Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Supply



Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Supply

Alternate Title

ICT Supply


Statistics New Zealand


The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Supply Survey measures sales revenue of businesses in ICT related industries. The scope of the survey is published software and IT services. Sales revenue is split by domestic and export sales.

Prior to 2017, the survey had a broader scope measuring sales of ICT goods and services. Since 2017, the survey has been run every two years.


The purpose of the ICT Supply survey is to provide insights on the size and growth of the IT sector, i.e. businesses in New Zealand involved in producing or supplying software and IT services. The survey collects sales revenue for domestic sales and export sales for published software and IT services. Within IT services, we distinguish three categories:

  • IT technical support services

  • IT design, consulting, and development services

  • Hosting and IT infrastructure provisioning services

Main users of the data

Main users of the data from the ICT supply survey are:

  • government agencies such as the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)

  • businesses and organisations in the digital technology sector

  • Stats NZ internally for the purpose of National Accounts statistics. National Accounts uses data from the ICT supply survey to estimate investment (Gross Fixed Capital Formation) in software.

Usage and limitations of the data

Because the sample design is based on the main activity or industry of a business, it is possible that not all ICT software and services are captured. For example, if a business has a small amount of ICT software or services sales, but its main activity is classified as an industry that is not in scope for the ICT supply survey, it will not be included in the population. For more information about the industries included, see Population section below. Due to changes in population in 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2017, data is not directly comparable across all years. See the ‘Significant events impacting this study series’ section for information on the changes.

Double counting can occur due to sale of manufactured goods to wholesalers, and sales from wholesalers to retailers.

Figures may not sum to totals due to rounding.

Recent developments in the ICT space include categorising software sales as a service. Therefore, due to differences in interpretation by respondents, this might be included in the ‘Published software’ results of the survey, but it could alternatively be included in the ‘IT Services’ category.

Due to rounding of values and imputation approaches, individual figures in our outputs may not sum to the stated total(s).

As with all surveys, standard measurement errors may occur. See the ‘Measurement Errors’ section for more information.

Significant events impacting this study series

1993–2004: Information Technology (IT) Survey was run.

2005: Information Technology (IT) Survey was replaced with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Supply Survey.

Between 2005 and 2014, the purpose of the ICT Supply Survey was to:

  • collect statistics from New Zealand businesses that are involved in producing or supplying ICT services or software

  • evaluate the size of the domestic and export markets for ICT services and software

  • show the changing size of ICT industries and the evolving mix and value of services over time

  • measure income from the production and supply of ICT services and published software

  • provide Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFKF) data for producing GDP

  • provide important information for decision-makers and planners in business, government, and industry organisations.

Data was published on total, domestic and export ICT sales, totals of specific ICT goods and services, specific industry performance, and perceived barriers to industry growth.

2005-2008: The ICT Supply survey was run as an annual survey.

2008-2014: The ICT Supply survey was run as a biennial survey.

2010-2012: Enterprises from three more Australia New Zealand Standard Industry Classification 2006 (ANZSIC06) codes were included in the 2012 collection to sufficiently cover the definition of ICT businesses. These codes are:

  • J570000 Internet publishing and broadcasting

  • J562200 Cable and other subscription broadcasting

  • G422200 Computer and computer peripheral retailing.

These have been added to ensure we cover subscription and pay per view broadcasting, any businesses that are likely to grow in the Internet publication and broadcasting space, and companies retailing ICT. There were 145 businesses added to the population from these three ANZSICs in 2012.

After the survey was run in 2014, the decision was made to investigate alternative data sources and combine any findings with work being undertaken as part of the Digital Nation Domain Plan. This work, led by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and supported by Stats NZ, meant to identify ICT information needs, gaps, and prioritise recommendations of future measures.

Due to specific data needs for New Zealand’s national accounts (produced by Stats NZ) the ICT Supply Survey was run again in 2017. It was reduced in size and coverage (to solely address the known user need) to cover sales of software and services only. These had been included prior to 2017, however after 2014, ICT goods (excluding software) along with communication services and other ICT services were not included.

2017: The reduced 2017 ICT Supply survey (also known as the ICT Supply: Services and Software Survey 2017) questionnaire retained only questions related to export and domestic sales software, IT technical support services, IT design, consulting and development services, hosting and IT infrastructure provisioning services. The 2017 survey also had a reduced population. There were 15 ANZSIC06 codes that were dropped from the 2017 population, as their primary activities were not closely related to the sales of software or related services.

A small number of businesses in the ANZSIC06 codes that were removed in 2017 had reported sales of software and related services in the 2014 survey, contributing between 2-4% of the published figures. As these businesses were not included in the 2017 survey, there is an impact on the data changes in this time series. The survey also moved from a census to a sample in 2017.

Users should be mindful of the change in population and its potential impact on results.

2023: Population coverage was improved by using additional data sources select and verify the population, i.e. International Trade in Services and Royalties Survey, and other industry specific reports.





