NZ Rise appoints new co-chair, lists achievements

Industry lobby group says appointment reflects the increasing diversity of its membership

Industry group NZRise, which lobbies on behalf of New Zealand-owned IT companies, has appointed Paul Ramsay as co-chair.

He will work with current co-chair, Don Christie, to promote the development of our local IT industry. He replaces Brian Calhoun in the role.

Ramsay is a founding director and former chairman of Equinox and has been involved in the information technology industry for 28 years.

In welcoming Ramsay to share chairing duties, Christie noted: “His appointment reflects the increasing diversity of NZRise membership, and the need for NZRise to be an effective advocate for the interests of New Zealand-owned IT companies”.

NZRise was incorporated in February 2011 and has 18 members listed on its website.

Christie says in just over a year since it formed NZ Rise has had input into areas such as local council digital strategy, trade negotiations (in particular the Trans Pacific Partnership), intellectual property rights and government procurement policy. It is also contributing to the cloud computing code of practice being developed by the New Zealand Computer Society.

Christie says it “is very early days” for the organisation, but when asked by Computerworld to list its achievements, he noted the following:

• Getting the Wellington City Council to agree that local economic impact should be a criteria by which tender responses are evaluated. Getting the same council to agree to review its procurement processes to ensure that they are not discriminatory to local businesses.

• Engaging with MED on procurement policy.

• Being the only non-US based organisation that has managed to present its point of view to all the negotiators of the IP and Telecommunications chapters of the TPP agreement. We managed to do this at two negotiation rounds. Last year in Vietnam and this year in Melbourne.

• Having regular (monthly) meetings of member companies to discuss shared concerns and the direction in which we want the organisation to go.

• Beginning the process of building a set of resources that member companies can re-use or refer to. For example an economic study of the advantages of procuring from a local company.

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