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NZTech Update – Digital readiness and autonomous vehicles

Hi Readers,

Last week in Taipei, I listened to Alan Marcus, Head of Technology at the World Economic Forum as he provided an update on the Network Readiness Index as an important measure of digital readiness. According to their rankings, in 2016 New Zealand rated 17th in the world, quite good, but well behind digital leaders such as Singapore, USA, UK and Scandinavian countries. Measuring a range of economic, social and technology factors, the index is serving as a good proxy for what is important for a digital nation. I looking forward to the 2017 update due soon as he alluded to some changes and I hope New Zealand is moving the right direction on the list.

While I was away I missed the opportunity to attend the launch of New Zealand’s first autonomous vehicle manufacturer, Ohmio. This appears to have slipped into reality without much fanfare, but I personally believe it is worth another look. How often do you read about a vehicle manufacturer setting up in New Zealand, let alone for self-driving vehicles, as well as being a subsidiary of a globally successful New Zealand tech firm, HMI Technologies?

Meanwhile, if you are struggling to attract women into your tech roles, have you considered your wording in job advertisements? This nifty tool, The Gender Decoder, will decode the gender bias in your advertisement.

This week the NZTech Board is reviewing the NZTech strategy. I’m looking forward to working on what the next few years might look like for NZTech and our role in helping New Zealand become more prosperous underpinned by technology.

Have a great week.

Graeme Muller

Register to attend next month

Watch the Digital Futures debate & vote

New Zealand’s AI Research is underway!


Join the AI Forum of New Zealand at their first Wellington Connect Event on 18 October for a panel discussion on Artificial Intelligence: what should New Zealand be doing about it? Subscribe to the AIFNZ’s monthly newsletter here.

Join the University of Auckland Business School in Wellington on 20 September and listen to Professor Michael Myers discuss the role of the CIO, past, present and future. Michael will be joined by the Reserve Bank’s CIO, Klarissa Plimmer.

Register to attend your local FinTechNZ Connect Event on 26 September in Wellington, 3 October in Christchurch and 24 October in Auckland. The event series focuses on InsurTech. Subscribe to FinTechNZ’s monthly updates here.


The Internet of Things report on the potential for influencing change has inspired tertiary institute, Wintec to launch @IoTWaikato. Anyone interested in collaborating, creating and developing IoT in the Waikato can attend their first meetup on 25 September in Hamilton. Read more here.

Last week, the Return to IT pilot was launched in Wellington. The programme assists women to return to work after taking a career break of between two and five years. Meanwhile, NZTE is currently recruiting for a newly created role, Director – Tech Sector. Applications close 28 September.

Join NZTech Women on Ada Lovelace Day, 10 October in Wellington for their screening of Code: Debugging the Gender Gap. Women and Leadership New Zealand still has limited funding available for grants for leadership development. Expressions of interest close 29 September.


VUW’s Bronwyn Henderson is researching gender stereotyping and management characteristics in the tech sector. Have your say in her 10 minute survey. Meanwhile, Dev Academy co-founder Rohan Wakefield shares his views on skills and talent.

New Zealand’s annual showcase of excellence in Information Security is now accepting entries. iSANZ 2017 entries close 2 October. Save the date for the gala awards dinner on 21 November at Te Papa in Wellington.

What makes exporting a challenge for you? MFAT is also conducting a survey of New Zealand Services Exporters to better understand the challenges and barriers. Please complete the survey by 4 October.

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