Stricter "buy New Zealand" conditions could be enforced following a review of government procurement policy.
The review, which is unlikely to be completed before next year, could require tenders over a certain value to be brought to the attention of local manufacturers through the website of the NZ Industrial Supplies Office (NZISO), a branch of the Ministry of Economic Development.
This follows protests earlier this year, and again last week, from the Computer Manufacturers’ Association of New Zealand (CMANZ) that government departments were neglecting the merit of New Zealand-made computer equipment.
Last week a press release from CMANZ member The PC Company complained that “government departments have been putting out tender documents specifying only the supply of multi-national brand name PCs.
"We are seeing government contracts which actually name the multi-national brands and this specifically excludes us,” the release said.
When asked by Computerworld to give details of the tender documents, The PC Company managing director Colin Brown declined to, saying moves like the possibility of NZISO notification indicated the situation was now looking up.
CMANZ wrote to commerce minister Paul Swain in July asking that tenders for PC purchases valued at $10,000 or more be notified to the Industrial Supplies Office. Swain replied that the idea was under consideration.
However, NZISO spokeswoman Linda Archer suggests the threshhold for posting tenders on the organisation’s website is likely to be $25,000, rather than the $10,000 requested by CMANZ.
"Chances are there will be no [final] decision on it till into the New Year," says Ministry of Economic Development spokesman Tony Cranston.