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National will nurture New Zealand's technology talent - Judith Collins

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

National will double the size of New Zealand’s technology sector by 2030 with a $1.29 billion plan that will aim to create at least 100,000 new high-paying, future-proofed tech jobs.

"Doubling the size of the technology sector by 2030 is an ambitious goal, but one that I am serious about achieving," National Party Leader Judith Collins says.

"We’re sending a strong message to New Zealand’s best and brightest minds, both here and overseas, that technology and innovation will be championed by a National Government."

National’s NZ Tech 2030 Plan includes:

- Establishing a Minister for Technology

- Offering 1000 tertiary scholarships per year targeted at students from low decile schools to undertake science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) degrees

- Establishing a STEM-focused partnership school and restoring funding for specialist ICT graduate schools.

- Introducing a fast-track technology skills visa

- Investing $1 billion in technology infrastructure upgrades with the aim of achieving 100 Mbps uncapped internet speeds for everyone using Ultra-Fast Broadband.

- Establishing three targeted investment funds for tech start-ups worth $200 million each, with the cost split evenly between Government and the private sector.

- Developing the world’s most tech-friendly regulation

With about 50,000 Kiwis returning home because of the Covid-19 pandemic, now is the time to harness their talent and create an ecosystem of technology companies in New Zealand.

"We must seize this opportunity to drive a step change in our technology sector," Ms Collins says.

"National will give Kiwis with world-class skills and experience the chance to flourish right here and help grow our economy, rather than hit them with higher taxes like Labour will."

New Zealand’s technology exports now total $8 billion per annum - equal to our forestry and seafood exports combined. National’s NZ Tech 2030 Plan will be geared towards increasing this to $16 billion by 2030, establishing thousands of new tech businesses in the process.

"Our tech sector has amazing potential," Ms Collins says. "If we attract the right talent and create an environment for growth, it could be bigger than our dairy sector in 10 to 15 years."

Ms Collins announced National’s plan in Auckland today during a visit to Buckley Systems Limited, a Kiwi company that is the world’s leading supplier of precision electromagnets. Founder Bill Buckley was recently named New Zealand Innovator of the Year for his work in developing a Boron-Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT) device for the treatment of cancer.

"Bill is a prime example of a Kiwi innovator with exceptional talent who is doing amazing things on the world stage. We need to nurture more like him," Ms Collins says.

"New Zealand needs to grow its way out of this economic crisis, which will only be possible with the hard work, ingenuity and determination of the private sector.

"National’s NZ Tech 2030 Plan will diversify our exports, level-up our economic productivity, and generate thousands of high-paying, future-proofed jobs for New Zealanders."

National’s NZ Tech 2030 Plan is expected to cost $690 million over its first four years. Infrastructure upgrades over the following six years are expected to cost another $600m, bringing the total cost to $1.29 billion.

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