- : NZTech
- : 30/01/2020
New Zealand Tech Alliance, a group of over 20 independent technology associations, is calling for submissions from organisations keen to take part in Techweek2020, a nationwide series of events showcasing and celebrating New Zealand tech innovation during the week 18 – 24 May.
Tech Alliance Chief Strategy Officer Julie Gill says Techweek2020 is a fantastic opportunity for everyone involved in New Zealand’s vibrant tech innovation ecosystem to meet, share ideas and find new ways to work together.
“Techweek is when everyone in the tech sector can showcase the amazing innovation that is taking place in Aotearoa,” Gill says.
“Techweek2020 marks the fifth year, with the first iteration of Techweek including 55 events attended by 10,000 people in Auckland. It has now grown to become a nationwide event that attracts over 46,000 attendees around the country. The theme this year is ‘Connecting our future’, which recognises that as we begin a new decade, we need to be thinking long-term about how new technology is impacting our nation.”
There are three distinct pillars of activity during Techweek – community, education and business – and submissions are welcome from organisations with ideas for events that support one or more of these pillars. Events can vary from major conferences to small meetups on niche topics, hackathons, workshops and networking events.
“Whether it is a two-day conference with multiple speakers or a 30-minute pitch session for fledgling start-ups, we’d love to hear from anyone interested in taking part,” Gill says.
Gill says she is delighted that AUT and Callaghan Innovation have once again signed on as strategic partners, and that ANZ Bank and Chorus are Festival Partners for Techweek2020. For ongoing updates and information about Techweek2020, visit www.techweek.co.nz.
- : Julie Gill
- : Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer
- : email@example.com
- : 0274585671
- : https://techweek.co.nz/
- https://www.facebook.com/TechweekNZ/ | https://www.instagram.com/techweeknz/ | https://twitter.com/TechweekNZ
- : IT Professionals NZ
- : 08/12/2019
Smaller regional and rural schools from across New Zealand swept the National Finals for the Tahi Rua Toru Tech in-school challenge this year.
The 2019 National Winners were announced at a gala event at TSB Arena in Wellington, following 10 regional finals held across New Zealand in October. The National Finals were attended by the regional winning teams with students coming from around the country.
As part of the Tahi Rua Toru Tech Challenge, teams of 3-4 students find a problem in their local school or community and use digital technologies to solve it. Teams are paired up with tech industry mentors and given support and resources. Over 6500 students participated in the Challenge this year.
IT Professionals New Zealand CEO Paul Matthews said today that “Regional and Rural New Zealand were the winners this year, with winning teams coming from Hāwea Flat near Wanaka, Morrinsville, Rotorua and New Plymouth”.
At the Discovery level (years 0-5), Hāwea Flat School’s Team Happy Hawea took out the title, completing a set of challenges in the fastest time. It came down to split-seconds in the end and was hotly contested.
Morrinsville Intermediate’s Team Thunderbolts took out the First Challenge (years 6-8), creating an app game to encourage fitness by getting the user to move around Morrinsville to scan QR codes whilst seeing the ‘Herd of Cows’ (sculptures) on display within their town.
John Paul College, Rotorua’s Team ShumbaLeon won the Secondary level (years 9-10), created a website showcasing cultural diversity in their school and a platform for students to share their own stories and culture with other students.
And Sacred Heart Girls College, New Plymouth’s Team Red took out Senior Secondary (years 11-13), creating a medication box that sends bluetooth messages to your phone to remind you to take your medication, and has a motion sensor and lock and software designed to reduce under or overdosing.
The Ministry of Education’s Deputy Secretary for Early Learning and Student Achievement Ellen MacGregor-Reid helped announce the winners and was seriously impressed by the level of innovation. “A huge scale of learning has clearly gone on in the challenge. The majority of the students didn’t know how to write any code at the start – and yet that was such a stand-out feature of the innovations I’ve seen,” MacGregor-Reid said.
As part of the National Finals, the Digital Technologies Teachers Aotearoa (DTTA) and IT Professionals New Zealand recognised an influential teacher who has made a huge difference to digital tech. This year the Ali Chivers Teacher Influence Award went to Julie MacMahon from St Hilda’s Collegiate School in Dunedin.
