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Kia ora readers,
Last weekend I was asked what I thought the best Techweek event was. It was an impossible question to answer when there were so many amazing things happening. Chatting with the incredibly excited kids and parents from Manurewa High School and Clendon Park School who were involved in designing the Vector Lights display on the harbour bridge on Monday was a buzz. Timing in on a live TechweekTV interview with Anand Reddy from PWC about tech investment, filmed in the middle of AUT’s amazing campus, was pretty cool. Watching a live demo of Alexa, the Amazon AI assistant, using AWS services to organise doctor appointments was mind blowing.
With the launch of the MYOB study about gender bias and diversity issues in the tech sector last week, I am pleased to be able to say that NZTech has been actively working with our members to improve diversity and inclusion. The establishment of a focused Diversity and Inclusion sub-board that is tasked with addressing the challenge is a great step forward. We will be making sure that enabling and promoting inclusion is core to everything we do as an organisation, and ultimately hope to stimulate the same across the tech ecosystem. Using research and evidence to help identify where we are and where we want to be will help measure progress of the many initiatives employed.
Last week Techweek moved the dial on inclusion with 70 events happening around the country that encouraged Māori and Pasifika communities to engage with tech, 92 events specifically for women and a further 85 encouraging kids and families to get involved.
It was also great to see such a diverse group of people and companies at the Hi-Tech Awards at the end of Techweek. Celebrating the success of our best firms while at the same time showing how diverse we can be is critical for encouraging new and interesting people into the growing tech sector. Congratulations to all of the winners!
I am in Amsterdam today about to start a week-long holiday before presenting at a conference here next week. If I see any interesting tech stories as we wander the canal lined streets, I will tell you about them next Tuesday. Enjoy the long the weekend.
Attend Standards and Emerging Technology today in Wellington. Learn more about Standards New Zealand (SNZ) and its role in the digital economy.
Meet the New Zealand Commissioner to Singapore, Hayley Horan and Ecosystm CEO Amit Gupta on 27 May for Myth Busting Pan Asia and the Changing Face of theTech Sector at NZTE Auckland. RSVP to Grace Reynolds.
FinTechNZ’s James Brown says few New Zealand companies have adequate cyber protection. In other news, the IoT Alliance has published a landmark paper highlighting the importance of IoT spectrum allocation for New Zealand.
The Eureka Trust is seeking applications for a new trustee. The Trust’s aim is to grow STEM knowledge and develop the communication skills of young New Zealanders. If you are interested, please contact Debbie Gee.
Entries for the 2019 AmCham-DHL Express Success and Innovation Awards close 31 May. Entries for the New Zealand Spatial Excellence Awards (NZSEA) close 30 June. Save the date for the awards on 17 October in Wellington.
Have you joined the free online platform Scale-Up New Zealand?