Cyber security spending gets $22M boost

  • 05/05/2016
Amy Adams and John Key (Getty)
Amy Adams and John Key (Getty)

The Government has announced it will spend $22.2 million over the next four years on improving New Zealand's cyber security.

Of that, $2.2 million will be spent setting up a Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT). The remaining $20 million will be CERT's operational funds.

Prime Minister John Key and Communications Minister Amy Adams revealed the new funding on Thursday morning at the inaugural Cyber Security Summit, ahead of this month's Budget.

"Our national CERT will be a key piece of New Zealand's cyber security architecture," says Ms Adams.

"It will be the central place for businesses and organisations to go to for help and information when they're experiencing cyber-attacks."

CERT, a partnership between the Government, NGOs and the private sector, will be ready to start work in early 2017. It will operate as a separate unit of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

"Just like running water and electricity, connectivity has become a vital piece of infrastructure for business," says Mr Key. "We simply cannot grow and succeed in today's digital age without it.

The Government says cyber crime costs New Zealand $257 million last year, affecting more than 856,000 Kiwis.

Mr Key says the rollout of ultra-fast broadband has seen internet speeds triple in the last decade, and will soon double again as more people make the switch.

"There is no point in building a brand new house to then leave the front door unlocked," he says.


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