“I’ve known Julie for several years, working with her on bringing about the changes to the Digital Technologies curriculum. She’s an inspiring and energetic teacher who contributes so much to her students and their profession,” Matthews said. “A very worthy choice.”
The Challenge will enter its third year in 2020 and is part of a suite of resources and tools to help teachers and schools implement changes to Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko in the Curriculum in a safe and supported way.
About Tahi Rua Toru Tech
Partnering with the Ministry of Education, the IT industry is supporting the introduction of the new Digital Technologies & Hangarau Matihiko (DT&HM) curriculum into schools and Kura with the 123Tech Challenge.
In the challenge, small teams of 3-4 students complete a project-based challenge either in-class in schools, or through a local Code Club. Most will complete it as a classroom activity, but the model caters to both. The 123Tech Challenge is for everyone, not just tech geniuses (although they’re welcome too!). Schools are also partnered with an industry mentor, and the Challenge provides all the guidance and support students need to make a real difference.
Tahi Rua Toru Tech is being delivered by a partnership of not-for profit organisations led by IT Professionals NZ and started in its current form in 2018.
The National Finals were held on Thursday 5th December 2019.
To learn more about Tahi Rua Toru Tech visit https://123tech.nz
To learn more about Digital Tech/Hangarau Matihiko, http://education.govt.nz/digitech.
- : Paul Matthews
- : Chief Executive
- : firstname.lastname@example.org
- : 021705212
- : https://itp.nz
- https://www.facebook.com/123tech.nz/ | https://twitter.com/123tech_nz | https://www.instagram.com/123tech.nz/
- : plastic2parliament
- : 28/11/2019
This week the Government announced a long awaited and welcome proposal to increase the landfill levy in order to encourage behaviour change away from dumping to more recovery, recycling and reuse. However, the increased levy will have no effect on the volumes of plastic waste entering the economy, our landfills and the environment, according to plastic2parliament.
“Currently plastics account for around 8% of total waste by weight, but as much as 20% of landfill by volume and that’s an enormous proportion of the waste problem.” said Wade Bishop, initiator of the plastic2parliament letter writing initiative. (Ref. Recycle.co.nz)
“With the landfill levy based on weight there’s no incentive in this to move away from plastic packaging or other avoidable plastics that end up in our landfills and environment.” Wade Bishop said.
Plastic2parliament is encouraging New Zealanders to ask all political parties what their plastic reduction policies are by penning letters to MPs in Parliament, via the Parliamentary free-post address while also stuffing their large envelopes full of non-recyclable plastics to illustrate the plastic waste problem.
“We are asking political parties and Government to focus regulation on the producers of plastic packaging targeted at simply making less of it.” said Bishop.
The global oil industry is currently investing US$180 billion in new plastic production plants to increase production by 40% in the next 10 years. This immense supply-pressure will create a further explosion in plastic volumes here in New Zealand and the increased landfill levy will have zero effect on that. This is an over-production issue that needs urgent regulation where the problem starts: the producers.” he said.
The Plastic2parliament initiative believes that an immediate impact can be made on plastic waste by extending bans across wide categories of avoidable single-use plastics, such as cutlery, dishes, cups, takeaway containers and even bubble and pallet wraps.
The initiative also advocates a Plastic Tax on imported virgin plastics used to manufacture single-use packaging and on imported new plastic packaging.
“While the landfill levy will have a negligible effect on the cost of dumping plastic packaging for New Zealanders, it still gets under your skin having to pay even more to get rid of a toxic waste that you didn’t ask for in the first place.” Wade Bishop said.
Plastic2parliament continues to grow quickly with membership numbers of the Facebook Group reaching more than 1000 people sending more than 720 letters and plastic parcels to MPs since beginning in early October this year, including another 90 to Minister for the Environment, David Parker, this week.
Plastic2parliament is a letter-writing initiative started by Wade Bishop of Christchurch which encourages New Zealanders concerned about single-use plastics to include these products with their letters to M.P.s using the Parliamentary Free-post address. The purpose of the initiative is to creatively emphasise how these non-recyclable products cannot be avoided by consumers and that the actual cause of plastic waste is over-production and use by manufacturers. We seek to have M.P.s advocate for meaningful plastic waste reduction policy within their respective Party focused on packaging producers.
