The tech industry in New Zealand employs roughly 3,000 Kiwis in 2019, and it’s expected to grow more with the influx of workers coming home due to the pandemic. With this population increase, power consumption is also expected to rise due to high demand. As power and technology are two of the main industries in the country, it’s important to know the policies of NZ’s political parties concerning these sectors.
Before casting your votes in this coming election, we’ve summarised some of the key plans of NZ’s major political parties about these industries.
The Act Party’s biggest policy about technology is specifying the age limitation of the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015 to under 18 years old. This act aims to protect Kiwis from online bullying, distressing photographs, material, or messages, with penalties that can range up to two years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $50,000.
The ACT Party aims to streamline the process of utilising the offshore and gas reserves by repealing the current ban on exploration permits. This is for a good cause of convincing over 600,000 New Zealanders to stay in the country by opening these job opportunities in the power and energy sectors.
ACT also believes that the Zero Carbon Act will hinder economic growth in the country by pushing investors into a country with more cost-efficient energy demands. They plan to repeal the act and introduce a non-nonsense climate change plan with simple, achievable, affordable, and effective responses.
The Green Party focuses on three policies in improving the tech sector in New Zealand: The ICT Policy, Privacy and Security Services Policy, and Research, Science, and Technology Policy. These policies aim to improve information access to information and enhance communication without compromising security and privacy. To manage tech security, they plan to employ different surveillance techniques such as fingerprinting, biometrics, and electronic communications monitoring.
Moreover, they want to deliver more sustainable science and technology solutions, especially for smaller businesses across New Zealand. To achieve this, they plan to allocate more public funding, attract foreign investments, and convince private sectors to fund this policy. However, comprehensive costs for these pledges aren’t specified.
The Green Party plans to re-establish the Electricity Authority to supervise the research, advisory, development, and all responsibilities for sustainable energy options in the country. With the current phasing out of fossil fuel use in the country, they’re developing a national strategy to ensure that all Kiwis will still have consistent power amidst the transition.
Keen towards a greener New Zealand, they’re working with local power providers and distributors to develop a sustainable energy system with little to no environmental impacts. When it comes to other power and energy sources like coal, they plan to completely phase-out its extraction, as well as support the industry in switching to renewable systems.
The Labour Party promises a $60 million investment to improve broadband infrastructures in rural communities, including those in the outskirts of Auckland and Wellington. $10 million of this investment goes to improving the radio spectrum in remote communities where broadband capacity and coverage are difficult.
Apart from improving RBI, they promise to heavily invest in improving the technology solutions for small businesses across New Zealand. Named as the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Policy, it promises to finance digital training courses for SMEs through a $75 million investment. These courses introduce SMEs to modern business models and digital solutions.
The Labour Party is committed to the target of 100% renewable electricity generation by 2030. In line with this, they aim to put forward a review on the 2025 emissions budget. They’re also looking to allocate $70 million for the acceleration of a potential dry year storage solution, including a pumped hydro at Lake Onslow.
Dedicated to keeping New Zealand the world leader for renewable energy, they promise to heavily invest in researching emerging power technologies to further push for the electrification of transport and industrial sectors. A portion of this investment is also aimed to make renewable energy more affordable for New Zealanders.
The National Party has disclosed their Tech 2030 Policy Plan, which aims to create 100,000 jobs under a $1.29 billion investment. They want to grab the opportunity of Kiwi professionals coming home amidst the pandemic. Through this policy, they aim to be double the size of the industry, and to become one of the leading tech centres in the region.
The policy plans to offer over 1,000 scholarships per year for students to undertake science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) degrees, as well as establishing STEM-focused partner schools and ICT graduate schools. Under a $1 billion investment, they aim to achieve 100Mbps uncapped internet for everyone by investing in the Ultra-Fast Broadband Initiative.
National plans to fully revoke the government’s ban for oil and gas, as it will open over 3,000 jobs and bring in an estimated revenue of $30 billion in Taranaki alone. They also plan on repealing the Resource Management Act of 1991, and introduce legal and regulatory policies with less complexity and more certainty to all local and foreign stakeholders.
The National Party believes that the economy doesn’t need to suffer amidst a greener New Zealand. That’s why they’re pushing to implement realistic solutions that will not comprise Kiwis’ livelihood, while keeping true to a net-zero future by 2050.
The future of your power and technology is in your hands, so make sure to vote wisely this coming election. While you’re at it, make sure to get the best broadband, mobile, and power deals in your area. Get a one-stop-shop tailored results amongst the best companies in the country, and save now using our comparison tool at CompareBear.
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