$20m boost for digital technologies announced
In a pre-Budget announcement, Minister for Digital Economy and Communications David Clark said the tech industry has grown around 77 percent faster than the general economy in the past seven years.
He said in 2020 alone, it contributed $7.4 billion to the economy.
Clark said the Budget funding will support the growth of the Software-as-a-Service Community (SaaS).
He said it will also help to take the marketing initiative, called New Zealand's Tech and Innovation Story, to key markets such as the United States, Australia and Europe.
"New Zealand has a number of globally successful SaaS companies and we want that to increase. The SaaS subsector has experienced sustained growth despite the COVID-19 pandemic and nearly doubled both its export revenue and headcount within a five-year window.
"As a small island nation, a long way from traditional markets, a strong digital economy allows us to leverage what Kiwis have to offer - no matter our geographic location, the time or place."
He said while the industry needs to develop homegrown talent, the government's recent announcement on Immigration changes would help ensure skilled labour would be able to come in from overseas, including ICT managers and security specialists, software engineers and multimedia specialists.
The roles had been placed on the Green List for a fast track to residence pathway, as long as they were attracting salaries above certain levels specified by the Ministry of Immigration.