How New Zealand’s route to recovery could be found through digital transformation – 2020 Economic Impact Report

Today, I’m pleased to share Google’s 2020 Economic Impact Report - examining the economy-wide opportunity in digital transformation of New Zealand, and how Google contributes to and directly supports Kiwi businesses and consumers. 

The report examines how technology can play a critical role in New Zealand's post-COVID economic recovery. If fully leveraged, digital technologies could add $46.6 billion to our economy by 2030 - equivalent to 14% of GDP in 2019 - the same as the combined GDP supported by Canterbury and Hawke’s Bay. Supporting technological adoption in key industries, digital upskilling and promoting digital export will all be critical to realising this potential.

Key findings: 

  • Kiwi businesses derive $3 billion in annual benefits from Google tools and services, through increased revenues, millions of connections with customers and greater efficiencies, saving time and money.

  • Consumers receive $3.5 billion in annual benefits by experiencing greater convenience, access to information, and enhanced productivity.

  • Kiwi app developers earn $30.7 million in annual revenue through Google Play, reaching over 1 billion users globally.

  • Search saves users almost 5 days a year (i.e a whole working week!), and drivers save 4.1 hours per year using Google Maps to optimise their driving journeys.

  • Google Maps helps reduce the carbon footprint of New Zealanders, helping to save between 30,400 – 40,300 tonnes of CO2 emissions from vehicles in 2019; Equivalent to the emissions from around 6,600 to 8,700 cars.

  • Over 20% of YouTube users in New Zealand say they use online video services to learn advanced digital skills.

Digital Transformation to Support post-Covid Recovery

If fully leveraged by 2030, digital technologies could create up to $46.6billion in economic value. To put that into perspective, that’s the equivalent of the combined GDP supported by Canterbury and Hawke’s Bay. This digital transformation should be New Zealand’s route to economic recovery post COVID-19 as many key technologies will help mitigate impacts of the pandemic.

For example, Internet-of-Things (IoT)-enabled supply chain management, could transform both agriculture and food, and manufacturing industries. And in a year when health was at the forefront of everyone’s minds, technological advancements could bring healthcare services to our fingertips. New Zealand has not yet seen widespread uptake of mobile telehealth applications in the healthcare sector, or the use of smartphone based government e-services to streamline the delivery of public services.

Three key pillars of action to fully realise the potential of digital technologies include:

  • Supporting technological adoption in key industries

  • Upskilling our current workforce and future talent

  • Promoting digital export opportunities.

Google’s economic impact in Aotearoa

There’s never been a year with so much change as we’ve just seen in 2020 and the impacts of the pandemic and its effects on businesses has been overwhelming. 

But at the same time, it’s been inspiring to watch the way businesses across Aotearoa have managed those challenges to cope. Our Economic Impact Report shows how local businesses have increasingly moved online to continue to provide vital services and succeed in this difficult year. 

Successfully adapting to the challenges of COVID-19 by proactively embracing the opportunities provided by digital adoption, Auckland-based Kitchen Mania utilised Google Ads to boost visibility of its online “GST Free May” campaign and was able to attract double the number of new customers looking to redesign their kitchen over the lockdown period. This kitchen design company is one example of the many New Zealand businesses using Google’s free tools and services-to reach new customers, advertise effectively where they couldn’t before and make use of new digital skills.

All over New Zealand, businesses shared a total of $3 billion in annual benefits through increased revenues, millions of connections with customers and greater efficiencies, saving time and money.

The report shows app developers in New Zealand earn around $30.7 million in annual revenue through the Google Play platform, reaching more than one billion users worldwide.

Helping our users save time and access important information

Google’s products also provide $3.5 billion in annual benefits to consumers through increased productivity, convenience and improved access to information.

On average, New Zealanders using Google Search save almost five days a year thanks to access to instantaneous information, while Kiwi drivers using Google Maps save 4.1 hours on roads each year by optimising trips through our technology. 

We’re humbled by these findings and are proud to be playing a part in New Zealand’s economic recovery. As the country moves toward a thriving post-COVID-19 economy, we’ll continue to support  Kiwi businesses and communities in their efforts to succeed in a digital future.

You can read more about these benefits here.

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