ICT industry umbrella group proposed

One body to represent 'fragmented' industry

Moves are afoot to organise an ICT industry umbrella secretariat to coordinate communication between the industry and the government.

Internet New Zealand chief executive Peter Macaulay has been canvassing industry bodies and government and says he’s got broad verbal buy-in to the concept but that the respective organisations need to get approval from their councils.

Macaulay says the idea follows discussions with government, which found it difficult to get industry input into its digital strategy because of the fragmented nature of the industry.

“Government is dealing with more than 100 organisations,” he says.

“There is a lot of duplication of effort. We want to see the industry organisations focus on their primary goals but be able to share common things."

The aim is to provide two conduits:

- Horizontal, to serve common interests. For example, an issue such as security has implications for all groups.

- Vertical, from industry to government and vice versa, dealing with legislative issues and general relationships with government.

Macaulay says Internet New Zealand has volunteered to initially handle administration but is happy for that to be handed over to a paid secretariat or to be rotated through the better-funded organisations.

He has proposed a meeting on August 27 to kick off the idea.

“It doesn’t need universal buy-in but it needs to prove it can be effective. It won’t involve huge overhead — rather, it will funnel issues that need to be addressed by the entire community.

“This is not about merging organisations,” he says.

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