NZCS on ICT policies

NZ Computer Society CEO Paul Matthews blogs on the parties’ ICT policies. A summary:

  • ACT: No policy except reference to ICT debate Rodnet took part in
  • Greens: policy indicates that the Greens understand well that leverage of ICT is essential to business and community growth, which is excellent. All in all, a well thought out policy that clearly articulates their position.
  • Labour: We couldn’t find an ICT or Communications policy on the Labour Party website either. This is doubly disappointing, as we know they have done some great things in this area and have some good plans, however the purpose of this exercise was to judge the easy availability and quality of the policy on their websites.
  • National: the availability and detail of National policies in this area was refreshingly good. National’s Schools Policy (released yesterday) is the only policy that makes it clear that the teaching of ICT is as important as the teaching with ICT, with National pledging to ensure the creation of Computing (and Business) Achievement Standards. We thoroughly congratulate National on this (and put out a press release yesterday doing just that). This shouldn’t be underestimated – it’s absolutely essential we address this very serious issue.
  • NZ First: The only mention of ICT in NZ First’s Education Policy is “provide all primary and secondary educational institutions, particularly those in rural areas, with up-to-date communications technology”. Whilst this in itself is good, it’s unfortunate there wasn’t a little more information on exactly what is meant by this.
  • Progressives: The Progressives, like most others, don’t have a dedicated general ICT policy, however do have a well articulated (albeit brief on detail) Broadband policy
  • United Future: Unfortunately United Future don’t mention ICT (either infrastructure or education) in their education policies, although it may be possible to infer it from some of the points they do make around sufficiency of standards in NCEA. United Future do have a Communications policy (available here) which, whilst short, does discuss some facts and figures, which is good.

A useful roundup of the parties.