Reflecting on first year of momentous three-year programme to drive the region’s technology sector and establish Auckland as a global ‘tech city’
Tātaki Auckland Unlimited is celebrating the successful completion of the first year of work for Tech Tāmaki Makaurau, a three-year strategy to grow Auckland’s technology industry, create jobs and attract talent and investment to the region.
Tech Tāmaki Makaurau was launched in 2022 by Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, the region’s economic and cultural agency, in collaboration with industry, government and partners. The strategy identifies significant opportunities for the tech industry to drive economic prosperity for the region’s communities and to establish Auckland as a ‘tech city’ on the world stage.
There are three pillars to the Tech Tāmaki Makaurau strategy: manaakitanga (attracting home-grown and international talent); kaitiakitanga (a sustainable and equitable future) and kōtahitanga (a globally connected, inclusive and collaborative tech city).
Nick Hill, Chief Executive at Tātaki Auckland says: “Tech Tāmaki Makaurau is an exciting and ambitious programme, which aims to have a powerful impact on driving long-term economic growth, innovation, productivity, state of living and wellbeing. This work facilitates growth in the region that will support the wider economy to thrive while building a foundation for future prosperity.”
Head of Tech and Innovation at Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, Marissa Brindley says: “In this first year, we have delivered on an impressive list of actions which deserve to be celebrated. Working with partners and industry has been key to this success and we look forward to what we can accomplish together in the years to come.”
Some of the key achievements Tātaki Auckland Unlimited has been responsible for in the inaugural year of Tech Tāmaki Makaurau include:
- In conjunction with Spark Foundation, commissioned Te Au Hangarau research to understand which factors influence participation and success of Māori in the tech industry.
- Launched Auckland is Calling international talent attraction, achieving 200,000 unique website views in two months.
- Launched the Migrants in Tech community event series with four events held bringing together over 100 attendees at each.
- Established Aerospace Auckland Inc., an independent industry body to advance Auckland’s aerospace sector, with four events held.
- Released the 2022 Auckland Tech Sector Insights report in conjunction with Technology Investment Network.
- Facilitated the NZ CleanTech Mission to Singapore in partnership with Callaghan Innovation and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.
- Enabled five emerging deep tech companies to showcase their technology and innovation to a Prime Ministerial trade delegation from Finland.
- In partnership with University of Auckland, delivered the Digital Manufacturing Light pilot to support SME manufacturing firms with digital transformation.
- Tātaki Auckland Unlimited was awarded Highly Commended Best Practice for Sector and Cluster Development for Tech Tāmaki Makaurau at the annual Economic Development New Zealand (EDNZ) Awards in 2023.
- Tātaki Auckland Unlimited was also a finalist for the Best Practice for Primary Research award for Te Au Hungarau research at the annual Economic Development New Zealand (EDNZ) Awards in 2023.
Nick Hill says Tech Tāmaki Makaurau found its origins in the inaugural Auckland’s Future, Now summit hosted by Tātaki Auckland Unlimited in 2020.
“Tātaki Auckland Unlimited developed and delivered Auckland’s Future, Now as a way to explore how local and central government, the public and private sectors, and industry could mobilise and work together to advance the economic recovery of Tāmaki Makaurau through COVID-19. A key commitment emerging from the summit was a strategy to grow Auckland’s tech industry and it’s fantastic to see that idea brought to life as Tech Tāmaki Makaurau, delivering positive outcomes for the region, its businesses and people,” says Nick Hill.
Recently, Tātaki Auckland Unlimited launched The State of the City 2023 report, an annual global benchmarking project, in partnership with Committee for Auckland and Deloitte.
Marissa Brindley says: “The findings from The State of the City study reinforce several drivers and objectives behind the development of Tech Tāmaki Makaurau. The report highlighted the need for an increase in focus on innovation and fostering wider ways to innovate, as well as the importance of connecting Auckland into international markets, cities and clusters. It also identified having tighter co-ordination between tech employers and education providers will be crucial to grow the domestic talent pipeline. This validation of the Tech Tāmaki Makaurau strategy and actions within an international context is highly informative and encouraging.”
Nick Hill says: “Tātaki Auckland Unlimited has had a significant reduction in funding as part of Auckland Council’s recent annual budget. Through this, we remain committed to delivering key aspects of Tech Tāmaki Makaurau, with a focus on the growth of deep tech industries with strong ties to universities and investment, as outlined in our 2022-2025 Statement of Intent. I feel confident in us building on the momentum gained already.”
Looking ahead, the industry prioritisations for the second year of the Tech Tāmaki Makaurau strategy are:
- Continuing to focus on developing a pipeline of diverse talent for the industry, particularly Māori and Pacific youth.
- Showcasing Auckland domestically and internationally as a place of tech and innovation for the purpose of attracting investment and talent.
- Fostering partnerships with offshore tech hubs, investors and companies.
- Seeking to understand how we can support ethical adoption and leverage of emerging AI technology for the benefit of Auckland’s tech ecosystem.
- Leveraging Auckland’s strengths in engineering and science-based innovation.
- Fostering culture of collaboration and knowledge sharing within our domestic tech ecosystem.
A video capturing highlights from the first year of Tech Tāmaki Makaurau is available online here.