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Half A Billion Reasons For Urgent Action

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Urgent action by Government and industry to organise a national approach to the spatial industry will give the economy a $0.5 billion annual productivity boost, according to the Spatial Industries Business Association (SIBA).

SIBA Chairman Steve Critchlow said this was the clear outtake of a report released today by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) on the impact of the spatial industry on the New Zealand economy.

"The report makes it clear that implementing a national strategy for the spatial industry is one of the fastest ways the Government can give our national economic productivity a lasting boost," he said.

The report details the $1.2 billion annual contribution that the spatial industry makes to GDP, and identifies "blockages" that prevent a further $0.5 billion of productivity benefits flowing through the economy. The report goes on to say that a strategy for removing these blockages to create a National Spatial Data Infrastructure was now imperative.

"Our competitors are already well ahead of us. Smart economies such as USA, Australia, the EU and Singapore have a strategy for a Spatial Data Infrastructure either in place or under development. New Zealand is bleeding productivity without one," Mr Critchlow said.

SIBA proposed a conference in November to bring together industry and Government to begin the process. "Every day that we don't act is costing New Zealand $1.3 million in lost productivity. The industry is ready to act now. We call on the Government to join us," he said.

About the spatial industry The spatial industry comprises private and public sector players employing technology that combines data with location information. The spatial industry provides productivity gains to every sector of the economy including fishing (eg GPS to locate fish stocks); agriculture (eg recording precise dosage of fertiliser to land areas); infrastructure (eg managing roading or other network assets such as location of wires); forestry (eg aerial remote sensing to check the health of trees); tourism (eg electronic guides) and retail (eg locating new sites according to demographic data).

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