National pledges a Minister for Technology in drive for 100,000 new jobs

National pledges a Minister for Technology in drive for 100,000 new jobs

Relaxed and fast-tracked visas and even faster networks are part of the National Party package

Judith Collins (NZ National Party)

Judith Collins (NZ National Party)

Credit: Supplied

The National Party is promising to give the technology sector high priority, with a new Minister for Technology and 1000 tertiary scholarships a year.

The scholarships will be targeted for students at low decile schools to undertake science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) degrees, leader of the opposition Judith Collins said today.

If elected, National also pledged to establishing a STEM-focused partnership school and restore funding for specialist ICT graduate schools.

A fast-track technology skills visa was also part of the package, to help local businesses plug their technology skills gaps along with relaxed visas for investors.

Collins also promised what she described as the world's "most tech-friendly regulation".

National also promised to invest $1 billion in technology infrastructure upgrades with the aim of achieving 100 Mbps uncapped internet speeds for all internet users.

Three targeted investment funds for tech start-ups worth $200 million each would be established, with the cost split evenly between government and the private sector.

Collins said the $1.29 billion, 10-year plan would double technology exports to $16 billion by 2030.

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