ICT taskforce solicits Auckland views

If you want to have your say on the ICT Taskforce draft report, be at the Parnell Rose Gardens Function Centre in Auckland tomorrow.

If you want to have your say on the ICT Taskforce draft report, be at the Parnell Rose Gardens Function Centre in Auckland tomorrow.

Following on from meetings in Christchurch and Wellington, a third meeting is being held at the Auckland venue to discuss the report, the key recommendation of which is that New Zealand work towards building 100 IT companies with a turnover of $100 million by 2012.

Industry New Zealand ICT sector director Liz Longworth says the two meetings were successful, though conducted in different formats.

“They were different types of meeting. In Christchurch, it was an open invitation and panel discussion, whereas in Wellington it was a by-invitation speech by [ICT minister] Paul Swain.”

Longworth says feedback at both meetings was positive, with requests for clarification of some of the points in the report.

“Most people identified strongly with the recommendations and thought the target was achievable and a number said they’d like their company to be one of the 100.”

At present, New Zealand has 16 IT companies that do more than $100 million in sales, half of which are local branches of multinationals.

A corollary of the 100 $100 million companies goal is that the proportion of our GDP contributed by IT will have to increase from the present 4.3% to 10%.

Not everyone thinks it’s an ideal target. Tony Stewart of Wellington Microsoft development house Intergen believes 10 billion-dollar companies would be better and Dunedin developer David Harris adheres to the opposite view, saying the 100 $100 million figure “completely overlooks the fact that some of the brightest and most innovative people are solo or very small operators”.

The Christchurch meeting was arranged by the Canterbury Software Cluster and the Wellington event by the NZ Computer Society, while Auckland’s comes courtesy of the New Zealand Software Association.

On the panel in Auckland will be Longworth and ICT Taskforce members Ian McCrae, John Blackham and Stephen Harris, among others.

Tickets are $40.

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