The Guardian

'New Zealand wants you': the problem with tech at the edge of the world

PM Jacinda Ardern wants to lead in emerging technologies but some say that goes against the nation’s character
New Zealand advertised for a chief technology officer but none of the 60 candidates had enough international clout. Photograph: Johan Lolos/REX/Shutterstock

At the end of 2017, an unusual job advertisement appeared in New Zealand. Responsibilities included planning for future workforce needs, responding to “emerging and disruptive technologies” and improving digital access. The salary was $400,000.

The advert wasn’t placed by a Silicon Valley tech giant, but the government seeking the nation’s first ever “chief technology officer”.

Tellingly, 60 people applied for the job, but none had the “international mana” – or power – the government was looking for. The advert was reissued and tweaked to make it more appealing to overseas candidates.

The lack of international interest in New Zealand

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