The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Artificial Intelligence (AI) workshop to start national conversation

4 November 2019

A new project, ‘Re-imagining Regulation in the Age of AI’, co-sponsored by the New Zealand Government and the World Economic Forum (WEF), will consider approaches to regulate artificial intelligence and bring a New Zealand perspective to a global discussion.

This initiative is closely tied to the cross-government work of the Government Chief Digital Officer (GCDO) in ensuring all New Zealanders can thrive in a digital age.

“We are excited to be co-sponsoring this project with the World Economic Forum and working with international partners to develop a truly collaborative and global approach. The Te Ao Mâori worldview gives New Zealand a unique perspective to approaching some of the problems in the AI space,” says GCDO Paul James.

“AI can offer huge benefits, but it also brings fresh challenges. It needs to be implemented in a way that is transparent and with appropriate safe-guards in place to ensure public confidence. The Government has a role, alongside a number of other agencies, in protecting New Zealanders’ digital rights and their well-being is critical,” says Paul James.

On 30 October over 50 guests including AI experts, business, civil society, Mâoridom and academia attended a workshop in Wellington to start a national conversation and discuss New Zealand’s role in contributing to the global conversation on the AI revolution.

Participants discussed key themes of AI such as incorporating trust and empathy, ensuring transparent use, and ensuring all voices are considered in its design and implementation.

It was a highly successful day, with a large turnout of motivated people who are keen to progress this work.

The project will support the development of a roadmap for policymakers on AI regulation including a set of innovative approaches and tools for responsive rules.

“As we develop new regulatory systems for AI, we must be clear about the obligations, but the rules must also be flexible and innovative. Good regulation will encourage business confidence and consumer safety without stopping innovation,” says Lofred Madzou, WEF Project Lead.


Media Desk
Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs
Mobile: +64 27 535 8639 email: