Cunliffe launches new ICT industry body

'Association of associations' to lead Digital Strategy

ICT minister David Cunliffe today launched the long-awaited new industry body to replace ICT-NZ.

The minister today signed the establishment rules for the body, dubbed the Digital Development Council, which will in turn set up the Digital Development Forum.

“The Forum will be the main agent in this Digital Development Group. It will be an ‘association of associations’ that brings together a range of organisations with a common interest in digital development. Its members are expected to include ICT users, professionals, suppliers, local government, and community and voluntary, Maori and cultural groups,” Cunliffe said in a statement today.

The forum and council are expected to help New Zealand become a world leader in using information and technology to realise its economic, social, environmental and cultural goals.

“These Digital Strategy goals cannot be realised by government alone,” Cunliffe said. “They need to be delivered by a wide range of groups working together."

The forum will set the strategic priorities for the council and monitor the implementation of that body's work programme.

The Forum will also elect members to the Council (after the Council’s first year of operation) ensuring the appointees are appropriately representative of the Forum organisations.

In its first year, the council is expected to:

— Appoint an independent chair and establish a secretariat (including a GM).

— Develop a work programme and have a signed funding agreement in place with MED by July 1, 2008.

It is also expected to support the establishment of the forum by:

— Developing membership rules for the forum;

— Approving applications for membership to the forum; and

— Developing procedures for the operation of the forum with the objective that those rules and procedures can be adopted by the forum.

— Develop the principles and procedures to govern the forum’s relationship with the council.

— Develop membership rules for the council to ensure members, after the initial 12 months, are appropriately representative of the forum organisations and other interests that support, or contribute to, digital development.

The Council is made up of the independent chair and 10 members. The members were appointed (one each) by the Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand, InternetNZ, New Zealand Computer Society, WIT Group , the 2020 Communications Trust, LGNZ, Business New Zealand, Te Huarahi Tika Trust, the ICT industry and the community and voluntary sector.

Members representing the ICT industry and community and voluntary sector have not been formally appointed yet.

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