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Alliance to promote geospatial industry in NZ

New Zealand: New Zealand Information & Communications Technology (NZICT) Group has signed an agreement with Spatial Industries Business Association (SIBA), under which the two organisations will work together.

SIBA New Zealand chairman Steve Critchlow sees the alliance as providing value in two particular areas; government procurement and education. According to Critchlow, in the former area, current government procurement processes are too onerous for many SIBA members and some have just given up. This is in danger of depriving government of some of the best minds in the country on geospatial data, just when the value of such data to the improvement of the economy and the value of public-private collaboration in the field is becoming widely recognised.

Land Information NZ, for example, has a current request for proposal seeking a collaborative partnership with the industry to build web services to facilitate access to LINZ’s geographical and land ownership databases.

SIBA hopes to add its perspective and efforts to an existing strong push by NZICT to streamline government procurement, Critchlow said. “We approached NZICT about a year ago and it’s good that they now have this new COI class of membership.”

On the education side, there is already a geospatial element national ICT curricula, but there are few people capable of teaching it well, Critchlow said. The industry association sees itself giving value to NZICT’s efforts in this area too.

In a statement announcing the signing, NZICT said “The geo-spatial industry is an important part of the New Zealand economy. With common interests and goals, SIBA and NZICT will collaborate to develop opportunities to work together.”

The agreement, called a “community of interest (COI)”, is similar to others that NZICT has previously signed with IT industry groups. For example, there are already similar deals with Auckland ICT, Computer Clubhouse, the NZ Health IT cluster and several other organisations. The SIBA signing is the ninth COI arrangement NZICT has entered into.

Source: ComputerworldNZ