NZ government continues search for chief technology officer

New Zealand government has re-advertised the CTO role

The government has re-advertised for a chief technology officer after failing to find a suitable candidate from the first round of applicants late last year.

Broadcasting, communications, digital media and government digital services minister Clare Curran said she had worked with the initial members of the new Digital Economy and Digital Inclusion Ministerial Advisory Group – named in March -- “to refine and shape the role to ensure we get the right person to play a lead part in developing a digital strategy for New Zealand.”

She added: “We are looking for someone who has a high level of expertise in the digital technology industry, who has the ability to influence a range of different groups, and the passion and drive to instigate action. … This critical role will have a broad mandate to serve as a challenge to, and advisor for, the New Zealand Government.”

Curran announced plans to create the role in November 2017 saying  the CTO would be responsible for preparing and overseeing a national digital architecture, or roadmap, for the next five to ten years.

Applications opened in December with the Government saying it hoped to have the CTO in place ahead of the Digital 5 (D5) Ministerial Summit on 20-21 February 2018. However Curran announced in February that none of the more than 60 applicants merited appointment.

The new position description outlines a skilled chief advisor who can work collaboratively across government and with a range of other stakeholders to provide independent expert advice to ministers and senior leaders on digital issues.

In the first phase, it says, the key critical work will focus on:

• Planning for future workforce needs and the development of new skills;

• Responding to emerging and disruptive technologies; and

• Ensuring all New Zealand communities are supported to improve their digital access and build equity.

The revised job description no longer offers a permanent appointment. “This role is likely to encompass several stages, from an establishment phase through to implementation,” it says.

“It is envisioned that its priorities will change over time to accommodate new areas of effort and emphasis. To recognise that different skills and abilities will suit this role at different points, at this time we are seeking a one-year appointment with an option to renew for another year.”

Applications close on 3 June.

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