Techweek is on a mission to find out how connected New Zealand is

  • : Techweek
  • : 11/03/2020
  • Techweek, New Zealand’s festival of technology and innovation, wants to start a national conversation about how tech is impacting the daily lives of New Zealanders. It is today launching a survey asking people to let them know how many smart devices they have in their homes.

    “The number of devices that can connect to the internet is constantly increasing. It used to just be your home computer – now it is a whole range of devices, including tablets, smart watches, speakers and TVs,” says Techweek Chief Strategy Officer Julie Gill.

    “We think it’s important to consider how this technology is changing New Zealand households and one of the first ways to do that is to find out how many connected devices Kiwis have,” she says.

    The number of connected devices is growing exponentially with the advent of smart homes. That’s when internet-connected devices control, monitor or regulate functions in the house such as room temperature and security alarms.

    Gill recognises that while many New Zealanders have the opportunity to embrace new technology, there are households that are missing out, in what is known as the digital divide.

    “In the latest Census, 1.3 million households stated they had access to the internet. This was out of 1.65 million total households. While it’s fascinating to look at how connectivity is impacting our daily life now, and in the future, we also have to be mindful that not everyone is able to participate,” Gill says.

    “The Techweek2020 tagline is “Connecting our Future” and that includes everyone in Aotearoa – every New Zealander deserves to share in the advantages that connectivity brings. By finding out more about our everyday use of technology we can use that information to contribute to the discussion on how to tackle the digital divide.”

    The results of the survey will be released during Techweek2020, 18 – 24 May. Last year Techweek attracted over 46,000 attendees around the country to hundreds of events that showcase technology and innovation. Events this year include Auckland University of Technology’s Creative Technologies Mid-Year Show, Canterbury Tech hosting a ‘Pathways to Tech’ event in Christchurch, and ‘Whānau Adventures in Tech’, a free event for the whole family in Tauranga. You can learn about these events and more at techweek.co.nz.

    The survey is on the Techweek website here or check out Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and  LinkedIN.

    About Techweek2020 

    Techweek2020 is a national celebration of tech innovation presented by NZTech. During 18-22 May hundreds of events that showcase the use of technology in Aotearoa New Zealand take place across the country. Techweek2020 is supported by the Auckland University of Technology, Callaghan Innovation and EMA, ANZ Bank and Chorus. Learn more at techweek.co.nz.

    NZTech is a not-for-profit membership organisation which is the voice of the New Zealand technology ecosystem.

  • Techweek How Connected Are You Image
  • : Julie Gill
  • : Chief Strategy Officer
  • : julie.gill@techalliance.nz
  • : 0274585671
  • : https://techweek.co.nz

Precision Driven Health announces sponsorship of Hack Aotearoa 2020

  • : Precision Driven Health
  • : 09/01/2020
  • Precision Driven Health (PDH) is excited to return in 2020 as a major partner for Hack Aotearoa.

    Building on the success of the 2019 conference – the first of its kind in New Zealand – Hack Aotearoa 2020 continues to innovate and will include a health datathon in addition to the main Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare conference.

    This globally recognised Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Critical Data event aims to spark cross-disciplinary collaboration and learning of data science to improve healthcare. Hosted by the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Critical Data, the event will see local and international data scientists, academics and healthcare professionals come together to present opportunities for the use of data science and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in health.

    The overarching theme for the 2020 event is ‘Advancing the Quadruple Aim’, while the ethical use of data, and the use of data for Māori health equity, are key event themes. Hack Aotearoa is an exciting opportunity to advance the digital health and data science landscape in Aotearoa.

    During the datathon, healthcare professionals and data scientists will have the chance to work with the MIT eICU Collaborative Care and MIMIC Critical Care datasets. The aim is to harness insights from these datasets and search for better ways to diagnose and treat critical care patients.

    Precision Driven Health returns as a major partner for the second year running. Chief Executive Dr Kevin Ross is looking forward to the event.

    “As New Zealand’s premier health data science collaboration, we are looking forward to another gathering that looks to unlock the value of data for our population. Hack Aotearoa combines local expertise and values with international know-how to bring a unique, hands-on experience over a few days,” says Dr Ross.

