NZ 'an example worth following' says digital economy report

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne says NZ is being acknowledged as among the leaders in digital transformation.
DAVID WHITE/STUFF

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne says NZ is being acknowledged as among the leaders in digital transformation.

New Zealand is a "stand out" success when it comes to its digital economy, researchers from a United States university have concluded.

The Fletcher graduate school at Boston's Tuft University looked at 60 economies in a study part-funded by Mastercard.

It judged New Zealand to be one of the elites, alongside Britain, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong and Japan.

Countries were ranked according to their internet access and infrastructure, consumer demand for digital technologies, their policy settings, and the strength of their research and development and digital start-up communities.

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To be labelled a stand-out, countries needed to be both highly digitally advanced and be exhibiting "high momentum". 

Out of the 60 countries, New Zealand was 14th on the first measure, where developed countries ranked highest, and 20th on the second, which was dominated by developing economies. 

Australia and the United States were ranked roughly alongside New Zealand in terms of what they had already achieved, but progress in both countries had "stalled", the researchers said. 

New Zealand, Singapore and the UAE were notable because they had "a unique policy-led digital strategy and a narrative" that other countries should consider adopting, according to their report.

Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency's LookSee promotion to attract skilled job candidates to the capital was one of the initiatives that impressed the university.

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Government chief information officer Colin MacDonald said last month that the public service was "on track" – by the end of the year – to meet a target set in 2012 that 70 per cent of common transactions with agencies should be conducted online by 2017.

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne said New Zealand's position in Tuft's digital evolution index reflected hard work over the past few years on digital transformation, and collaboration between the public and private sectors.

Dunne has said the Government is exploring new ways to integrate the delivery of public services with those of the private sector. 

That could for example involve letting people apply for superannuation from within their internet banking service. 

The same could be done for passport applications and airline booking websites.

Air New Zealand launched an app last week that prompts customers to renew their passports before they expire.

Every month about 550 people turned up at airports with passports that had expired, triggering "a stressful situation", the airline said.

 

 - Stuff

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