Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development
The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today.
“The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of a $1 billion computer gaming industry, which will catalyse new economic growth and sustainable employment opportunities,” Shane Jones said.
“Dunedin is well placed to do this as it builds on the city’s emerging gaming and digital businesses, a thriving start-up mentality, strong Māori partnerships, global links and strong academic partners.
“The digital economy is the fastest growing segment of the global economy. The establishment of the Centre of Digital Excellence (CODE), will be a catalyst for a stronger digital economy within New Zealand.
“We funded a scoping exercise to look into the establishment of CODE earlier this year. I’m pleased to see as part of that work that the centre will focus on ‘Games for Health’. This will link in with the city’s education and digital health technology sector - including the $1.4 billion Dunedin Hospital rebuild.
“The CODE will invest in career pathways to the gaming industry, help develop digital skills, grow digital capability, support innovation through contestable funds, and attract digital businesses to Dunedin.
“Over a ten-year period it’s estimated that CODE will create between 30 and 50 new small video game studios, each employing on average 3.5 employees and 3 to 5 large video game studios, each employing on 45 workers on average,” Shane Jones said.