- : 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/
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
- : email@example.com
- : 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
- : firstname.lastname@example.org
- : 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
- : email@example.com
- : 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
- : firstname.lastname@example.org
- : 0274100079
- : https://iotalliance.org.nz/
- @NZIoTAlliance | https://www.linkedin.com/company/nz-iot-alliance/
- : 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.”
Contact: Mike Smith 0274503504 email@example.com
Alternative: Ernie Newman 0223764363 firstname.lastname@example.org
- : Mike Smith
- : Chairman
- : email@example.com
- : 0274503503
- : https://wispa.nz
- : TUANZ
- : 01/08/2019
TUANZ, the association for users of digital technology and connectivity, is inviting anyone interested in hearing about the future of TV and media to the 2019 Digital Convergence Symposium on Tuesday 6 August.
TUANZ CEO, Craig Young says that the theme of this year’s event reflects the fast-changing nature of media and how users access content in 2019.
“The biggest talking point at the moment is how viewers will watch this year’s various world cups including Rugby, and how the continued convergence of communications and broadcasting will play out after October this year,” says Young.
Attendees will hear from several industry leaders including Carolyn Luey, Consumer Director at Vodafone, Michael Boggs, CEO of NZME and Kevin Kenrick, CEO of TVNZ. Representatives from Spark and Sky TV will also present their views during the afternoon.
New in 2019, the TUANZ Digital Convergence Symposium aims to help users make sense of the digital future where there is an increasing convergence of digital technologies. This convergence reached a tipping point in 2018 in relation to the use of broadband to deliver content to users from broadcasters and companies alike.
Those interested in attending can view the full programme and register for the event by going to the Events page on the TUANZ website.
TUANZ is the group helping users make sense of the digital future through sharing experiences and knowledge about current and new technology. It is the voice of its members and all users in a complex digital world. TUANZ is the only truly independent and representative voice for all users, both corporate and individual.
- : Craig Young
- : CEO
- : firstname.lastname@example.org
- : 6421488182
- : https://tuanz.org.nz
- : 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
- : email@example.com
- : 0276177235
- : https://NewzEngine.com