    Philips ANZ is another major partner of Hack Aotearoa. As a leading health technology company, Philips ANZ provides connected care solutions powered by advanced analytics in order to improve health outcomes and the delivery of care. At the crux of transitioning towards value-based healthcare, the measurement of system-wide health outcomes and the improvement of patient care delivery is based on a combination of multiple datasets.

    “As the owner of the largest translational ICU dataset in the world composed of 7.5 million ICU episodes, Philips is proud to contribute to events like Hack Aotearoa in order to drive academic and practical insights for New Zealand. We need to look at new, more efficient ways to increase access to care and improve care collaboration. Philips believes Hack Aotearoa is a great setting to start those conversations,” says Joe Cain, Business Manager Population Health, Philips ANZ.

    Hack Aotearoa will take place 17th to 19th January 2020 at the Owen G Glenn Building, University of Auckland.

    About MIT Critical Data
    MIT Critical Data is an affiliation of research labs at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who are engaged in research in and around data that has a critical impact on people’s health.

    About Precision Driven Health
    The Precision Driven Health partnership (PDH), established in 2016, is one of the most ambitious data science research initiatives to be undertaken in New Zealand. The partnership unites the health IT sector with healthcare providers and universities to create health and commercial opportunities for New Zealanders. Research is focused on applying new data science techniques to understand the massive volume of data about an individual captured by health information systems, consumer devices, social networks, genetic testing and other sources. To date, PDH has supported more than 75 projects in health data science, including summer and postgraduate scholarships, a joint PDH-HRC Postdoctoral Fellowship scheme, and multi-million dollar discovery and transformation programmes in several areas, including de-identification and deep learning. PDH researchers are also exploring vital concepts such as bias in machine learning, the ethics of AI use, and consent paradigms for enabling the next wave of health data research. Find out more at www.precisiondrivenhealth.com.

  • : Nicole Gray
  • : Communications Specialist
  • : nicole@precisiondrivenhealth.com
  • : 0212290811
  • : https://precisiondrivenhealth.com/
  • https://twitter.com/HealthPrecision | https://www.linkedin.com/company/15212839/

Regional and Rural Schools take out National Digital Titles

  • : 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.

    ENDS

    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.

  • All
  • : Paul Matthews
  • : Chief Executive
  • : ceo@itp.nz
  • : 021705212
  • : https://itp.nz
  • https://www.facebook.com/123tech.nz/ | https://twitter.com/123tech_nz | https://www.instagram.com/123tech.nz/

Varidesk Looks To Transform The Kiwi Office Working Environment

  • : 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
  • : contact@varidesk.co.nz
  • : 072828994
  • : https://varidesk.co.nz
  • https://www.facebook.com/VarideskNZ/ | https://www.linkedin.com/company/varidesk-nz/?originalSubdomain=nz |

World cup for rural connectivity

  • : 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.”

    ENDS

    —————————————————————————————————————————————

    BACKGROUND NOTES

    ·         – 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
  • : mike@ubb.nz
  • : 0274503504
  • : https://wispa.nz

TPC-Labour Local Government Campaign Launch – Media Advisory

  • : The Peoples Choice-Labour
  • : 27/08/2019
  • What: The launch of The People’s Choice – Labour Christchurch local government campaign.

    Who: More than 30 Christchurch TPC-Labour Community Board, Environment Canterbury and Christchurch City Council candidates will be gathered together to kick-start the most diverse local government campaign in New Zealand’s history.

    When: Saturday, August 31, 1:00pm.

    Where: Oxford Terrace Baptist Church, 288 Oxford Terrace, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch.

    “We believe that  The People’s Choice and Labour 2019 Local Government campaign is the most -diverse and inclusive local body campaign in New Zealand history,” says Keir Leslie, The Peoples Choice Labour chair.

    “Gathered in the heart of Christchurch on the last day of August are candidates that represent many different faiths and ethnic backgrounds but with one common purpose. That purpose is bringing Christchurch together.

    “Our candidates are committed to working together for the good of the people of Christchurch.

    “Our priorities are clean water, tackling climate change and keeping the city’s assets in public ownership.” 

