Govt e-commerce summit site set to go live

The Web site for the government's forthcoming e-commerce conference will go live and begin taking registrations over the weekend.

The Web site for the government’s forthcoming e-commerce conference will go live and begin taking registrations over the weekend.

Commerce, IT and telecommunications minister Paul Swain says the government’s e-commerce strategy, which should be complete in three weeks, will also be posted on the Web site, at

He hopes to get discussion going on the strategy before the conference takes place on November 1-2.

Gil Simpson, chief executive of Aoraki, will chair the $400-per-attendee conference, to be held at Auckland’s Aotea Centre.

The summit will focus on small and medium-sized enterprises, because that’s where help is needed, says Swain. He wants half of those attending to come from the SME sector.

“It has come about because of patchy development of e-commerce in New Zealand, particularly relating to small and medium[-sized] enterprises.”

Swain says while the corporate sector is pushing ahead with e-commerce many SMEs have held back because they’re wary of the technology and cost. The conference will include workshops for SMEs and case studies of New Zealand SMEs using e-commerce.

There will also be an expo because another aim is to raise public awareness about how business is changing.

“I’m trying to shift away from high-level, overarching, broad strategy to something that is tangible.”

Swain says the government will lead by example by setting up an e-procurement system for all government departments.

“It will drive down costs because the procurement system for the government is quite inefficient but I also want it to be a magnet for e-commerce.”

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