ICTNZ slouches forward

Industry bodies are slowly coming round to the idea of one single lobby group

The long-heralded ICTNZ alliance is inching closer to becoming a reality.

After years of discussion, the country’s industry bodies are coming round to the idea of an over-arching industry group to represent the ICT sector.

The New Zealand Computer Society appears the furthest advanced, having obtained commitment to going the ICTNZ route from the members at its annual general meeting earlier this month, following extensive consultation with its membership.

An item supporting an NZCS commitment to ICTNZ was placed on the agenda for the AGM by a branch of the society, says CEO Doug White — although he declined to identify which branch.

“By the time of the AGM, we had considerable membership comment, both for and against” and the meeting expressed endorsement of the proposal.

Both Chip Dawson, president of the New Zealand Software Association and Ross Peat, ITANZ president, say their board and “executive team”, respectively, have committed to moving into ICTNZ, and are in the process of canvassing the membership. Peat expects that process to take three or four weeks.

The formation of such an alliance is an important sign of “the maturation of the industry”, Peat says. “I think in the next three to four months we will see the key players in the fold.”

There has been “collectively a great movement” towards the goal of industry support for ICTNZ since the beginning of the year, Dawson says.

“We have always been strong supporters of the idea,” says Karen Pettett, head of the HealthIT Alliance. However, for an official update, she directed Computerworld to Gavin Wright, the cluster’s representative at the ICTNZ table. He was not immediately available for comment.

The least committed of the major ICT bodies is InternetNZ. “We’re not officially committed, but we’re talking to [ICTNZ’s organisers],” says president Colin Jackson.

“We don’t have a formal view. You can assume we’d be friendly to it and maybe eventually more than friends, but who knows?”

There are said to be about 100 organisations in total catering to various part of the industry in New Zealand, but White and Dawson see commitment by the majors as an important step to bringing in some of the smaller and more specialist bodies.

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