This sector is involved with the creation, enhancement and storage of information in media that allows for its dissemination. It also includes the transmission of information products, providing transmission services and operating the infrastructure to enable the transmission and storage of information and information products.

Information Communication Technology (ICT) industries largely relate to Manufacturing and Professional Services sector activities.

Christchurch Quick Facts

  • Contributes approximately $447 million to Christchurch GDP (Infometrics’ Estimate year ended June 2014, $2010)
  • Accounts for around three percent of GDP in Christchurch
  • Around 285 business units are based in Christchurch (2014, Statistics New Zealand)
  • Has around 2,640 employees (2014, Statistics New Zealand)
Information, Media and Telecommunications Sector Employment Breakdown, 2014
Source: Statistics New Zealand
Selected Sub-sectorEmployee Count% of Total
Publishing (except Internet and Music Publishing)78030%
Motion Picture and Sound Recording Activities2409%
Broadcasting (except Internet)2208%
Telecommunications Services94036%
Internet Service Providers, Web Search, Portals and Data1305%
Library and Other Information Services32012%

Sector Trends

Transition from Analogue to Digital Technology

Development in the Information, Media and Telecommunications sector has been undergoing a fundamental and rapid shift from analogue to digital media and supporting higher-speed digital communications infrastructure and technology. As this transformation occurs, telecommunications, IT and broadcasting services are converging, with digital industries delivering voice, video and
high-speed data services that are increasingly integrated.

Growth in Mobile Technology

Mobile broadband is a very high-growth segment of the telecommunications industry. The rapid adoption of smartphones and introduction of increasingly portable devices such as tablet computers, along with the digitisation of media (discussed above), is driving growth in demand for cellular and Wi-Fi traffic. Growth in data demand is doubling roughly every two years.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing allows businesses to access and transmit their data held off-site through the internet. This allows companies to scale up or down their storage capacity as demand changes. It is also a risk management tool for companies holding data off-site. The implication for this sector is a significant increase in demand for electronic storage services.

Sector Initiatives

Ultra-Fast Broadband – Fibre Network

The Government launched the Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) Initiative in September 2009. A $1.5 billion investment in broadband, the objective is to accelerate the roll-out of an ultra-fast fibre network to the door of 75 percent of New Zealanders over 10 years, concentrating in the first six years on priority users such as businesses, schools and health sectors, plus greenfield developments and certain tranches of residential areas.

Rural Broadband Initiative

The Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) is a five-year project that began in mid-2011. The Government is implementing the project to address the specific broadband infrastructure needs of rural New Zealand. It will bring broadband via mobile technology to 86 percent of rural houses and businesses, providing access to broadband peak speeds of at least 5Mbps.

Canterbury Digital Leaders Forum

Canterbury Development Corporation (CDC) is working with other organisations across Canterbury to create a Digital Leaders Forum (DLF). The purpose is to deliver an industry-led strategy and action plan supporting the acceleration of fast broadband uptake. This is intended to leverage the Government’s current investment in urban fibre broadband and mobile broadband in rural areas.

Sector Workforce Plan

The shortage of skilled workers is a key issue for much of the technology sector driven by the increased demand for skilled tech people in both the tech sector itself and across all other sectors which are realising the benefits of digitisation of their products and services. CDC is working with the sector on a number of initiatives to attract people to consider employment opportunities and develop a career in the sector.

Tech Sector Strategy

The tech sector is the fastest growing sector in New Zealand and Christchurch has historically outperformed the average New Zealand growth. Successful achievement of tech sector growth will support economic growth and wealth for the city. To support this growth a Christchurch Tech Sector Strategy (2015-2025) has been developed – this was led by CDC and involved a range of people from Christchurch, other parts of NZ and offshore. For more information or to get involved click here.