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NZTech Update – Cold showers and AgriTech!

Last week, after three days without power, I had an epiphany.  No, not that having a warm shower is a luxury you should never take for granted (although turns out you shouldn’t).  I realised that in a world becoming increasingly reliant on technology, mother nature might still have the final word!

Whether you blame the growing number of ‘weather events’ on climate change, or not, will depend on your personal philosophy and which news channels you follow.  Regardless, the weather has already cost New Zealand in excess of $100 million in the first few months of this year.

From a tech perspective, this presents New Zealand with a massive opportunity.  This weekend, Rod Oram noted that fixing farming is New Zealand’s climate challenge.  He detailed a conversation with one of the world’s leading earth scientists, Johan Rockström, who was recently in New Zealand.  Johan pointed out that agriculture is the largest single source of greenhouse gases globally.  Agriculture’s tech and economic pathways to sustainability are far less clear than those for energy and transport, for example.  As a result, we need greater levels of innovation within the agriculture sector.  Johan believes New Zealand has a global leading role to play transformation.  On one hand, agriculture emissions are 49.2 percent of our total emissions. Yet, on the other, Johan believes our farmers, scientists and businesses that support them, are among the most innovative in the world.

It is incredibly exciting to see a collaborative and cohesive approach to driving improvements with the upcoming launch of AgriTechNZ.   A large number of international agri-investors and market experts will be visiting New Zealand during Techweek to attend the headline event, 10 Billion Mouths, meet agri-sector leaders and attend the AgriTechNZ launch.

Hopefully this week, the sun will shine, as I have a short week, before a week’s leave in Wanaka and Queenstown with the family and my mountain bike!  Enjoy your week.

Ngā mihi
Graeme Muller

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What’s on


Join Canterbury Tech on 21 May for Business Networking for Techweek’18.  Save the date for the Canterbury Tech Summit on 12 September.

Attend the Back Office Transformation conference 30 April – 1 May in Auckland, including automation, machine learning and AI.  Also, early bird registrations are open for ITx, 11-13 July in Wellington.

Join NZBio on 25 May in Auckland for What is the Next Bioactive Opportunity?  Canterbury Tech joins NZHIT and HiNZ for Global Trends in Health Tech on 23 May.


Sign up as a mentor and inspire girls into tech; 21 May in Wellington, 22 May in Christchurch, 23 May in Auckland, 25 May in Palmerston North, 7 June in Hamilton and 26 June in Dunedin.

As part of the support package for the Digital Technologies curriculum, the National Digital Championship was launched last week.  Its aim is to encourage students from year 1-13.  Tahi Rua Toru Tech is open for registrations at

Event submissions for Techweek’18 have now closed.  Check out these events celebrating women in tech and encouraging the next generation.  Learn about Blockchain at Techweek’18.  Also, experience VR at these events.


Congratulations to NZTech board member Leigh Flounders on his appointment at Dubai’s bank, Emirates NBD.   In other news, read about the New Zealand IoT Alliance and MBIE arable farming pilot.

Ahead of the launch of the AI Forum’s Artificial Intelligence: Shaping a Future New Zealand  Ben Reid says New Zealand needs to prepare for the AI tidal wave.  Register here for AI-DAY 2019 event announcements.

Applications closing this Friday: Payments NZ Fintech Innovation Challenge and the Edmund Hillary Fellowship.  Entries for the 2018 AmCham DHL Express Success and Innovation Awards close 31 May. 

Want to know more?  Sign up for the NZTech weekly update, it’s free and will take less than a minute!

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