Curran names first members of digital advisory group

Initial cohort to help the government with its stalled plans to appoint a chief technology officer

The minister of broadcasting, communications and digital media, Clare Curran has named the first eight members of the Digital Economy and Digital Inclusion Advisory Group, announced last December.

She also flagged that this initial cohort would help the government with its stalled plans to appoint a chief technology officer. This role was announced by Curran in November 2017 with the hope to have the appointee in place by late February 2018 but Curran announced on 13 February that the search had been widened because no suitable applicant had emerged

When she announced plans to form the group, Curran said its role would be to advise the Government on how to build the digital economy and reduce digital divides, with the aim of making ICT the second largest contributor to the economy by 2025.

Curran said the group would eventually consist of 14 members, and a chair, and its membership would change over time, and additional subject-matter experts may be called upon to advise the group as its work develops.

Curran said more than 300 people had applied for positions in the group. “It is my hope that the first eight highly qualified members will assist in the selection process for the remaining seven members, while keeping other interested people involved as the group’s work develops,” she said.

“It is in this spirit of openness and dynamism that I hope they will approach their ongoing work to develop a blueprint for digital inclusion and digital enablement. Members will be reaching back into their communities for broader input and innovation rather than a more traditional monthly attendance at a meeting.”

The first eight members are:

Frances Valintine (chair). Founder and chairperson at The Mind Lab, and founder/CEO of Tech Futures Lab

Potaua Biasiny-Tule. Co-founder of Digital Natives Academy, Digital Basecamp, 4 Company B, and CEO/managing director of TangataWhenua.com.

Read more: GovTech World formed to make NZ leader in government IT

Jordan Carter. Chief executive of InternetNZ.

Kaila Colbin. Co-founder and chair of Ministry of Awesome, curator of TEDxChristchurch and SingularityU NZ and Australia Summits, deputy chair of CORE Education, director of ChristchurchNZ.

Brenda Leeuwenberg. Head of Innovation at NZ On Air, board member of Women in Film & Television, and director of Nomad8.

Rohan MacMahon. Management consultant and involved in business development for digital technology companies. Previously strategy director at Crown Fibre Holdings.

Read more: Government seeks input on new telecoms relay service

Victoria MacLennan. Co-chair of NZRise, managing director and CEO of OptimalHQ Group, Trustee and board chair of Code Club Aotearoa, chair of the Digital Skills Forum, investor and director.

Chris O’Connell. Director of Heartland Connectivity Taskforce Ltd, extensively involved with broadband rollout.

 

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