When I first heard a labour staffer had accidentally sent Amy Adams’ office a document on ICT my first thought was “here we go again.”
But then I heard Adams’ weird and defensive interview on Checkpoint. So I took a look at the actual paper and realised just why she was so awkward and nervous on what should have been an easy political hit. The stuff Curran has been looking at is actually really very good. So good it shows National up for the backwards and self-interested lot they are.
There’s stuff in it about a digital bill of rights. Which appears to mean new privacy rights and new protections of Kiwi business’ IT intellectual property.
Then there’s stuff about strengthening the commerce commission and regulating against monopolies. Again it’s just a paper but it shows that Labour is thinking about how they keep the net free and ticking in New Zealand. Contrast that with National’s moves to recreate Chorus as a new monopoly and you can start to see why Adam’s sounded a bit on edge.
And the thoughts on digital education looks like a good idea too. I’ve got a lot of mates in the industry and a lot of what I hear is about what a mess the training in New Zealand is. In fact there’s a massive shortage of skilled IT workers right now. It’s what you get when you leave it to the market.
If you’re looking at Labour values the notes on digital inclusion are a real move in the right direction. Nowadays if you don’t have internet access you pay more for everything, you miss out on a lot of the news, you just don’t get to take part in anything organised by email or on social media. It’s a real social divide, and it’s one that National doesn’t give a flying toss about (kind of like all the other social divides they ignore or actively increase). But it looks like Labour are thinking hard about it.
Don’t get me wrong, this release has been a cock-up and I feel sorry for Curran having to deal with it, but if there’s a silver lining to this it’s that it shows there’s real work being done on a lot of important stuff by a major political party. That’s more than Adam’s could even dream of. It’s a shame Curran didn’t go on Checkpoint. She would have had the Minister for breakfast.