Oil companies are investing US$180 billion right now to increase virgin plastic production by 40% before 2030. This enormous supply pressure has already created an explosion in single-use packaging globally. New Zealand will not be immune to these supply pressures and is poorly placed to deal with the waste volumes that will eventuate. (Ref. theguardian.com; and sciencemag.org)
- plastic2parliament_mailing David Parker
- : Wade Bishop
- : Initiator
- : email@example.com
- : 021432045
- : https://www.facebook.com/groups/plastic2parliament
- Twitter: @plastic2parlia1 | Facebook: @plastic2parliament
- : Joe Davies
- : 03/11/2019
I’m standing to represent the millennial generation and to broaden the debate around mental illness and climate change, Labour Party member Joe Davies said today.
Joe Davies is a 25 year old activist and a member of the Port Hills Labour electorate committee. Mr Davies was formerly the Head Boy at Linwood College through the 2011 earthquakes and at 19 he was elected on to the Hagley Ferrymead Community Board. After completing one term on the Community Board Mr Davies decided to pursue a career in nursing.
“I’m currently coming to the end of my nursing education and its given me a deep insight into the health of our people,” Mr Davies said.
“I have been impressed by the work of the Ardern Government in dealing with chronic underfunding from the Key Government era and giving our health workers greater facilities and resources.”
Davies says that if he is unsuccessful in the race to become the next Labour Port Hills nominee he will enter psychiatric nursing at Hillmorton Hospital.
“Those that end up as inpatients at specialist mental health services are some of the most traumatized and vulnerable people you will ever meet. We have to do everything we can to give them the tools to recover and contribute to society.
“I’m putting myself forward for the vacancy created by Ruth Dyson who has been a wonderful community focussed parliamentarian, because I want to be part of this Government that is reshaping our mental health system.
“I have also been inspired by the youth movement that is winning office across New Zealand.
“You only need to look at the local government election results to see that the voters are wanting to pass on the baton to competent young candidates.”
Davies is also standing to broaden the debate around climate change.
“Voters in the Port Hills are switched on about the environment and the need for action on climate change. I believe that I can best represent their interests both for the Labour nomination and the upcoming 2020 General election,” Mr Davies said.
For more information:
Joe Davies – (027) 552 1295
- : http://davies2020.co.nz
- : Joe Davies
- : Candidate for Labour Port Hills nomination
- : JoeDavies195@gmail.com
- : 0275521295
- : http://davies2020.co.nz
- : Lyfords Pension Transfer
- : 10/10/2019
The on-going Brexit negotiations and subsequent demise of the UK exchange rate have left many British expatriots who have moved to New Zealand wondering what to do about their UK pensions.
Should they wait for a more favourable exchange rate, or bite the bullet and transfer their pensions now – knowing that it could get far worse before it improves?
Alison Renfrew, pension transfer specialist at Lyford Investment Management, has been advising British expatriots for 17 years on their options for transferring their pensions. She recommends that with some exceptions, transferring now is probably the better option.
“Firstly, if you’re worried about the exchange rate, you can keep your funds invested in GBP and convert them into NZD years in the future,” says Renfrew.
“More importantly though; pension transfer values seem to be really high at the moment.
“I advised a client earlier this month that her transfer value had increased by 25% in just six months. She now has another £145,168 ($281,776NZD) to transfer. This is phenomenal”.
Renfrew has not seen such a dramatic positive change in transfer values before.
On the very same day, Renfrew had a conversation with another client about her pension transfer value. She was offered a Cash Equivalent Transfer Value (CETV) of £59,731, or a pension of £900 p.a.
You would have to receive £900 p.a. for 66 years before you broke even – before you saw any investment returns from your retirement savings.
“It is 100% illogical to accept such a lousy deal,” Renfrew says.
When Renfrew compared current CETVs with promised pensions, she found little incentive to choose to have a taxable pension paid from the UK compared to receiving a far higher non-taxable income in New Zealand based on realistic investment projections.
“What Brits really don’t like is knowing that if they die prematurely their spouse will only get half of the income. In some cases, the spouse gets nothing”.
A major benefit of taking control and investing your transfer value to provide you with a retirement income is that you can access your money if you need to. Conversely, there’s no access to your retirement pot if you’ve elected to take a pension.
