For 8 years now NZRise has sounded like a stuck record asking the Government to provide more transparency in relation to procurement – transparency of expenditure, transparency of closed panels, transparency of contracts awarded. You can read our wishlist here

MBIE have been actively investing in improving the information published via their government open tender platform GETS and in the most recent changes have enabled the ability for agencies to provide open data on contract value and contracts awarded. 

We applaud MBIE for their work in this space.

GETS however only represents a fraction of the work NZ Government agencies are purchasing. Some purchases are made via All of Government closed panels, some are awarded via individual agency closed panels, some via no process or as a variation to an existing procurement agreement – there are many workarounds utilised by creative buyers across government too. 

“It is widely accepted that the New Zealand Government expenditure on Digital Technology or ICT is approximately $3B per annum. The tenders awarded to our sector via GETS (the subject of this blog post) held a value of $37M in 2019 demonstrating GETS is just a fraction of the contracts awarded.” 

Victoria MacLennan

NZRise Co-Chair

The ability for agencies to update their award data in GETS and the subsequent release of information by MBIE (which can be found here) is a great step in the right direction but we are still a long way away from true transparency of how taxpayers money is spent and how much is spent with New Zealand owned, Māori owned, Pasifika owned or regionally distributed companies. With this transparent lens we can collectively focus on ensuring distribution of expenditure is supporting jobs in Aotearoa – a critical issue in these COVID times. 

Analysis of data released

Below are our findings in assessing the awards dataset released by MBIE. Looking at the dataset the date range appears to be for the calendar year 2019. 

Our key finding from the dataset is that there are data quality issues making it difficult to analyse, agencies are either not updating award information or completing it in the comments (or other) fields. This would indicate more training is required to increase the accuracy of the information captured on GETS. 

One area of interest to NZRise members is government expenditure with New Zealand owned companies vs multinational companies. The data would indicate by dollar value – roughly a third of contracts awarded in the Digital Technology space were to New Zealand owned companies, a third to Not NZ owned companies, and a third where it is difficult to analyse as multiple parties were named. 

Number of awards Value of awards
NZ owned companies 112 $12,556,232
Not NZ owned companies 99 $11,781,608
Multiple providers (e.g. panel, consortium) 26 $13,100,000
Total 237 $37,437,840


Specifically with regards the Digital Technology Industry contracts awarded we found:

1.  Government agencies do not complete the Awarded/Not Awarded field correctly: a number of “Not awarded” contracts are actually awarded, with information in the Comments field. This information has been included in the analysis.

2.  The number of award notices specific to the Digital Technology sector was 272 contracts. Of these 86 were reported as “not awarded” when the comments data would indicate that they actually were awarded. 51 captured the supplier information or value in the comments vs the designated field. 

3.  We were pleased to find examples of consortia contracted. One contract value of $11 million was awarded to multiple providers (21177826 – Crown Infrastructure Partners Limited – Marae Digital Connectivity). The providers listed are: Limited, PrimoWireless, Spark Digital, WiFiConnect Ltd, Enhanced Solutions Limited, Lightwire Limited, BayCity Communications Limited and Evolution Networks Ltd.



UNSPC codes and descriptions – Digital Technologies

43000000 Information Technology Broadcasting and Telecommunications

43190000 Communications Devices and Accessories

43200000 Components for information technology or broadcasting or telecommunications

43210000 Computer Equipment and Accessories

43220000 Data Voice or Multimedia Network Equipment or Platforms and Accessories

43230000 Software

80000000 Management and Business Professionals and Administrative Services

80100000 Management advisory services

80160000 Business administration services

81110000 Computer services

81160000 Information Technology Service Delivery

To find out more or to join the kōrero, email [email protected]

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