New Zealand Government calls for expressions of interest for new role of Chief Technology Officer

New Zealand’s Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media and Government Digital Services Minister, Clare Curran, has called for expressions of interest for the new role of Chief Technology Officer (CTO) position to help drive a forward-looking digital agenda for New Zealand.

In a speech on November 9, laying out her priorities, Ms. Curran has talked about laying the ground work for establishing the position of a ‘Chief Technology Officer for NZ’.

The Chief Technology Officer will work collaboratively across government, with Ministers and officials, and with a range of other stakeholders. He/ she will be accountable to the Prime Minister and to the Minister for Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, and Government Digital Services, and will provide independent expert advice to Ministers and senior leaders on digital issues.

With a high level of expertise in their field, the CTO will have the ability to influence a range of different groups – from government and industry to wider society. He/she is also expected to have the passion and drive to instigate action, along with strong foresight and strategic capabilities, to ensure that New Zealand has the right foundations in place to seize the benefits, and mitigate the challenges, of increasing technological change.

The CTO will be responsible for preparing and overseeing a national digital architecture, or roadmap, for the next five to ten years. The immediate priority for the CTO will be to lead work, and advise government, on a Digital Strategy for New Zealand. This strategy will set out how New Zealand can respond to the challenges of emerging and future technology, build its digital economy, and achieve digital inclusion. The Ardern Coalition Government has specifically stated an aim to close the digital divide by 2020 and it has committed to the objective of ICT being the second largest contributor to GDP by 2025.

“We need to respond to the opportunities and challenges of our changing digital world. This position is critical to ensuring we can use and develop digital technologies for social prosperity, economic productivity, and for the good of all New Zealanders,” Ms Curran said.

“In particular, I see the Chief Technology Officer working on issues such as improving digital equality, protecting citizens’ rights online, and building a connected nation, alongside the Digital Economy and Digital Inclusion Advisory Group and the other Advisory Groups that I have already signalled I will be establishing,” she added.

Further information about the Chief Technology Officer position, including Terms of Reference and the application form, is available here. Applications close on 15 January 2018.

Featured image: Midnighttonight at English Wikipedia/ CC BY-SA 3.0 

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