The government’s request for comment on a new draft Digital Strategy has resulted in around 100 submissions, says Ministry of Economic Development spokesman Brad Ward.
The comment period finished on May 24 after a two-week extension to allow for delayed submissions. No expected submissions failed to make the deadline, Ward says.
“We were quite pleased with the coverage — we had submissions from the rural, voluntary and creative sector,” as well as from mainstream urban businesses.
The submissions are being summarised and a digest will shortly be published on the Digital Strategy website at www.digitalstrategy.govt.nz. No firm date has been set for this, says Ward.
Publishing the strategy as a wiki also brought some response, though a low level compared with more formal submissions. Most wiki edits appear to have been made by only a few individuals.
Additions and amplifications to the document referenced wireless and satellite technology alongside fibre and DSL — though a reference to competitive telcos installing equipment in “Telecom exchanges” was left unchanged, where an added reference to kerbside cabinets might have been expected.
The most lengthy and trenchant addition was from “Peteraa” on the goal relating to “content”.
“It’s dumb. Dumb, dumb, dumb,” Peteraa said. “None of this will improve productivity in New Zealand’s economy. It’s all about applications, not TV ... cable TV is not a killer app. New Zealand’s killer apps are: Trademe; Seek and Facebook. That is where you will find New Zealanders. Those are apps that improve productivity. There are loads of potential apps that could benefit from broadband but they will evolve from the existing infrastructure.”
Another contributor said a sustainability perspective was missing. The contributor thought the strategy document had mis-defined sustainability in terms of longevity of data preservation and not from the more usual environmental perspective.
The wiki version of the strategy was beefed up with a section stating that ICT must “take responsibility for its [environmental] footprint” and asking educators to “foster sustainability as a core value of computing education”.
The section that used to reference “sustainability” was retitled “digital archives preservation strategy”.
Some phrases in the original document were deleted in the wiki, for unclear reasons. In the section dealing with spectrum allocation, the phrase “including provisions to protect Mäori language and culture” has been removed.
Perhaps this was expressing a similar sentiment to the contributor who wrote: “To move beyond ‘collaborating with’ x or y group we need to become them (and them become us).”
Another puzzling deletion was the word “rapidly” in the introductory sentence “digital technologies are rapidly changing the world.”