    For more information or to speak with any of our candidates prior or post the TPC campaign launch:

    Kevin List – Media advisor (021) 426 902

    ENDS

  • Selection outcomes as at 19th May-3
  • : Kevin List
  • : Media advisor - TPC campaign
  • : Kevinlist145@gmail.com
  • : 021426902
  • : http://www.peopleschoice.org.nz

Beware the Risk 5G Poses to Rural Internet Users

  • : WISPA.NZ
  • : 02/08/2019
  • Despite the hype surrounding Vodafone’s launch of the next cellphone technology, it risks a serious downside to thousands of rural broadband users, according to the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA.NZ).

    “Vodafone and its competitors are putting huge pressure on Government to reallocate radio spectrum so they can run 5G more cost-effectively,” WISPA Chairman Mike Smith says.

    “However, some of the spectrum the mobile companies are trying to claim is already used commercially by about 30 regional WISPs, who collectively service many tens of thousands of rural customers. These customers are farms who use the Internet for business management, rural kids who use it for study, and rural people who depend on it for social inclusion. Most cant get Internet any other way.

    “If the government responds to the cellphone companies’ land grab, some of those users could face more expensive Internet or even lose their hard-won connectivity altogether.

    “The advantages of 5G are very much in the future. By contrast, WISPs are solving the connectivity issue for rural New Zealand here and now.

    “It makes no sense to slow or reverse the progress made in connecting our major export sector, just so that some online games will work a nanosecond faster or city people can connect their home air conditioning to their car GPS. The benefits of 5G are marginal and futuristic, but basic connectivity for rural families and businesses is here, now, and economically essential.

    “WISPA seeks a clear assurance from Minister Faafoi that no decision will be made to reallocate spectrum until the issues have been thoroughly aired in public.”

    ENDS

    Contact:           Mike Smith                  0274503504  mike@ubb.nz

    Alternative:     Ernie Newman            0223764363 ernie.newman@wispa.nz

  • : Mike Smith
  • : Chairman
  • : mike@ubb.nz
  • : 0274503503
  • : https://wispa.nz

NewzEngine makes public relations support accessible and affordable for all

  • : NewzEngine.com
  • : 03/07/2019
  • NewzEngine.com, an online service that enables companies, organisations and individuals to write and distribute media releases, has been launched today.

     

    The subscriber-based service provides an easy way for NewzEngine’s customers to create regular, cost-effective, and professional communications about their activities, products and services.

     

    Media releases are created through NewzEngine’s platform, then quality-checked by experienced editors, distributed to a network of journalists/editors, and listed by global information aggregators.

     

    NewzEngine is created by Newztec Developments Ltd directors Selwyn Manning and Sarah Putt, who between them have over 40 years media and communications’ experience. Manning’s career includes roles as a journalist, editor, New Zealand Government press secretary, and news media specialist. Putt has worked as a journalist, public relations specialist and technology commentator.

     

    Manning says: “Organisations and companies require a public profile to grow. Their voice is a valuable complement to the national debate. But reliable media relations support is often expensive and beyond the reach of many.”

     

    We have launched NewzEngine to help organisations pitch their news to targeted media, and, through syndication and aggregation, supercharge their message so it can reach an audience wider than they thought possible.”

     

    To ensure their message reaches the desired audience, subscribers can select the geographical location and/or sector where they want their media announcement to be delivered within New Zealand.

     

    NewzEngine’s online service includes a guide to writing media announcements, as well as media release templates. This ensures subscribers can create an effective and professional release. In addition to text-based releases, NewzEngine provides the ability for subscribers to upload photographs and video links to accompany their message.

     

    Putt says: “Effective announcements are short, sharp and compelling. Our guide is designed to help subscribers inform professional media practitioners about their organisation’s new product, service, event or milestone achievement.”

     

    But when required, NewzEngine also provides a writing and media relations service,” Putt says.

     

    Organisations can subscribe to NewzEngine as a monthly or annual service, starting from $70 per month. For more details, visit NewzEngine.com.

  • : Sarah Putt
  • : NewzEngine CEO
  • : sarah@newzengine.com
  • : 0276177235
  • : https://NewzEngine.com