Tech think-tank led by 'chief technology officer' considered by National

Tech think-tank led by 'chief technology officer' considered by National 619 349 C-Suite Network
Coordination would help NZ build on its strengths in technology, backers of a national CTO role say.
Coordination would help NZ build on its strengths in technology, backers of a national CTO role say.

The National Party has reversed its stance on appointing a powerful new tech supremo to guide the country’s technological future.

The country now appears set to get a “chief technology officer” whatever the outcome of this week’s election, after the change of heart.

National’s economic development and communications spokesman Simon Bridges said the Government “is considering the establishment of a chief technology officer-led think tank”.

“The future form of this is still to be determined,” he said.

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An unlikely coalition that includes the Labour Party, Xero founder Rod Drury, Green Party donor Seeby Woodhouse and a “strategic insights panel” backed by consultants KPMG and ASB Bank have been among those championing the establishment of powerful national chief technology officer.

Drury said the chosen person could build on the country’s successes in the tech sector and guide future investments.

Finance Minister Steven Joyce had appeared to squash the idea in a Twitter exchange with Drury in 2014, questioning why the sector needed “another taxpayer-funded busybody telling industry how to develop”.

National economic development spokesman Simon Bridges says the country's chief technology officer would lead a new ...
National economic development spokesman Simon Bridges says the country’s chief technology officer would lead a new think-tank.

Bridges did not comment further on what the chief technology officer (CTO) role would entail under a National government.

Labour communications spokeswoman Clare Curran said appointing a CTO…