A group of 20 organisations, led by NZTech, IITP and InternetNZ made the call when they issued a manifesto on Tuesday. The group sent the document to MPs and will use it to lobby in the run-up to the election.
One demand is for all New Zealanders to have affordable access to reliable, high-speed internet. The group wants this to include the skills and equipment needed to use the services. They say rural and urban internet access should have the same speed, quality and cost.
To help fund this the group calls for more government infrastructure investment. At the same time, they want the telecommunications industry to continue investing. It also wants the industry to recognise and help develop a “sound regulatory framework to ensure parity”.
The group wants New Zealand recognised as a "world leader in equipping citizens for the changing economy". It also wants the nation to welcome immigrants with genuine skills.
Among the other demands are:
- Expanding technology education in schools. There's also a call for investment to give teachers the skills needed for this to work.
- A move for public research investment to focus on technology.
- More indirect research funding. The manifesto points out New Zealand doesn't offer research and development tax incentives.
- Improved government procurement. The group wants to put smaller NZ-based companies on an equal footing with global ones. There's also a call to ask for agile delivery.
- The group also wants to see a more balanced approach to privacy and security