The Green Party has today launched a package of new initiatives to help grow the ICT sector including taking a cornerstone investment in a second internet cable system to New Zealand.
"Government investment in a second internet cable system, supported by smarter government procurement policies, will lead a step-change in the ICT economy, growing exports and creating green jobs," said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.
The Green Party is proposing the Government take a $100 million cornerstone investment in a second fibre optic cable system to ensure its construction and that it stays in New Zealand control.
Government investment in a second internet cable system, supported by smarter government procurement policies, will lead a step-change in the ICT economy, growing exports and creating green jobs
"Our reliance on a single provider for our internet means higher prices, data caps, and less innovation. This stifles the full economic potential of the ICT sector.
"In time, capacity will become an issue too, potentially undermining the Government's $1.5 billion investment in ultra-fast broadband.
"A second cable system will finally break Telecom's monopoly on international internet provision.
"The for-profit joint venture will be subject to a competitive tender and require no new government spending - achieved by reprioritising poor quality spending."
New government procurement guidelines were also announced in today's package of proposed initiatives.
"Government agencies will need to consider the wider economic benefits to New Zealand of supporting the local ICT industry when making purchasing decisions," Dr Norman said.
"We'll require the use of open standards and give a strong preference for the use of open source software which can deliver cheaper, more secure systems, while empowering smaller New Zealand providers to bid for the work.
"The ICT sector is a key component of our vision for a smart green economy.
"The potential of the sector is huge, the jobs are well paid, and continued growth of the sector won't come at the cost of our environment."
The Green Party consulted widely with the ICT sector in the development of this discussion paper and is now seeking public feedback, which will be incorporated into final policy due before the 2014 election.