#Weeknotes 18

Weekly update | 2020-08-25 | By: Digital Council for Aotearoa New Zealand
CIO Summit Logo
Digital Council chair Mitchell Pham is speaking at the CIO Summit today.

Last week was a busy one for the Council with plenty of online meetings and presentations despite the various levels of lockdown.

Thanks to everyone who Zoomed in to our virtual monthly meeting on Friday and to the audiences who tuned into the FutureGov Summit and the New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards.

We’d also like to give the Digital Inclusion Programme team at DIA a shout out for releasing the Digital Inclusion Action Plan 2020–2021 yesterday. Great news.

Stakeholder engagement

We had another full house at our second meeting on e-commerce and the digital marketplace. More than 30 people joined the kōrero (conversation). It is clear to us there is a huge swell of energy and activity occurring right across the SME sector, which is encouraging during these uncertain times.

A highlight of the meeting was hearing about collaborative partnerships such as the one between social enterprise Tolaga Bay Innovation, 5000 tribes and Te Whare Hukahuka aimed at fostering the success of grassroots businesses and developing digital technology capacity on the East Coast and beyond.

Themes we identified in our e-commerce and digital marketplace meeting, include:

  • SMEs need easier access to information about e-commerce and digital marketplaces.
  • SMEs need coaching tailored to their specific needs and their stage of business growth. More hubs (and virtual hubs) could help, especially hubs located in the regions.
  • SMEs also struggle to find government funding, support and understand their compliance requirements.
  • There is an appetite to discuss the role of government in this sector. Eg, is it developing digital trade policies? Is it supporting SMEs to build capability and improve cyber security?

Our plan from here is to explore the ideas further and to scope possible solutions.

Side on view of Digital Council chair Mitchell Pham standing at a glass podium under a spotlight presenting at the FutureGov Summit. A large camera lens is captured in the left hand side of photo pointed at Mitchell.
Digital Council chair Mitchell Pham presenting at the FutureGov Summit last week.

Reflections from the FutureGov Summit

Thursday’s virtual summit exploring the digital future of the New Zealand Government was a fascinating day.

The line up of speakers was impressive. It was great to hear from Minister James Shaw talking about topics as diverse as New Zealand’s new algorithm charter to the need to bridge the country’s digital divide.

The new charter, for example, is a commitment by government agencies to carefully manage how algorithms are used.

The goal of the charter, explained Minister Shaw, is to minimise unintended bias, better reflect the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and strike the right balance between making sure government agencies access the power of the algorithms to deliver better services to New Zealanders, while still maintaining the trust and confidence of New Zealanders in the use of those algorithms.

Meanwhile, Government Chief Digital Officer and DIA CE Paul James talked about the Strategy for a Digital Public Service, outlining some of its key goals as:

  • helping the public service to move into the future and give people the same speed and quality of experience with government agencies that they have with private sector organisations.
  • driving the public sector to rethink how services are delivered for New Zealanders while making sure people can be confident that those digital services are safe and secure.

In the afternoon, Digital Council chair Mitchell Pham updated the audience on the Council’s June report to Ministers highlighting four key areas for action — social and digital inclusion; leveraging technology to empower business; enhancing tech sector employment; and continuing to focus on privacy and trust.

This morning, Mitchell is speaking at the virtual CIO Summit from 11.30am, talking about what the Council learned from COVID-19 and how it’s applying those lessons to the advice it gives to Ministers.

Media & outreach

Last week, chair Mitchell Pham caught up with journalist Heather Wright, as part of iStart’s Road to Recovery series, to discuss the Council’s advice to government published in June and the ongoing research programme. We will share the story when it is published online.

Finally, we also started publishing a series of short videos aimed at giving people an introduction to our members and our work. Check out our playlist on YouTube or watch the short video below. In it, Digital Council member Nikora Ngaropo explains what excites him about the digital world.

View the script for this video

(A white background appears then black text stating “Digital Council for Aotearoa New Zealand” appears as upbeat music plays, this text then fades away. The speaker appears facing the screen, from the shoulders upwards and is slightly angled towards the right. 

We are growing up in a digital age. 

A white banner appears across the bottom of the screen which states “Digital Council for Aotearoa New Zealand” in the left hand side and “Nikora Ngaropo, Digital Council, Te Rararawa, Tūhoe, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahunguru, Ngā Phui” on the right side of the banner).

Our kids deal with technology every day. We’re on the internet all the time.

(The camera angle zooms out to show the speaker sitting down and angled to the right. The speaker is making slight hand gestures as he is speaking).

Being part of the Digital Council and having a say in what we’re doing out there, how we interact with those different mediums.

(The banner disappears from bottom of the screen and the camera zooms in to show the speaker from the shoulders upwards and body slightly angled towards the right)

I think it is really important, now more than ever, just because of how our communities are dealing with those things.

So, what excites me about the digital world?

(The camera angle zooms out to show the speaker sitting down and angled to the right. Speaker is making slight hand gestures as he is speaking).

Well, for me, it’s the possibilities.

(The camera zooms in to show the speaker from the shoulders upwards and slightly angled towards the right).

The capability to create, to learn, to talk to people across vast distances,

(The camera angle zooms out to show the speaker sitting down and angled to the right. The speaker is making slight hand gestures as he is speaking).

Solving problems and collaborating.

(The camera zooms in to show the speaker from the shoulders upwards and slightly angled towards the right)

It is the digital space and it’s a new world that we’re working in.

(The camera angle zooms out to show the speaker sitting down and angled to the right. The speaker is making slight hand gestures as he is speaking).

That’s what really excites me.

(A white background appears then black text stating “Digital Council for Aotearoa New Zealand” appears as upbeat music plays. The video ends).