Last week, twenty of New Zealand’s leading tech organisations, led by NZTech, IT Professionals (ITP) and InternetNZ, released their manifesto of New Zealand’s Digital Future. The non-partisan manifesto was sent to all members of parliament and to key government officials in multiple agencies.
Three of twelve Goals relate to digital inclusion
The manifesto suggests twelve goals for NZ government and industry leaders; three of these goals have a bearing on digital literacy and inclusion and so underpin the value of 20/20’s work:
Every child equipped with digital skills
1. New Zealand equips every child with the digital technology skills needed to be safe and successful in a digital world through comprehensive Digital Technology education.
Many of 20/20’s programmes – from the pioneering NetDay ’96 and Computer Access NZ to Computers in Homes and the 2016/17 Digital Technologies in Schools Survey – support schools’ digital education and digital inclusion.
Equipping citizens for the changing economy
2. New Zealand is recognised as a world leader in equipping its citizens for the changing economy, through in-work training, career transition support, and public sector leadership in the use of new technologies.
20/20’s KiwiSkills for Jobseekers programme equips jobseekers – whether long-term unemployed, under-employed, career changers or school leavers entering the job market – with work-place ready digital skills. The ICDL certification they earn is recognised and accepted internationally and by NCEA. ICDL training and certification is available to all New Zealander citizens wanting to improve and prove their digital skills.
Affordable access to internet, skills and equipment
3. New Zealanders have affordable access to reliable, high-speed Internet, coupled with the skills and equipment to use it. As part of this, there should be parity between urban and rural areas with regards to speed/quality and cost.
The 20/20 Trust, with our partners, offers affordable internet, devices and training to programme participants.
2degrees leads the way in affordable, uncapped internet for families with school-aged children, Spark Jump pre-pay service gives families full control over their internet spend at a base cost of $15 per month, and we’ve supported community Wi-Fi projects in rural areas.
Prosperity linked to digital nation
NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says the prosperity of New Zealand is inextricably linked to how Kiwis embrace the future as a digital nation.
“The tech sector is now New Zealand’s third largest exporter and is growing fast. The tech sector contributes over $16 billion to GDP and employs 100,000 people. But it’s not just about the tech sector as new digital technologies are driving economic and social change.
“For New Zealand to remain competitive in the near future, it needs to plan and prepare for this unprecedented technology change today.
“The prosperity of New Zealand is inextricably linked to how we embrace our future as a digital nation.”
InternetNZ chief executive Jordan Carter says
“The challenge in the next term of parliament is three-fold: continuing to boost rural and regional access; making sure there are cost-effective options for those who can’t afford huge Internet bills; and making sure that everyone can make better use of time online when they have access.”
“This manifesto provides a route-map for New Zealand’s success.”
The manifesto also calls for a dedicated ‘Ministry for the Future’, focusing on positioning New Zealand to take best advantage of a technologically enabled future.
Press release: Tech crucial to NZ’s future – manifesto, 24 May 2017 on InternetNZ’s website
New Zealand’s Digital Future 2017 Manifesto (pdf, 20MB) download from InternetNZ’s website
The 20/20 Trust and InternetNZ are strategic partners. InternetNZ has recently renewed and increased its support for 20/20.
Spark Jump. The 20/20 Trust is a foundation community partner of the Spark Foundation’s Spark Jump programme.