Trade NZ portal gets $1.9m

The Government has earmarked an annual $1.9 million for the maintenance and improvement for Trade New Zealand's export portal, marketnewzealand.com.

The Government has earmarked an annual $1.9 million for the maintenance and improvement for Trade New Zealand’s export portal, marketnewzealand.com.

The 2003 budget allocates the money, which Trade NZ says was constructed from funds originally set aside in an e-business grant. The marketnewzealand.com website has been active since November 2002.

Online services manager Alwyn Moores says the $1.9 million will be used for both marketing and improvements to the website, in about equal measure. Asked whether the spending on improvements would involve updated content, he says they “would tend to be more functional”.

“We have got a marketing programme in place,” he says. “It’s certainly not going to stand still.”

Trade NZ operates a number of other websites, including: its corporate site, tradenz.govt.nz; ProjectLink, a site listing tender opportunities; and an e-business guide which Trade NZ is planning to make available to the wider internet.

Moores was unable to say how Trade NZ intended to use other domains it has secured, including newzealand.com and newzealand.biz, but a decision would be made following Trade NZ’s merger with IndustryNZ on July 1.

“We’re going to do a review very early on.”

Ownership of newzealand.com, which Trade NZ controversially bought for $1 million, has been transferred to The New Zealand Way Ltd and now displays the Destination New Zealand website. The newzealand.biz domain, secured after an appeal to the World Intellectual Property Office, is currently unused. Moores says the marketnewzealand.com website has been well received.

“We’re getting feedback that our site is very friendly and usable,” he says. But the improvements would keep the site relevant to its users.

The government expects a report by the end of 2004 on the progress of the portal.

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