Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

NASA’s Antarctica and Space missions explored in Christchurch

Monday, May 14th, 2018

A key member of one of NASA’s premier space programs will share his views on Space, the Antarctic and the technological revolution at an event in Christchurch this month.

Zaheer Ali is the Science and Mission Operations Laboratory Supervisor for SOFIA, a modified Boeing 747 that carries a 38,000 pound, 100-inch diameter infrared telescope in her tail section.

His job includes testing, preparing and maintaining the high-tech arsenal of instruments that allow SOFIA to navigate the night skies at around 1,000 kilometers per hour, capturing images of planets, asteroids and outer space.

While most of his work is conducted on Earth, Ali has witnessed his share of outer space, met Neil Armstrong and got up close and personal with Mars while onboard SOFIA.

“I’m personally very interested in Mars exploration and the exploration of other worlds, so being onboard with the GREAT instrument as they measured Martian Atomic Oxygen was amazing,” Ali says.

“When I’ve flown, I’ve also had the privilege to view both the Aurora Borealis and Australis,” he says.

As the world’s largest flying observatory, SOFIA carries out regular space explorations from Christchurch and will be returning to its temporary home at Christchurch airport later this year.


You can read the rest of this article by visiting the ChristchurchNZ Website link here: LINK

WaiWatch, winner of MoA’s Future City Activator Event shows Awesome potential

Monday, April 2nd, 2018

WaiWatch, the winner of 8 teams competing at the Future City Activator Event recently hosted at EPIC by the Ministry of awesome (backed by Christchurch City Council and Canterbury Tech) are aiming to identify “Water Abusers” in an effort to combat the wastage of water through an innovative water monitoring system using readily available technology.

Read the full article on Stuff by Jack Fletcher here:

Virtual Reality User Design for NZ Customs Service

Monday, April 2nd, 2018

EPIC’s VR/AR Studio Corvecto partners with Assurity to help the New Zealand Customs Service redesign their airport layout in Virtual Reality

Burnside High Visits Game Developer CerebralFix at EPIC

Wednesday, March 28th, 2018

I got yet another email from Burnside High’s pesky technology teacher Steven Rodkiss a month or so ago asking us to ‘help the kids’ again the other day. I tell you this guy just does not quit.

The last time we crossed paths was when he got us to put together a ‘Dragons Den’ style panel to grill some of his students over their potential game designs for Gapfiller’s ‘Super Street Arcade’ (that Giant joystick video game thing on Tuam Street.)
While I wasn’t allowed to give every team that presented an idea a straight F, I did my best to discourage them from the brutal field that is game development. Somehow, they managed to remain upbeat and proceeded to complete all their games on time and get them live for the general public to play which was obviously highly annoying.

This time round he wanted to bring in no less than ten thousand children (it seemed like that many) for a tour and then to basically steal our secret sauce on the refined process we have putting a hit game together from scratch.

I threw together a complex presentation full of some lit memes and I got our toughest presenter to roll it out – none other than Studio Head Nadia Thorne who has been known to have a go at Prime Ministers.  

These kids were not phased what so ever, so I assembled another intimidating panel made up of some aggressive developers/artists and some fierce project management to lay down the hard truths about Game Development –

  • Having to get into the office at the crack of 9.30am
  • Getting sick from too much virtual reality testing
  • Waiting in line at the coffee machine for several minutes at a time
  • Getting burned out from ‘researching’ too many video games  
  • The struggle trying to pick which t-shirt to wear to work each morning

I do really have to say these kids are remarkable. From a show of hands there was around 60% of around 100 kids that are already using the game engine Unity – something we only picked up on a wide scale a couple of years ago. Nearly all of them had made their own games, something that took us around a year and a half when we first started.
They asked interesting questions, they were intelligent, funny, confident and most of them were even taller than me.
As I sat and watched my colleagues try and bestow on them their ultimate game development wisdom, I could only think that it would be just a matter of years before we were taking advice from them. This wasn’t a panel of game developers lecturing potential devs, this was a congregation of game crafters alike.

I look forward to them taking my job from me very shortly.


Author, Donny Harris – CerebralFix

Some awesome changes happening at EPIC

Monday, January 22nd, 2018

We are updating our events space to host even more exciting gatherings for you in future, while that’s in motion however we aren’t hosting any events until the renovations are complete (aiming for mid-February, confirmation will be provided!).

In the meantime, here is an image of the event lounge taking shape.

Call for NZ Govt to establish Institute for Small Business

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

Businessman and social entrepreneur Tenby Powell, who chaired the government appointed Small Business Development Group for five years, is leading a call for the new Government to establish an Institute for Small Business.

