New Zealand tech leaders identify key 2024 priorities

Experts urge action to combat digital decline

New Zealand tech leaders identify key 2024 priorities


By Roxanne Libatique

New Zealand’s technology leaders are confronting a critical point, identifying generative artificial intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity as major focuses for 2024, as revealed in a recent report by the Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand (TUANZ).

In 2023, New Zealand’s position in the Portulans Network Readiness Index (NRI) fell from 19th to 23rd, reflecting concerns among chief information officers and technology leaders regarding AI talent, digital skills, and high-tech manufacturing.

Cyber trends and issues in New Zealand

The fourth annual “TUANZ Aotearoa’s Digital Priorities in 2024” report, supported by One New Zealand, details significant digital trends and issues.

TUANZ CEO Craig Young pointed out that AI, cybersecurity, and digital equity were the main themes noted by tech leaders.

“Over the last few years, we’ve seen digital leaders trying [to] balance technological evolution with supporting business as usual. It’s evident our world – and the technology we rely on – is developing at an ever-increasing pace,” he said.

Other priorities identified in the report include:

  • building resilience in a changing world
  • embracing cloud and off-site technology
  • managing limited resources
  • promoting digital equity to ensure no one is left behind in the digital transformation

Business and technology leaders called to be adaptable, resilient

Young urges New Zealand’s business and technology leaders to be adaptable and resilient to unforeseen challenges.

“To do this, we require innovative thinking, in partnership with government, to create an environment that supports the progressive regulation of emerging tech and data privacy, particularly as AI is fast-approaching and is likely to impact jobs across the motu,” he said. “The recent budget was particularly lacking in any new technology focus areas, which feels like a missed opportunity as New Zealand looks to improve lagging productivity through high-tech solutions.”

Using technology to streamline business processes

Tony Baird, chief technology officer at One New Zealand, highlighted the quick adaptation of New Zealand businesses to new technologies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The adoption of cloud technology has helped pave the way to emerging opportunities for AI as a tool to help augment and support human workers, freeing them up to focus on higher value tasks,” he said.

He emphasised the importance of using these tools to streamline business processes while managing data privacy and ethics to protect consumers.

“When it comes to these tools, it’s essential we learn how to utilise them to our advantage to streamline business processes while navigating the challenges around data privacy and ethics policies to protect consumers,” he said. “The tech leaders highlighted both the risks and opportunities facing Kiwi businesses, to ensure we emerge from the current economic challenges stronger on the global stage.”

The “Aotearoa’s Digital Priorities in 2024” report can be downloaded from the TUANZ website at

Another study, recently released by a global IT security company, noted a gap between security executives in Asia Pacific and their customers regarding the perceived effectiveness of cybersecurity measures, pushing many firms to re-evaluate their cybersecurity measures.

In Australia and New Zealand, a recent study found that organisations struggle with cyber resilience amid rising threats, with maturity level of existing strategies being one of the main barriers to effective cyber resilience.

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