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Hands up if you want to lead change for the $20-bln tech sector

Hands up if you want to influence change for a $20 billion technology industry, the New Zealand Technology Industry Association (NZTech) is looking for a new CEO.

You need to have lofty goals, have charisma and passion. You also need to dynamic, energetic and capable.

Bennett Medary, Chair of New Zealand Technology Industry Association (NZ Tech) and founder and Chair of kiwi tech company, SimplHealth says: “NZTech has lofty goals, so we need someone with the passion, charisma and commitment to match. We especially want to hear from applicants who have a vision for a tech-enhanced NZ and their ideas on the kinds of projects we should be pursuing over the next three years,” Medary says. 

According to current NZ Tech CEO Candace Kinser, going forward, one of the biggest challenges facing the industry is getting the education up to speed.

The education system is currently ill-equipped to handle the tide of change sweeping the technology world.

A top priority is setting the education sector on course so that it can support the emerging hi-tech industries, she says.

“It means ensuring technology education becomes recognised as much as math and science.

“Technology education is also not just about using ipads in school, or the internet to do homework. It means incorporating technology as a subject, across the education system. It also means teaching about how technology is applied, also technology as a career option for young people,” Kinser says, adding that it also means ensuring teachers who teach know the subject well.

The world is changing rapidly and yet as a country, New Zealand is falling by the wayside in how the education sector is meeting the needs of industries who need to need skills to compete.

Kinser notes there is also work to be done in getting the government to scope out what skills and talent are needed over the next five to 10 years, and to work on immigration policies to attract talent here.

Over the last three years, NZTech has raised the profile of the technology sector, but there is more work to do.

“Three years ago, when you think technology sector, you think Zero and Orion (Healthcare).  A whole bunch of companies have grown over that time because of what we have been championing.”

Kinser, who has held the CEO role for three years, says she has loved every minute of her time with NZTech and achieved everything she was hoping to do; but before she leaves, she will be helping NZTech in the search for her replacement.

“Simply put – there’s no better job in the New Zealand technology industry to build networks, work with senior government leaders, support growing companies and make a real impact on the sector,” says Kinser.

“With the local tech industry now third only to dairy and tourism as the largest contributor to the New Zealand economy, there has never been a more exciting time to be advocating for greater investment, support and innovation in the Kiwi tech sector.”

NZTech is now in its sixth year of existence and continues to be the top industry association for the sector with over 100 member organisations ranging from government agencies to universities and major corporates to start-ups. 

NZTech’s mission is to promote the growth of the technology industry in New Zealand by taking a leadership role on behalf of members, through direct communication with government leaders, the media, other sector groups and the public, both locally and abroad.

Loves peanut sauce, tennis, taichi, stockmarkets, and cool entrepreneurs – not necessarily in that order. In her previous reincarnations, she was an intranet worker bee at Mercer HR Consulting, a Reuters worker ant, and a NZ Herald mule.

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