“Where is your financial security if you can’t access your money in an emergency?” Renfrew asks.
There are a couple of exceptions, of course.
Renfrew cautions Brits and returning Kiwis not to transfer their pension funds if they are uncertain where they’ll live for the five years after they have transferred their pension funds to NZ, due to tax obligations.
Renfrew further cautions that before deciding to transfer you need professional advice to ensure that all your options have been considered.
“Maybe you are one of the few who have a very attractive pension, and converting to cash would be madness.
“You really need to seek independent advice from a New Zealand investment adviser specialising in pension transfers before making the decision to transfer, because individuals simply don’t have access to the same resources advisers do. It’s important to make informed choices.”
Alison and Richard Renfrew of Lyfords have been specialising in UK to New Zealand pension transfers for over 17 years. Visit their website to find out more.
- photo of the london eye
- : Alison Renfrew
- : Certified Financial Adviser
- : firstname.lastname@example.org
- : 0800459367
- : https://uk-pension-transfer.co.nz/
- https://www.facebook.com/Lyfordsukpensiontransfers/ |
- : Sable Boutique
- : 09/10/2019
Sable Boutique, a Wellington-based online hair product store, is today releasing the Iles Formula Collection: a sought-after, salon-quality, three-step hair repair treatment that offers visible results from the very first use.
Sable Boutique owner Anthea Digby-Smith says that she wanted to stock Iles Formula because the results are so impressive across the board – but at the moment it is only available in a handful of salons in New Zealand.
“We think the Iles Formula is one of the most innovative and high-performing hair care products available, so we’re delighted to make it available to all New Zealanders online,” says Digby-Smith.
Iles representative Julie Fausett says that Iles Formula was once a secret ‘on-set formula’ used by celebrity hairdresser, Wendy Iles.
“These formulas will deliver the most sumptuous, lustrous hair you have ever had, from the very first use,” says Fausett.
A sophisticated blend of key raw ingredients, paraben free, cruelty free & sulfate free combined with high technology deliver instant results. The serum is a ‘one product does all’ giving volume for your root area, as well as smoothing the rough cuticles on mid-lengths and ends. No other foundation products are needed prior to blow waving.
Anna Kas (@kas_aesthetics) told her 18.2k followers on Instagram that Iles is:
“The best hair products ever. With amazing white floral boutique scent. My hair looks shiny, beautiful and sooo healthy with ILES FORMULA. Must try and then have it.”
“The formula is truly ground-breaking – it’s unlike anything else on the market,” says Digby-Smith.
The Iles Formula 3-step system is available to purchase now from Sable Boutique here, with options for LayBuy or Afterpay.
About Sable Boutique
Sable Boutique is an online store which is home to a beautiful curation of the highest quality international and local haircare products alike.
For anyone who isn’t sure about what products or accessories will be best for them, founders Anthea Digby-Smith and her team offer advice and assistance with finding the goods to get the results you’re after. They’re boutique and specialised – and right here in New Zealand.
- : Anthea
- : Owner
- : email@example.com
- : 044737422
- : https://sable.co.nz/
- https://www.facebook.com/sablefinehair/ | https://www.instagram.com/sableboutique/ |
South Waikato District Council’s LED Lighting Upgrade Ready to Improve Public Safety and Air Quality
- : NZ IoT Alliance
- : 02/10/2019
A smart LED lighting project for South Waikato District Council (SWDC) will be featured by Auckland business NB SmartCities at the IoT half-day conference on Thursday 3 October in Auckland.
The second annual IoT Conference event, hosted by the New Zealand IoT Alliance, will showcase how Internet of Things (IoT) applications are creating smart cities in New Zealand and improving industrial productivity.
IoT Alliance Executive Council member John McDermott says the project for South Waikato District Council demonstrates how IoT technology provides multiple benefits for councils and the public.
“The South Waikato District installation is a standout example of how IoT solutions can provide long-lasting advantages and create new opportunities,” McDermott says.
“The new system is using less than half the power of the legacy street lamps and is providing better lighting for many more local roads. Also important for the council is that maintenance calls have more than halved, underlining the reliability and lower maintenance costs of the new technology.”
The system, which uses open network standard technology, can also support future applications such as air pollution monitoring, traffic analysis, smart parking, and remote water metering.
