New Zealand’s new Minister for Communications and Broadcasting is Clare Curran, who also picks up Digital Media for Government Digital Services, Associate Minister for ACC and Associate Minister of State Services (Open Government), it was announced by Jacinda Ardern today.
Curran has been Labour spokesperson for Communications and Broadcasting portfolios for the past nine years and is well known in both the tech and telco sectors. Labour’s ICT policy was a comprehensive seven-pages and it compared well with what 18 interest groups were asking for in their pre-election manifesto.
With both the communications and broadcasting portfolios it will be interesting to see if Curran will carry out Labour’s pre-election policy of reviewing “the role of the state in ownership and licensing of spectrum frequencies to ensure long term public good for all communities.”
Curran will also be busy drawing up a list of candidates for the country’s first Chief Technology Officer. In Labour’s ICT policy it says the CTO would report directly to the Prime Minister and Cabinet, be tasked with introducing a National Digital Architecture and Digital Technology Roadmap. The CTO would also work with the wider industry to “develop ingenuity and creativity in the ICT sector, and establish “X” prizes to “encourage breakthroughs in the science world that would be administered by the CTO.”
Meanwhile ICT-related policies from both Labour and NZ First have found their way into the Coalition agreement, for example in reforming government procurement rules to give New Zealand companies greater access and in restoring funding for Computers in Homes.