The six political parties have outlined their digital strategies in a series of interviews with NetSafe executive director Martin Cocker.
Education and the need to back innovation come through as common themes.
Communications and information technology minister Amy Adams says the National-led government has continued to roll out its Ultra Fast Broadband and Rural Broadband programmes.
She wants to see the IT sector become more prominent.
"We're already providing some incredibly world leading solutions, but (it's) just not prominent enough, either domestically or internationally."
United Future leader Peter Dunne says New Zealand is moving into a phone-based digital future, and needs to be open to new innovation.
"It's getting a sense of what we are capable of doing."
Labour's Communications and Information Technology spokeswoman Clair Curren says New Zealand needs a chief technology officer. Government departments will be ordered to use open source software when purchasing or developing systems, under a Labour government, she says.
"We will issue binding instructions across government departments to move in that direction."
New Zealand First deputy leader Tracey Martin says the ability to connect to the internet will become as important as connecting to water. E-waste is a problem which is yet to be addressed and may present business opportunities, she says.
Allowing our young people to be creative will open up opportunities, she says.
Green Party information and communications technology spokesman Gareth Hughes says a smart innovative economy is a priority.
"Embracing technology, embracing, innovation, embracing skills and building a richer New Zealand on the back of it."
Young people should be encouraged to develop technology careers, he says.
Internet Mana technology spokesman Chris Yong says New Zealand can be a global technology leader. It wants to triple the amount of information and communications technology funding going into schools, he says.
"We see it as such a key area, not only from a social development point of view, but from a future economic development point of view."
Mass surveillance of the internet should never happen in New Zealand, Yong says.