The Digital Economy and Communications Minister David Clark has released the digital technologies sector draft Industry Transformation Plan (ITP*) for consultation.
It includes specific proposals for the Government to support Aotearoa New Zealand’s interactive media and game development sector, and is seeking your feedback.
*An ITP is a sector-based development plan, jointly produced between industry, government, academia and Māori, as a Te Tiriti partner.
The plan aims to see the digital technologies sector fulfil its full growth potential while continuing to generate high paying jobs and high value export revenue to help accelerate New Zealand’s economic recovery.
The ITP mentions interactive media and games throughout, including within the strategic intent definition of the sector and the growth work stream in particular. This is testament to the engagement and collaboration between organisations such as the NZGDA and government officials.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is seeking feedback on the draft ITP, including its scope, vision and proposed action plan.
The submission deadline is 5pm on 31 March 2022. Visit our website resource section here for advice on how to submit your feedback.
Statement from the Minister David Clark:
“Despite the ongoing impact of COVID-19, the digital technologies sector is thriving, growing at nearly twice the rate of the general economy. It is now a major exporter for New Zealand and contributed $6.6 billion to the economy in 2019.
“This ITP is a way we can collaborate with the industry to help lift productivity, increase exports and further employment opportunities. We are aware the tech sector is a transition industry for New Zealand, and we need to support the industry to grow.
“Creating strong foundations, taking advantage of accelerated growth opportunities, and building Māori participation in the sector are the priorities for this plan.
“The industry has made it clear that in order for the sector to grow, it needs to be able to access the right people. Historically there has been a “skills mismatch”. The key to our future success is training our workforce with the right skills. If we want to train world-class tech experts, they need to be learning from the best.
“That’s why, at the end of last year, I announced border class exceptions for 600 much-needed tech specialists to enter New Zealand and relieve some of the pressure on our tech firms.
“We’re honing in on areas including software development, product managers, cyber security and interactive media. An industry commitment to growing local talent is also part of the ITP.
“I’m proud to release this draft ITP today. I look forward to hearing from the sector and other interested parties on shaping the final plan so that it achieves success in addressing both the short-term and long-term opportunities and challenges for the sector,” David Clark said.
Statement from NZGDA Chair Chelsea Rapp:
“The NZGDA is thrilled to see the acknowledgement of our sector’s potential in the Digital Industries Transformation Plan, including the proposed Interactive Industry Development Programme.
“This Programme could be modelled on the existing, and highly successful, Centre of Digital Excellence (CODE) in Dunedin and make those funding opportunities available to businesses nationwide.
“By addressing a critical funding gap in the ecosystem, the programme could facilitate the rapid development of early-stage creative IP and talent – both of which are critical to the success of our industry.
“We’re excited to see the Government recognise that our weightless, digital exports and comparatively low environmental impact make games and interactive media the ideal sector to invest in.
“While these programs do not directly address the tax incentives that will be available to interactive studios in Australia, the US, and Europe, they will allow New Zealand to begin taking a larger share of global market – and in doing so, attract both domestic and international investment into our sector,” Chelsea Rapp said.
More information and details on how to have your say on the draft ITP and action plan is available on MBIE’s website.
NZGDA will soon share more guidance with our members on how to fully engage and make representation in this important process.