ICT Goods, ICT Services
ICT Supply, Information and communication technology supply, Information technology, Computers, Industry, Technology, ICT

Information and Communication Technology Supply

Information and Communication Technology Supply en-NZ
Information and Communication Technology Supply en-NZ



Background to the ICT Supply: Services and Software Survey

A review of the existing need for ICT data took place in 2013/2014, with a view to ceasing the survey. It was established that MBIE, who along with National Accounts were the major ICT Supply stakeholder, no longer had a need for data collected in the ICT Supply survey. Their ongoing interest was that it provided an additional tool to monitor the sector.

However, National Accounts needed data for GFKF purposes. They require published software, IT support services, design and development services, and hosting and infrastructure provisioning services.

At that time, it was decided that the ICT Supply survey would be run for the last time in 2014, and in future, admin data would be used to model the figures needed by National Accounts.

In 2017, National Accounts attempted to model these figures based on historic and admin data and it was concluded that they did not have confidence in the proposed model. As a result, a reduced version of the ICT Supply survey was run that year and provided the figures required to meet National Accounts’ need.

In 2019, 2021, and 2023 the same survey as 2017 was rerun in order to update figures for National Accounts.

Statistical unit

A statistical unit is the level at which a survey can be designed - and forms the basis of sample selection. The statistical unit used in the ICT Supply Survey is the enterprise, and it is also the level at which we collect the information from (i.e. the selection unit).

Enterprises are selected from the Stats NZ Business Register, which is a comprehensive database of all known individual, private, and public sector businesses and organisations engaged in producing goods and services in New Zealand that meet significance criteria. Its primary purpose is as a statistical register, or frame, for the various business surveys operated by Stats NZ. The Business Register provides a consistent reference to standard classifications, which helps to integrate statistical outputs. The register also provides links to all economic and financial survey data, and the tax system, which means a more effective use of tax data that reduces respondent load.

Each statistical unit is given an industry classification based on its predominant activity. Different divisions of a company may be spread across several industries, depending on how the company is structured. If a business is divided into different divisions, this can mean that the ICT results might not fully capture all of their ICT sales, as they might fall under an out of scope industry.


Units that satisfied criteria based on RME, ANZSIC06, and GST, are extracted from the Stats NZ Business Register.

The criteria used for the ICT Supply Survey is all economically significant enterprises with a Rolling Mean Employment (RME) of 2 or more, or have more than $1 million GST sales, and within selected ANZSIC06 codes.

These ANZSIC codes are:

C241900 Other Professional and Scientific Equipment Manufacturing

F349200 Computer and Computer Peripheral Wholesaling

F349300 Telecommunication Goods Wholesaling

F349400 Other Electrical and Electronic Goods Wholesaling

G426000 Department stores

G422200 Computer and computer peripheral retailing

J542000 Software Publishing

J562200 Cable and other subscription broadcasting

J570000 Internet publishing and broadcasting

J580100 Wired Telecommunications Network Operation

J580900 Other Telecommunications Services

J591000 Internet Service Providers and Web Search Portals

J592100 Data Processing and Web Hosting Services

J592200 Electronic Information Storage Services

M700000 Computer System Design and Related Services

S942200 Electronic (except Domestic Appliance) and Precision

Equipment Repair and Maintenance

For ANZSIC06 codes that contain businesses who may or may not be in scope of the population, only those that include ICT-relevant keywords in their “main activities”, “enterprise names”, and “income sources” are selected for the population. This ensures that we only survey enterprises who are involved in ICT activities. This process is applied to the following ANZSICs:

L663900 Other Goods and Equipment Rental and Hiring (not elsewhere classified) C241200 Medical and Surgical Equipment Manufacturing The words used in the keyword search were:






  • LED




  • PROF










Business Types were also taken into consideration when selecting the ICT Supply Survey population.

The following is a list of all Business Types in the 1996 classification. The enterprises in the ICT Supply population include the following business types: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, and 13. Therefore trusts and charitable trusts are included in our population, however there are very few of them. Trusts and charitable trusts are treated like any other enterprise in the survey – if they have ICT sales, their sales are included. Business types 4, 10, 14, and 20 are excluded from the ICT population.

Business Type - New Zealand Standard Classification 1996
Code Descriptor In Scope for ICT Supply Survey
01 Individual Proprietorship Yes
02 Partnership Yes
03 Registered Limited Liability Company (non-Co-op) Yes
04 Co-operative Companies No
05 Joint Ventures and Consortia Yes
06 Branches of Companies Incorporated Overseas Yes
07 Government Owner Trading Entity Yes
08 Central Government Yes
09 Local Authority Trading Enterprise (LATE) Yes
10 Local Government No
11 Incorporated and Unincorporated Societies and Associations Yes
12 Charitable Trusts Yes
13 Trust / Estates Yes
14 Consulates and Foreign Embassies No
20 Other Business Types No

ANZSICs no longer included in the ICT Supply Survey since 2017:

C242100 Computer and Electronic Office Equipment Manufacturing

C242200 Communication Equipment Manufacturing

C242900 Other Electronic Equipment Manufacturing

C243100 Electric Cable and Wire Manufacturing

F349100 Professional and Scientific Goods Wholesaling

J580200 Other Telecommunications Network Operations

E323200 Electrical Services

F349900 Other Machinery and Equipment Wholesaling

F380000 Commission-Based Wholesaling

G422100 Electrical, Electronic and Gas Appliance Retailing

G424300 Toy and Game Retailing

M696200 Management Advice and Related Consulting Services

N729900 Other Administrative Services

N729400 Call Centre Operation

O771200 Investigation and Security Services

The population size is usually around 3,000 – 4,000 businesses.


