported and enabled to grow and compete with the world’s leading technology innovators.

The Government, he said, is planning to meet the needs of this growing sector through investment in innovation, and building the skills needed in the sector. “The Government is working hard to develop New Zealand as a hub for high-value, research and development intensive businesses,” confirmed Goldsmith.

“The recent 29 percent increase in businesses investment in research and development reported by Statistics New Zealand is largely driven by technology businesses, and shows that our efforts are delivering results.”

Goldsmith added that Government is developing pathways for young New Zealanders to enter the tech sector.  “This includes the TechHub in Schools, and FutureInTech initiatives which aim to engage young people and get them interested in a career in tech,” he said.

“Alongside these skills and employment initiatives, the Digital Technology Skills Forum is bringing together industry associations with government agencies to identify opportunities to develop the skills that the sector will need in order to continue its rapid growth,” Bridges continued. “It’s a sign of a sector that is in good health, and planning to meet its future needs.”

The Investor Guide was produced by the Technology Investment Network (TIN) in collaboration with the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

A copy of the Investor Guide is available for download.

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