New Zealand 3.0: Open

by Chloe Gunn

At Catalyst we have been thinking about our economic opportunities and as scary as it may seem at first, this is a prime opportunity for New Zealand to roll out a fantastic digital strategy. 

Three principles can accelerate the contribution of the local digital sector to New Zealand’s economic and social well-being and will support the longer-term development of the industry as a critical part of our country’s future.

These three principles are Open, Sovereign and Resilient. In this blog, we will be discussing the economical value in our digital strategy being Open. Open


By maintaining an open approach in our digital strategy we can expect the following:


Champion transparency

Government data should, by default, be open. Agency data and algorithms should be open to scrutiny to build trust in our democracy. Publicly funded data should be open for re-use and commercialisation to foster innovation.


Interoperate globally

Ensure that New Zealand’s public and private sector systems are built on open standards, facilitating the ability to interoperate and integrate with other local and international systems, to deliver benefits for New Zealanders. Build on success stories like Koha, the Library Management system built in Horowhenua and used in tens of thousands of public libraries around the world.


Leverage excellence

Adopt “best of breed” open source solutions and adapt them for local needs and cultural appropriateness, to fuel innovation and opportunities for businesses and communities. Like some of the largest businesses in the world, Google, Amazon and Facebook, the Catalyst Cloud was built on open source–and was the first fully automated cloud in New Zealand, years ahead of its competitors.


Minimise waste

Make open source the default for public sector systems, to encourage re-use and sharing, to maximise the Crown’s investment in software, and minimise the reliance on licensing. Favour smaller, more agile public sector IT projects that use Kiwi companies for continuous delivery, not monolithic proprietary systems that deliver cost blow-outs and a fraction of the promised value.


It just makes sense, doesn’t it? We want to hear what you think throughout this series, so tweet us your thoughts! In the next post, we will be exploring the value in Sovereignty.