Sir Gil laments lack of local bodies at summit

Sir Gil Simpson has lamented the lack of local government representation at the two-day government e-commerce summit in Auckland.

Sir Gil Simpson has lamented the lack of local government representation at the two-day government e-commerce summit in Auckland.

“Local government has been sadly lacking in this,” Simpson says. “For an organisation that worries so much about bus lanes, I think they have missed the bus.”

Simpson, Jade founder and summit chair, says 40% of the attendees were small businesses with 20 staff or less. Around 20 South Island small businesses attended too, he says.

They had been attracted to the summit through their local business and lobby organisations, such as the chambers of commerce and the Employers & Manufacturers Associations.

“Any ongoing programme has to be based around these organisations,” he says. “That’s our channel.”

Information Technology Minister Paul Swain says forum speaker Don Tapscott’s announcement of an annual event had been a bit premature.

But he says he intends to have an updated e-commerce strategy paper before Christmas, and by then to have brought together an action committee based around industry groups present at the forum.

The strategy will updated after businesses said it needed to be “more aggressive”.

“And we will make some announcements about a way forward for next year,” Swain says.

“At that meeting we will also toss around the idea of an annualised event.”

Swain described the summit, which had more 500 attendees and was sold out, as “an inspirational event”.

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