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Chris Morris

What does the Digital Technologies ITP mean for Location?

The Digital Technologies Industry Transformation Plan (ITP) is a collaboration between industry and Government to help grow the digital technologies sector. It is something every location professional needs to know about and we want to ensure LocationTech is well represented. 

What is an Industry Transformation Plan?

The Industry Strategy was initiated in June 2019 and updated in 2020 in response to the impacts of COVID-19. At its heart are Industry Transformation Plans (ITP), being developed for selected sectors where the greatest economic opportunities lay or where the most significant transformation into a modern digitally enabled industry is necessary.

Leading the engagement is the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and NZTech. With LocationTech being an NZTech community we are delighted to be associated with this work.  

Initially, workshops were held between key stakeholders to discuss the scope of the ITP. It was agreed that the ITP would focus on the growth of the digital technology sector itself, rather than the broader uptake of technology across the economy. Further workshops followed and the key sector challenges and opportunities identified. A key principle of ITPs is the partnership with Māori and a Māori engagement workstream will focus on this area. Other work streams and foundational enablers have been identified to produce a framework from which ITPs can be developed.  

Whilst each ITP will be different, they will all describe an agreed vision for the future state of the sector; and outline the actions required to realise this vision, including investment, innovation and skills development.

To date, ITPs have been developed for agritech and the construction sector, with plans to create additional plans for digital technologies, advanced manufacturing, food and beverage and forestry and wood processing.

How does Location Technology fit into these plans?

You may wonder how location fits into these plans and this is a fair question. Location technology is often an enabler of other technologies, and location based data will play a crucial part in many ITPs, even if not mentioned directly. 

For example, the Agritech ITP is one of the most obvious for the inclusion of location technology.  Whether considering GPS enabled Halters for livestock, the use of remote sensing to monitor crop health, the use of IoT sensors to report on irrigation flow, or geographic analysis to map pest or biosecurity threats, location technology has a clear role.

It is vital that the location technology industry has its say in these ITPs.  LocationTech will be working with NZTech and the Tech Alliance to lobby for location technology involvement in appropriate sectors. However, our numbers are small, so it’s important that the location industry as a whole engages with ITPs and ensures the opportunities are realised.

How can I be involved?

There are several workstreams and we want to ensure that LocationTech is well represented. Explore the Digital Technology ITP workstreams here. We encourage you to become involved in these workstreams:

Data Driven Innovation

Data is a foundational element of ITPs. If there is one thing that location technology knows, it is data, and the importance of having accurate and timely information. We have a responsibility to help other industries understand how important location-based data is, and how it is necessary to plan for its use and management. The data workstream is still in early stages, so this is the ideal time to be involved. Learn more about the Data Driven Innovation workstream. Please register your interest here

Skills Pipeline

As SIBA, we lobbied the Government to add GIS based vocations to the skills shortage list. As an industry, this still remains an issue and the impacts of COVID-19 have further impacted our pipeline of talent. The new research report Digital Skills Aotearoa – Digital Skills for Our Digital Future shares insights into the current labour market and it makes a wide range of recommendations. Again, it is important that our ecosystem is directly involved in ensuring we have the right skills available for our industry going forward. More information about the Skills Pipeline workstream can be found here. If you would like to be involved in either workstream please contact LocationTech so we can ensure our efforts are combined.


Partnership with Māori is a key principle of the development of ITPs. There are significant opportunities for the economy through enabling Māori success in the digital technologies sector. This includes providing clear pathways into the sector, upskilling workers and providing better support for Māori businesses. LocationTech is keen to engage with iwi who have geospatial capabilities to ensure their voice is heard. Please register your interest here.

Our purpose is to empower innovation with location-based technology and our involvement with ITP’s is a big step towards achieving our aims:

  • To expand the spatial industry as a sustainable and increasingly significant business sector in the national economy.
  • To promote the value of adopting and using spatial information and spatial technologies.
  • To build on existing opportunities for the private sector of the industry.
  • To ensure the industry is aware and ready to adapt and change to take advantage of new opportunities.

We value your support to help us achieve these goals, so please contact us if you are able to help. 

Chris Morris Chris is an ICT Professional specialising in Location Intelligence and Analytics with over 20 years’ experience. He thrives on helping organisations realise their potential by putting technology to work for them.