Technology investment highlights from the 2022 Budget

Technology investment highlights from the 2022 Budget

$220 million is being set aside to address data and digital infrastructure in health.

Grant Robertson (Minister of Finance)

Grant Robertson (Minister of Finance)

Credit: Supplied

Budget 2022 has a strong focus on transitioning to a digital economy, improving public services delivery and keeping existing systems safe from cybersecurity risks.

Key investments highlighted by the government included:

$220 million total operating and $100 million capital set aside for investments in the data and digital infrastructure and capabilities essential for health system performance and health system reform;

$25 million total operating and $5 million capital for the Computer Emergency Response Team New Zealand (CERT NZ) to provide cyber resilience support to private sector organisations and individuals;

Investment in a new digital case management system to improve the efficiency of the court system, and investment in critical satellite capability to improve the accuracy of GPS.

In addition to that was the $20 million announced pre-Budget to support the development of the digital technology sector.

But before we get to the new spending announced, there has also been some substantial returns of unused funds from previous years, most notably from the closure of Inland Revenue’s transformation programme. This hands back $269 million of capital and operating funding and seeks approval for a transfer of $35 million from 2021/22 to 2022/23 and 2023/24 to undertake residual activities following closure.

New spending includes...

$57 million is being held in contingency over four years to provide funding for a Māori-led work programme to increase Māori participation and opportunity in spectrum-related industries and the digital economy. This fulfils commitments set out in a memorandum of understanding that allowed the Crown to move forward with commercial allocation of spectrum for 5G cellular services. 

$60 million over four years will be used to further improve rural connectivity, building on a commitment to improve broadband infrastructure in worst served regions such as Gisborne, Manawatu-Whanganui, Hawke's Bay, West Coast, and Southland.

$14 million for the Department of Corrections will fund contracted price increases for "base-state" digital infrastructure including cyber security. It also supports replacement of critical base-state infrastructure to maintain core operating and security settings.

$12 million will provide funding to address cyber security risks at the Ministry of Justice, supporting a secure technology environment for courts and justice services to meet Protective Security Requirements and New Zealand Information Security Manual directives.

$20 million will be used to continue providing internet connections to students in financially disadvantaged homes to the end of June 2022,

$10 million will provide funding to support Education Payroll to distribute $6 billion a year in fortnightly payroll to 97,000 school employees. Meanwhile, $4 million will be reprioritised for a programme of work to identify and analyse options for future delivery of the school’s payroll.

$3.5 million will fund a new human resource information system for the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, required due to the current payroll system being unsupported.

$27.4 million of capital funding will strengthen cybersecurity at the Ministry of Education and Managed IT Services to lower the administrative burden for schools through centralised provision of cybersecurity and digital services, and improve the quality and consistency of digital learning environments.

$1.3 million will fund a new IT system to enable a more efficient and effective delivery of the Environmental Protection Authority’s compliance, monitoring and enforcement functions through a new case management system, replacing multiple Excel spreadsheets.

$2.8 million will provide funding for an upgrade of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Register's Windows 2012 servers to Windows 2019, and the purchase of extended support for two years.

$10.8 million will establish digital and data capabilities to enable the National Public Health Service to operate as a single national service for public health and enhance public and population health surveillance. It includes funding for a national platform to support a standard operating model and delivery of core Public Health Unit functions. 

It also includes funding to establish access to aggregated, population-level data drawn from primary care data sources for public health surveillance and analysis.

$320 million of operating and capital spending over four years builds on Budget 2021 investments to fund further investment in data, digital infrastructure and capability to improve health system performance and achieve the aims of health system reform.

$125.3 million over four years will fund population health and disease management digital capability, providing ongoing funding to retain selected capability and infrastructure developed in response to the COVID19 pandemic and to provide a basis for future population health and disease management digital capability.

$225.5 million of capital and operational investment over four years will be held in contingency for the digital infrastructure required for the New Dunedin Hospital, as well as a digital transformation spanning the Southern health system.

$28.5 million is the remaining funding to complete the Ministry of Social Development’s (MSD) financial management information system (FMIS) and payroll system. In addition, this will allow scoping for the replacement of MSD’s aging and high-risk Social Sector contract management systems.

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