A group of more than 20 people from New Zealand’s IT industry will meet next month to get the ball rolling in turning the sector into a 10 percent contributor to gross domestic product (GDP).

The November 14 meeting will be the inaugural gathering of the HiGrowth Project advisory group, a group established to help reach the goals of the government’s ICT task force. The GDP target is one of those goals; another is the creation of 100 ICT companies valued at NZ$100 milllion (US$ 60 million) each by 2012.

The advisory group includes the New Zealand heads of IBM, Microsoft and Vodafone, and of several local ICT firms. Among the locals are Rollo Gillespie, former head of the New Zealand Software Association (NZSA) and managing director of Data Group, Navman head Peter Maire, Orion Systems chief Ian McRae and the head of Taylormade Media, Ian Taylor. The current NZSA head, Wayne Hudson of law firm Bell Gully, is also part of the group, as is the head of Computerworld publisher IDG Communications, Bob Pinchin.

The HiGrowth Project last week launched a Web site intended to give ICT companies “an online window to their world.”

The HiGrowth Project executive director, Catherine Calarco, says it’s planned to build a searchable database on the site of the country’s nearly 1000 ICT companies and support organizations by the end of the year.