Govt mocks Labour’s “out of date” ICT NZ plans…

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce says the big news for Labour today is that they have discovered the ICT industry.

The jibe follows today’s announcement by opposition leader David Cunliffe that a Labour government will support the ICT sector to make New Zealand a “tech-savvy nation” and put ICT at the heart of the country’s economic upgrade strategy.

“Labour Leader David Cunliffe this morning says he wants to make New Zealand ‘tech-savvy’ and that he’s discovered that technology is a ‘game-changer’,” Joyce says.

“The news for him is that New Zealand is already tech-savvy and that we already have a vibrant and fast-growing ICT sector. Where has he been?

“Labour’s ideas for the ICT industry are once again not up-to-date and poorly thought through.

“They propose grants and accelerated depreciation for start-ups and don’t seem to know that those are already happening.

“They propose a Chief Technology Officer when the Government already has a Chief Information Officer performing a similar role. ”

According to Joyce, Labour have truly missed the mark on ICT skills.

“The demand in ICT is primarily for graduate-level software designers and programmers, not in the trades,” he adds.

“That’s why we’re investing nearly $30 million dollars in our ICT grad schools for final year undergraduate and postgraduate training. They would be far better to endorse that approach.

“And the party that has spent the last couple of months saying they need to tighten up on migration is now saying they want to encourage more migration in ICT.

“They need to make up their minds. Do they want to encourage skilled migrants or not?”

Joyce claims that what really takes the cake is the idea of a Government-funded app store.

“To suggest that they should waste taxpayers’ money setting up a Government app store is truly off the planet,” he claims.

“Who do they think will shop at the Government app store? New Zealanders are more than capable of competing and winning in the international app marketplace, and for that matter finding great Kiwi apps online, without this sort of ‘support’.

“After nearly six years in Opposition and three Opposition Leaders, is this really the best the Labour Party can come up with?

“They are continually showing their thinking on policy went to sleep about 2008 and that they are waking up now acting as if nothing has happened in the meantime – it’s pretty cringe-worthy stuff.”

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