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By NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller

Auckland – Thanks to covid we are in the middle of a digital revolution that is changing the way the world does business. Technology is supporting the industries and people that are being disrupted right across society. Yet the tech sector fails to reflect the diversity of the world it is enabling.

In a committed move to address this long-standing issue, NZTech campaigned hard for more diverse candidates to consider standing for its board. The message was well received and NZTech’s new board is the most diverse the sector has ever seen, which puts the NGO in a great position to better help the tech ecosystem, and New Zealand, adapt and evolve in the time of covid.

NZTech is the voice for technology in New Zealand. It is a not-for-profit, organisation which brings together 20 tech associations and more than 1500 member organisations which collectively employ more than 10 percent of the New Zealand workforce. The companies and people work together to help create a more prosperous New Zealand underpinned by technology.

The new board members are Delphine Ducaruge from Orbica, Duane Grace from Edusystems, Jannat Maqbool from Ecosystm360 and Mahsa Mohaghegh from AUT.

They join Anand Ranchord from Kiwibank; Anthony Watson from ANZ; Belinda Allen from Orion Health; Eva Sherwood from Deloitte; Kaye Maree Dunn from Āhau; Mike Smith from IBM; Nicole Upchurch form Centrality; and Mitchell Pham from the Augen Software Group and chair of the Digital Council for Aotearoa New Zealand.

With three Maori tech leaders on the board –  Kaye Maree Dunn , Belinda Allen and Duane Grace – the organisation is well placed to evolve to support better inclusion in the sector. The NZTech board has seven women with three in their thirties spread across New Zealand including Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch.

Maori and Pasifika tech success will be a critical driver of economic well-being for all New Zealanders in coming years, presenting opportunities for the development of new tech businesses, new jobs and the creation of a globally unique approach to New Zealand tech.

While covid is having a detrimental impact on much of the economy, the New Zealand tech sector continues to grow and create jobs.

There are more than 100,000 people employed in New Zealand in the tech sector with several thousand new tech jobs created every year.

Tech exports are likely to be the second biggest export earner for New Zealand in 2020, generating more than $12billion in revenue last year for the top 200 tech exporters.

We are always looking for more diverse and inclusive participation from those who have Maori, Pasifika, Asian and other ethnic backgrounds but this new board is a massive win for diversity and inclusion in our tech sector.

We would like to see this level of diverse and inclusive participation across the entire Tech Alliance. It is critically important our tech sector is fully diverse and inclusive as Aotearoa and New Zealanders continue to embrace digital empowerment and transformation across government, economy and society as a whole.

NZTech is working with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment on the development of an industry transformation plan designed to further increase the growth of the tech sector so it can help economic recovery with increasing exports and jobs.

We have work underway to support the development of digital skills, Maori tech success, government use of technology and telling the New Zealand tech story to the world.

We would love to see more people from right across New Zealand getting involved in these initiatives, so if you believe in the opportunity for tech to create a prosperous New Zealand, reach out and get involved.

Editor’s note: Muller holds an MBA from Cass Business School, City University, London; a marketing degree from Auckland University and a Bachelor of Pharmacy from Otago University.

For further information contact NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller on 021 02520767 or NZTech’s media specialist, Make Lemonade editor-in-chief Kip Brook on 0275 030188.