The idea for a step up from government in support of small business is resonating in New Zealand and farther afield, says Powell, who also represents New Zealand on the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC).

Social Enterprises in New Zealand: A Legal Handbook, now available

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Social Enterprises in New Zealand: A Legal Handbook, now available


Parry Field Lawyers have just released the book: “Social Enterprises in New Zealand: A Legal Handbook”.


Written by Steven Moe, the book features an introduction by Alex Hannant, the CEO of Ākina, and more information is here or it can be requested as an e-book for free by emailing

The 100 page book covers a range of topics such as:

  • what Social Enterprises actually are;
  • the different forms of legal structure they can take in New Zealand;
  • options for reform of the Social Enterprise sector; and
  • useful information for Social Entrepreneurs.

This handbook is a first of its kind and contains information that is relevant for those involved with Social Enterprises in New Zealand. It is an attempt to speak the language of Social Enterprises, raise awareness of what they are and stimulate discussions.

About Parry Field Lawyers


Parry Field Lawyers is a Christchurch, New Zealand based law firm which started in 1948. It is a full service law firm handling disputes, property and company work. Today it has 40 team members with its main office in Riccarton at 1 Rimu Street but also an office in Hokitika, an office in Rolleston and a presence in Christchurch City as well.  The tag line “To the Heart of What Matters” summarises the vision for the firm which seeks to understand clients’ needs and provide uniquely tailored solutions in a cost effective way. The firm has three teams: Disputes (which represents clients in court and in mediations and arbitrations), Advisory (focusing on business, commercial contracts, sale and purchase of businesses, immigration, rural sector work and also a special emphasis on IT companies and other start-ups), and a Property team (residential conveyancing as well as commercial leasing and subdivisions).

Having acted for charities, not for profits and social enterprises for many years, in early 2017 a website was launched which focuses on their unique questions, at It is the first website of its kind in New Zealand to really focus on this sector and features free resources such as thought leadership pieces in the form of articles about legal structures, governance issues, trustee responsibilities as well as many videos, template documents and a blog.

(charity, not for profit and Social Enterprise focused website)


Comments from advance readers of the book:

This is one of the clearest and succinct summaries of issues around Social Enterprise I have read. It is a great resource for those entering into Social Enterprise and a good reference for those already involved.

Peter Townsend
CEO, Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce


Social Enterprise is becoming increasingly important in New Zealand as we work to solve our complex social and environmental issues. This handbook is an excellent starting point for anyone interested in learning more about social enterprise. I hope it will stimulate discussion and understanding of what is a very exciting opportunity for social and economic development in our country.

Louise Edwards
Chief Executive, Rātā Foundation


Our world has changed. It is now time for New Zealanders to take social enterprise and social impact seriously. This book clarifies the meaning of social enterprise and begins to show organisations how they can have a real positive impact on society. It is an excellent start to enable us all to move collectively to a new way of doing business.

Dr Rachel Wright
Director, Centre for Entrepreneurship
University of Canterbury


A great starter booklet for those wanting to get a basic understanding of social enterprise and the issues and opportunities for making it blossom more fully in New Zealand.

Dr James E. Austin
Eliot I. Snider and Family Professor of Business Administration,
Emeritus Co-Founder Social Enterprise Initiative Harvard Business School


I found Steven Moe’s book both interesting and valuable and believe it will stimulate discussion and further progress in this important area of social and economic development. A strong economy that marries sound business practice with social purpose will mean a more resilient New Zealand.

Dr. John Vargo, Executive Director
Resilient Organisations Ltd


This clearly written handbook is full of practical guidance and thought-provoking insights for social entrepreneurs and their advisers.

Professor Matthew Harding
Chair of the Charity Law Association of Australia and New Zealand


Steven Moe’s book serves to demystify the fast growing social enterprise sector, making it more accessible to both the practitioners and the curious. There is an unnecessary divide between the purely commercial and the charitable, and when they come together some of the most challenging social and environmental issues can be solved and we get a little bit closer to building a more diverse and inclusive society, where everyone has the opportunity to participate on an equal basis.

Check out the New Zealand Hi-Tech awards finalists

Monday, April 17th, 2017

At the end of last month the New Zealand Hi-Tech award finalists were announced at events in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Entries numbers were at a record high; 30% up from last year.

Wayne Norrie, Chair of the Hi-Tech Trust says “This year’s finalists span the full spectrum of the hi-tech sector and the country. It’s great to see so many areas of the country represented. Some amazing new companies have made an appearance in the 2017 Awards and it’s so exciting to see so many entries in the Start-Up and Young Achiever categories – Our industry is truly in great shape.”

