ICT taskforce reports to Swain

The ICT Taskforce fronted up to government last night to be told what the government thought of their vision of a hundred $100 million IT companies by 2012.

The ICT Taskforce fronted up to government last night to be told what the government thought of their vision of a hundred $100 million IT companies by 2012.

A spokesman for IT Minister Paul Swain declined to reveal any detail of the initial response, which was given by teleconference through Swain, but taskforce head Murray McNae says the government’s response was largely positive.

“There was a general acceptance of our points, a lot of which we have in common with the other industry taskforces; areas like taxation treatment, graduate supply and training," he says. “A lot of work [in the direction of the taskforce’s objectives] is already under way; the government’s role is to create the right environment, and I think that’s accepted.”

He says last week’s meeting was a matter of “informal feedback”.

The taskforce meets this week to examine government and industry submissions and consider how its report will be amended or added to. A spokesman for Swain says the taskforce will come back with a final report some time in March. The government will then give its final response.

The taskforce’s report, McNae notes, is itself a response, to the government’s own declared target of returning New Zealand to the top half of the OECD.

“They didn’t say anything would be impossible to do, which was encouraging,” McNae says. From here on it will be a matter of “seeing in what ways they vary their policies, and [conducting] an ongoing dialogue”.

One of the taskforce’s next approaches will be to look at comparable overseas government-industry co-ordination schemes.

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