National unveils $1.3b plan for expanded tech sector

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National says it will double the size of the tech sector in 10 years, if elected, with a $1.29 billion plan that aims to create at least 100,000 new jobs.

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Judith Collins (file image) Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

Among the party’s aims in its Tech 2030 plan is the ambition to develop “the world’s most tech-friendly regulation”. National wants to increase the value of the tech sector’s exports to $16b per annum by 2030.

National party leader Judith Collins says the sector has “amazing potential” adding that she thought it “could be bigger than our dairy sector in 10 to 15 years”.

National says it will also:

  • Establish a minister for technology
  • Offer 1000 tertiary scholarships per year targeted at students from low decile schools to undertake science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) degrees
  • Establish a STEM-focused partnership school and restore funding for specialist ICT graduate schools
  • Introduce a fast-track technology skills visa
  • Invest $1 billion in technology infrastructure upgrades with the aim of achieving 100 Mbps uncapped internet speeds for everyone using Ultra-Fast Broadband
  • Establish three targeted investment funds for tech start-ups worth $200 million each, with the cost split evenly between government and the private sector
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National expects its plan to cost $690 million over its first four years with infrastructure upgrades over the following six years are expected to cost another $600m, bringing the total cost to $1.29 billion.

Party leader Judith Collins announced the plan during a visit in Auckland to Buckley Systems Limited, a New Zealand company supplying precision electromagnets.

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