The winners will be announced and celebrated at the 2017 Gala Dinner at the ANZ Viaduct Events Centre in Auckland on the 12th May.

To view the full list of finalists, click here.

2017 AmCham-DHL Express Success and Innovation Awards

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

The American Chamber of Commerce has launched the 2017 AmCham – DHL Express Success & Innovation Awards which celebrate business achievements between New Zealand and the United States.

The annual awards provide an opportunity to showcase those companies that have demonstrated imagination, innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as honour and celebrate their achievements.

Entries are now open and the categories include:

  • Importer of the year from the uSA
  • Exporter of the year to the USA – under NZ$1m
  • Exporter of the year to the USA – NZ$1m – NZ$10m
  • Exporter of the year to the USA – over NZ$10m
  • Investor of the year to or from the USA
  • Contribution to tourism
  • Bilateral services award with the USA

If you think your Kiwi company fits into one of these categories, enter now.


Entry information can be found here

EPIC Tech-week showcase: from idea to global innovation

Sunday, April 2nd, 2017

During this year’s tech-week (6 – 14 May 2017), EPIC will be hosting an event showcasing some of the innovative talent that has emerged within the EPIC Innovation Precinct.
Companies from EPIC will share their stories of taking ideas and turning them into viable global products and services.
Organisations sharing their stories include:
• SLI Systems
• CerebralFix
• Digital Confectioners
• Brush Technology
• Redseed
• Skilitics
The event will take place on Tuesday 9 May from 2-4pm in the EPIC building. Click here for more information.

Fintech about to accelerate New Zealand’s economic growth and international connections

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

The setup of the national fintech organisation will accelerate New Zealand’s economic growth, tech leader and software services company director Mitchell Pham says.

 New Zealanders should care about fintech as an exciting new sector because electronic interactions underpin all commerce across the national economy, Pham says.

 With the support from NZTech and the government, FinTechNZ was officially launched last week and received the backing of the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Jacqui Dean.

 Pham, who is director of Augen Software Group and chair of NZTech, says e-commerce as a subset of fintech, is the future of small to medium enterprises, enabling Kiwi businesses to export globally with ease and speed.

 “Next month, two of the fastest growing fintech communities in the world, United Kingdom and Australia, will visit New Zealand and connect with FinTechNZ members,” Pham says.

 “This will help expand connections for our fintech community to grow, which in turn will contribute to New Zealand’s economic growth.

 “Knowing what’s going on around the world enables Kiwi businesses to focus on the biggest and most strategic global opportunities when we innovate with fintech. Knowing how financial innovation and technology development in other countries grew globally will give ours the knowledge to do the same. All of this helps grow the economy which is great for New Zealanders.

 “Through the Kiwi Connection Tech Hub in South East Asia, we are also inviting financial and fintech experts from the region to leverage the opportunity to join the UK-Australian visit in Auckland on March 24.

 “This whole visit will raise international awareness of FinTechNZ well before our Kiwi fintech business delegation goes to Singapore and Vietnam in November.

 “We have also been approached by passionate Kiwis who lead fintech innovation overseas, wanting to be involved and help build connections to opportunities for New Zealand in those foreign markets. This is just fantastic.

 FinTechNZ is leading the initiative with support from the New Zealand Technology Industry Association and in collaboration with the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development, Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency, Canterbury Development Corporation, and Canterbury Technology Cluster.

UK’s Department for International Trade has confirmed it will send a trade delegation of eleven of the country’s fintech companies to Australia and New Zealand next month. The eleven companies selected are Aire, Clarus FT, Clearmacro, FundApps, ingage, iwoca, neyber, ObjectTech, Onfido, Sybenetix and Tradle.

Over the past 15 years, the financial services industry has seen many fresh innovations, new products and services, new technologies and capabilities, new types of customers, entirely new markets as well as business and revenue models, sometimes at the expense of existing ones.

“New Zealand has a diverse financial services industry and a thriving ecosystem for innovation.  Our biggest and smartest financial businesses have joined forces to become key contributors in shaping and driving the fintech revolution.

“Fintech will totally transform New Zealand through its impact on the financial services industry which carries the economy. We want to bring Kiwi fintech innovators together to strengthen the whole sector which will in turn accelerate growth of our national economy,” Pham says.

For further information contact FinTechNZ lead Mitchell Pham on 021 623334 or Make Lemonade editor-in-chief Kip Brook on 0275 030188.

Author:Kip Brook

Source: Make Lemonade