“South Waikato District Council has received very positive feedback from our community on this improved street lighting,” says Ted Anderson, SWDC’s Group Manager Assets.
“Tangible benefits include people being able to exercise and participate in other outdoor activities, like walking the dog, much later in the evenings especially during winter; and the safety improvements have been highlighted by many of our residents.”
In addition to the SWDC case study, McDermott says the IoT Half-Day conference event will showcase a variety of IoT solutions focused on Smart City and Industrial use cases. “The conference is featuring applications that help deliver better public services, improve health and safety, and enhance manufacturing performance”.
Spark is the gold sponsor for the IoT Conference and Spark Future of Connectivity Lead Renee Mateparae says the company is thrilled to be sponsoring an event that will bring the tangible benefits of IoT to the forefront so businesses can realise what it could do for them.
“The benefits that new Internet of Things technologies deliver are compelling when implemented correctly. They deliver better services, greater value and improve efficiency. Spark is pleased to support the New Zealand IoT Alliance in connecting the people and businesses that are implementing and deploying IoT applications with the decision makers and leaders that need to understand the impact and value that can be achieved”.
Also speaking at the event is Melissa Lee, National MP for Mount Albert, and National spokesperson for Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media & Ethnic Communities
The event is supported by gold sponsor Spark and silver sponsor LEAP Australia.
The IoT Half Day Conference is taking place at 12 Madden St, Viaduct, Auckland from 8.30am on Thursday 3 October. For more information and tickets, visit the NZ IoT Alliance website.
- : John McDermott
- : Executive Council Member
- : firstname.lastname@example.org
- : 0274100079
- : https://iotalliance.org.nz/nz-2019-iot-half-day-conference/
- @NZIoTAlliance | https://www.linkedin.com/company/nz-iot-alliance/
- : VARIDESK New Zealand
- : 02/10/2019
Varidesk, a popular international brand that has been making inroads into the New Zealand market, is looking to change the traditional Kiwi office working environment with its innovative standing desks.
These desks allow for an easy transition between sitting and standing when working and feature desk converters that can even transform a normal desk into a sit-stand desk.
Varidesk NZ Director Dave Roberts says having a working environment that involves intermittent periods of sitting and standing can dramatically improve employees’ productivity, happiness and overall well-being.
“We are delighted to bring to market an exciting desk alternative, which will improve the work life of employees and home workers alike,” says Roberts.
“Companies are finding it harder than ever to recruit and retain talented employees. Creating an active workspace that thrives off employee energy and happiness is now integral to attracting the talent you need to grow your business.”
Varidesk standing desks are being used by organisations such as Sanitarium, PowerCo, and Victoria University – and for good reason, says Roberts.
“Recent studies have shown using a height-adjustable desk improves mood and boosts energy levels along with health improvements such as reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease,” he says.
Roberts notes that when people first start using a Varidesk they usually notice within a few days that their back and neck pains are either significantly reduced or dissipate completely. Notable improvements also include energy and focus.
“Since using the VariDesk, I’ve had fewer issues with back pain and am finding my posture improving each day incrementally. I’ve also noticed my attention drifting far less and I’m managing to stay focused for longer stretches during the day,” says Dan Grayson, Editor in Chief of Gameplanet.
All Varidesk products are high quality and easy to set up – there’s no flat-pack assembly, and you can be ready to work within minutes.
“It’s now easier than ever to transform your office into a happy, healthy and productive workspace without compromising on quality,” says Roberts.
- varidesk fitout
- : https://vimeo.com/245661801
- : David Roberts
- : Director
- : email@example.com
- : 072828994
- : https://varidesk.co.nz
- https://www.facebook.com/VarideskNZ/ | https://www.linkedin.com/company/varidesk-nz/?originalSubdomain=nz |
- : Wireless Internet Service Providers Association of NZ
Saturday’s Rugby World Cup experience shows that New Zealand deserves a Broadband World Cup for getting broadband to its rural communities.
That’s the view of WISPA.NZ, the industry group supporting 28 Wireless Internet Service Providers who collectively provide broadband to an estimated 70,000 mostly rural customers.
“The great news is that WISPs dealt with the surge in traffic almost faultlessly,” WISPA Chairman Mike Smith said. “The problems were with the international link, and with some customer devices. But the part in between worked to perfection.
