Digital experts to provide advice on NZ technological changes

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Supporting New Zealand to make the most of digital and data driven technologies will be the focus of a new Digital Council that recently commenced.

Minister for Government Digital Services, Kris Faafoi, and Minister of Statistics, James Shaw, have confirmed the group of experts chosen to advise the Government on how to ensure new and emerging technologies and uses of data improve New Zealanders’ lives.

“We’ve brought together an impressive mix of people who can help navigate the fast-moving digital and data landscape through a specific New Zealand focus,” Minister Faafoi said. “We want to understand the impact of technological change from a uniquely New Zealand perspective, including te ao Māori.

“The Digital Council will also help identify gaps in accessing and using technology, how it can benefit societies and our economy, assist our role in the Pacific, and help overcome our distance from major trading markets.”

Minister Shaw added that he looked forward to what the Council had to say about how the Government can keep pace with changes in technology to ensure they bring benefits for all New Zealanders, stating: “These changes are happening fast and have undoubtedly created opportunities that would have been hard to imagine even a generation ago. But rapid change can also have an effect on people’s lives and it is important we understand what that is. That way we can all work better to ensure that an increasingly digitalised and automated world improves everyone’s wellbeing.”

The Council will draw on members’ expertise, as well as gathering views from communities across New Zealand. It will also learn from national and international experts to develop advice and provide recommendations for government consideration.

It takes over from the Digital Economy and Digital Inclusion Ministerial Advisory Group (DEDIMAG), which concluded its work programme at the end of 2019.