A stratified sampling methodology is used to select a sample from the target population of the ICT Supply Survey.

We developed strata based on industries defined by ANZSIC06 (i.e. M700000 vs all other ANZSICs). Substrata were then developed using RME (rolling mean employment) and annual GST from the Statistics NZ Business Register. These are both captured from tax data.

We made some of these substrata full coverage, meaning we selected all enterprises in the substratum for the survey. These units were identified as 'keys' for intensive attention in the data collection phase, since they had significant ICT sales, GST sales, or RME.

ANZSIC06 Size Sampling method
M700000 Large RME or GST Sales – more than $20,893,841 GST or more than 639.65 RME Full coverage
M700000 Medium RME or GST Sales – more than $1,402,497 GST or more than 42.53 RME Full coverage
M700000 Small RME or GST Sales – less than $1,402,497 GST (does not include units with missing GST) and less than 42.53 RME Sample
Any except M700000 Large RME or GST Sales – more than $100 million GST or more than 263.23 RME Full coverage
Any except M700000 Medium RME or GST Sales - more than $5,189,609 GST or more than 26.83 RME Full coverage
Any except M700000 Small RME or GST Sales – less than $5,189,609 GST (does not include units with missing GST) and less than 26.83 RME Sample

The sample size is usually around 2,000 businesses.

Sample maintenance

Sample maintenance is the process that maintains the sample over time, to reflect 'births', 'deaths', and other structural changes identified on the Business Register. Business Register changes can be from a variety of sources, including GST registrations and respondent contact.

We identify new enterprises when they register for GST. Once a year, the new enterprises are selected into the sample using the same criteria as the original sample. These are referred to as births. When an enterprise ceases trading, we remove them from the survey. These are referred to as deaths.

Enterprises can also enter or leave the survey sample if they are reclassified to a different industry. Reclassifications occur when an enterprise changes its main form of activity (e.g. from ‘Corporate Head Office Management Services’ to ‘Computer Systems Design and Related Services’). We usually identify these in the Business Register Update Survey conducted in February of each year.

Sample reselection

We select the sample for the ICT Supply Survey every two years to ensure the sample reflects changes occurring in the ICT population.


The questionnaire for the ICT Supply Survey is a postal form that is sent to respondents around August of the collection year. Electronic pdf versions of the questionnaire are available to respondents on request.

Measurement errors

The ICT Supply Survey results are subject to measurement errors. Customers need to consider these when analysing the results from the survey.

Non-sampling errors

Measurement errors include mistakes by respondents when completing the questionnaire, variation in respondents' interpretation of the questions asked, and errors made during data processing. In addition, the survey applies imputation methodologies to cope with non-respondents and item non-response (see Imputation methodology section below for more detail). These methods are not without error. We adopt procedures to minimise these types of errors, but they may still occur and are not quantifiable.

Given the nature of the data collected, there are limitations on the level of accuracy that can be expected from the ICT Supply Survey. Many respondents do not keep a separate account of their breakdown of specific ICT sales, or their sales may not be able to be split out, e.g. if a support service is offered alongside an annual subscription to a hosting service.

Sampling errors

The estimates in this release are based on a sample of businesses. Somewhat different figures might have been obtained if a complete census of the entire business population had been taken using the same questionnaire and processing methods. Because the estimates are based on a sample of businesses, all estimates have a sampling error associated with them. The variability of a survey estimate, due to the random nature of the sample selection process, is measured by its sampling error.

Sampling errors vary from estimate to estimate, and with population breakdown and population size.

Imputation methodology This section outlines the imputation methodology used in the ICT Supply Survey.

Unit non-response

Unit (or complete) non-response occurs where units in the population do not return the questionnaire, or an invalid questionnaire is received. For larger units who don’t respond we use alternative data sources where possible to estimate their ICT sales. For all other non-responding units, we use a weight adjustment method to rate up the responding firms to compensate for the non-responding firms within the same estimation cell.

Item non-response

Item (or partial) non-response is where units return the questionnaire but fail to provide data for selected aggregates. The item non-response imputation method then uses the mean proportion of all responding linked units (excluding outliers) within imputation cell, and we apply these proportions to the sourced total.


Stats NZ has a legal obligation to protect survey respondents' privacy and industry-sensitive information. Confidentiality rules are applied to all data released – to protect the information supplied by an individual company. Once all confidential financial items are identified, suppression of further items is done to complete the protection of the confidential value.


While all care and diligence has been used in processing, analysing, and extracting data and information in this publication, Statistics NZ gives no warranty it is error-free and will not be liable for any loss or damage suffered by the use directly, or indirectly, of the information in this publication.


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