“WISPs can claim a lot of credit for bringing rural Kiwis in from the broadband boondocks. Tens of thousands of rural homes and businesses now have broadband at city speeds and city prices, with the number increasing daily.
“That’s something we wouldn’t have dreamed of a decade ago. Rural communities in New Zealand have far better broadband than most other Rugby World Cup countries, notably Australia.
“WISPs are committed to finishing the job, with government support, so every rural home and business can enjoy the benefits for social inclusion, entertainment and business. Connectivity to 100% of the community is within our sights.”
· – Most WISPs, or regional telecommunications companies, are locally owned businesses founded in the early 2000s.
· – Initially they used their own capital, but in recent times 17 of them have received government funding through the Rural Broadband Initiative to expand their networks into remote areas that would otherwise be uneconomic.
· – About half WISP connections use “WISP Wireless” – a series of hilltop towers with radios that bounce the Internet signal from one to another, then down to the homes below. The other half are re-sold services from other telcos.
· – WISP wireless requires line of sight visibility. Hence it requires many more towers than cellular services, but these are much lower cost.
- : Mike Smith
- : Chairman
- : firstname.lastname@example.org
- : 0274503504
- : https://wispa.nz
- : NZ IoT Alliance
- : 23/09/2019
The New Zealand IoT Alliance is showcasing how Internet of Things (IoT) applications can enable smart cities and improve industrial productivity at its second annual showcase event in Auckland next week.
IoT Alliance Executive Council member John McDermott says the event will feature a range of applications that help deliver better public services, improve health and safety, and enhance manufacturing performance.
“New Zealand is in the great position of having world class technology available, and plenty of situations that can benefit. Whether it is factory productivity to generate higher paying jobs, improved safety for the public or innovative products and services, we have organisations here that are leading the way,” he says.
LMAC’s work in the manufacturing sector is an example of how IoT can be used to improve productivity on the factory floor, McDermott says.
“Factory managers are in a continuous race to keep operating costs down and improve efficiency. The fuel for improvement is data – you can’t manage what you don’t measure. Managers know their operations in detail but it can be overwhelming when searching for additional efficiencies. What if that cost advantage is hiding in plain sight?” he says.
“LMAC achieved over 37% improvement for a production line by taking as much data as was available from existing operations and applying new metrics generated by smart technology. It used an artificial intelligence system to mash data and come up with predicted improvements. The new system also allowed experiments to be tested to find extra productivity with new combinations of workflow management and batch production, resulting in quicker job turn-around and better asset utilisation.”
Another innovative use of IoT is KotahiNet’s work with Transpower, who are responsible for moving power from where it is generated to where it is consumed. The challenge is that as more power is consumed the power cables sag lower towards the ground because of temperature rises. KotahiNet is providing a remote sensing solution that monitors the distance of the lowest transmission cable from the ground, to ensure it doesn’t dip below the safe limit.
“By knowing the ambient temperature in real time, Transpower is able to correlate it with transmitted power so as to maximise power flows without impacting safety or asset performance. The KotahiNet solution uses low cost, long range wireless sensors deployed on the cables with real-time data for immediate notification if safe limits are approached,” McDermott says.
Meanwhile, ASG Technologies has been working with industrial partners and government agencies, especially those with significant infrastructure assets to manage. By deploying IoT solutions, ASG has improved asset performance, reduced operational costs, and enhanced staff and public safety.
“In the early stages, these projects have a high degree of uncertainty and can be perceived as too risky, but in a tech-disruptive environment, failing to adapt becomes the biggest threat to an organisation. ASG believe that taking measured risks with trusted partners is a necessary element to technology development and should be the preferred method of managing the disruption landscape,” McDermott says.
These are three examples out of the eight projects that will be featured at the IoT Alliance half-day event on Thursday 3 October, 2019 in Auckland.
You can learn more here [link: https://iotalliance.org.nz/nz-2019-iot-half-day-conference/ ]
- : John McDermott
- : IoT Alliance Executive Council member
- : email@example.com
- : 0274100079
- : https://iotalliance.org.nz/
- @NZIoTAlliance | https://www.linkedin.com/company/nz-iot-alliance/