Log in

Latest News

AmCham shares news updates from member companies - subscribe by RSS, follow our LinkedIn page or become a member to receive notifications. 
  • 08 May 2024 7:43 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    ikeGPS Group Limited (ASX/NZX:IKE) or IKE, today announces that:

    Five new IKE PoleForeman subscription agreements are being put in place with major U.S. Electric Utilities, with an expected Total Contract Value (TCV) of ~NZ$4m, and Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) of NZ$1.3M.

    Since the launch of this next-gen product in late 2023 the Company has added TCV of more than NZ$12m, representing ~NZ$4m of ARR.
    + These new contract wins include the largest parent electric utility group in the U.S. by revenue, who serves power to ~ten million underlying customers, and a Fortune 500 group that serves power to ~seven million underlying customers in the northern U.S.
    + In total, contracts to date will result in ~3,700 engineers using the software on a subscription basis across 47 utility groups (28 existing customers that have been upsold and 19 new customers).

    IKE PoleForeman is IKE’s next-gen subscription software product that enables utility engineers to efficiently design their distribution power and communication networks.

    An expectation that within the next 12-18 months, eight of the ten largest Investor-Owned Utilities in the U.S. will be standardized on IKE PoleForeman for their distribution network design. More broadly, IKE expects that dozens of additional utility & engineering customers will transition to the platform in the short and medium-term given the market acceptance of IKE PoleForeman as an industry standard, and particularly given the market leading capabilities of this new product.
    + These customers represent a highly sticky footprint. This structural analysis & design product is core to the network design process within these businesses, often with hundreds of engineers using the product every day. As such, it is a difficult solution to replace, and long-term retention rates exceed 95%.
    + IKE therefore has an expectation for a significant life-time value multiple beyond the TCV levels currently being closed.

    IKE notes that the total addressable market in North America is large, with more the 3,000 electric utilities and their engineering partners, plus more than 200 tier-1 communications groups and their engineering partners requiring this network design and analysis capability.

    IKE notes that prior contract wins announced have also included:
    + A five year ~NZ$2m agreement with the second largest electric utility in the U.S. The initial purchase order was for the first year of the agreement, for ~NZ$0.4m. This customer serves approximately eight million customers in the southern U.S. region.
    + A ~NZ$3.7m subscription contract with a Fortune 150 Company and one of the ten largest Investor-Owned Utilities in the U.S., upgrading them from IKE’s legacy product. Over the coming five years, this long-term customer commitment means that over 1,000 engineers at this utility will use IKE PoleForeman’s advanced capabilities.

    Beyond the PoleForeman product, IKE offers a suite of products for the collection, analysis, management, and digitization of pole and overhead asset information for electric utilities, communications companies, and their engineering service providers in North America. Today, IKE serves more than 395 customers with subscription products. IKE’s subscription revenue has grown substantially over the past four years and the company expects total subscription revenue growth of more the 50% in the FY25 period to March 2025.


  • 07 May 2024 2:52 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced Rosemary Banks will be New Zealand’s next Ambassador to the United States of America.

    “Our relationship with the United States is crucial for New Zealand in strategic, security and economic terms,” Mr Peters says.

    “New Zealand and the United States have a broad range of shared interests, and we are responding to a challenging strategic environment by finding ways to cooperate ever more closely.

    “It was vital that we appoint as Ambassador to Washington D.C. a diplomat with serious experience, gravitas and nous to help New Zealand navigate the period ahead. We are therefore delighted that Rosemary has agreed to undertake a second term in the role.”

    Ms Banks, currently the Chair of the NZ-US Council, previously served as New Zealand’s Ambassador to Washington from 2018-2022. She succeeds Bede Corry, who is returning to Wellington to be the next Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

    Ms Banks, who has also headed New Zealand diplomatic missions in New York and Paris and served as a Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade, will take up the role in early June.


  • 07 May 2024 2:51 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Six tertiary students have been selected to work on NASA projects in the US through a New Zealand Space Scholarship, Space Minister Judith Collins announced today.

    “This is a fantastic opportunity for these talented students. They will undertake internships at NASA’s Ames Research Center or its Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), where they will gain hands-on experience in their fields of study and access to NASA’s best and most advanced research facilities,” Ms Collins says.

    “While the skills, knowledge and connections they bring home will be invaluable for them personally, this will also help to strengthen and grow our science and space sectors which in turn helps grow our economy.”

    Ms Collins and the students - Narottam Royal and Alexandra McKendry (University of Canterbury), Tait Francis (University of Otago), Axl Rogers (Auckland University of Technology), and Grace Jacobs Corban and Faun Watson (Victoria University of Wellington) - celebrated their selection at an event at Parliament today.

    “The New Zealand Space Scholarship is one of the ways the Government encourages the next generation of talented people to pursue careers in space-related fields, helping to ensure the ongoing success of our space industry.

    “These internships are the latest example of the strong, collaborative partnership we have with NASA and the US, which continues to offer opportunities for space science, technology and cooperation on a global scale,” Ms Collins says.

    “The interns themselves are testament to the emerging talent we have in science, technology, engineering and mathematics in New Zealand.”

    The three-month internships will begin in June, with the students based at either NASA’s Ames Center in Silicon Valley or its JPL in Pasadena.

    More information about the 2024 NZ Space Scholarship recipients and the projects they’ll work on is available on the MBIE website



  • 05 May 2024 11:16 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Cable is part of the Pacific Connect initiative announced last year

    Vocus and Google are extending a US-to-Australia subsea cable to New Zealand.

    Australian telco Vocus this week announced it has signed an agreement with Google to extend the Honomoana cable to include New Zealand.

    Plans to deploy two subsea cables connecting the US, Fiji, French Polynesia, and Australia were announced in October last year as part of the Pacific Connect initiative.

    The Honomoana cable - derived from the Polynesian words for ocean and link - was initially planned to connect the US to Australia and French Polynesia. It will now also connect Auckland, New Zealand, and confirmed the cable will land at Melbourne and Sydney in Australia.

    The cable, expected to be complete in 2026, will provide 30Tbps of capacity between Australia and New Zealand.

    Vocus said this branch of the Pacific Connect system will add a domestic route between Sydney and Melbourne, as well as a route across the Tasman Sea.

    Ellie Sweeney, CEO at Vocus, said: “When combined with our existing cables, our network will span from Southeast Asia to the US via multiple diverse landings in Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific.”

    She added: “Pacific Connect will significantly uplift trans-Tasman data capacity with the new Auckland landing, and brilliantly complements our existing network both in Australia and internationally - allowing Vocus to provide our customers with unprecedented network capacity and redundancy across three continents.”

    The Pacific Connect initiative will deliver a trans-Pacific subsea ring between Australia and the US and an interlink cable between Fiji and French Polynesia. The system also includes pre-positioned branching units to enable connectivity for other Pacific nations in the future.

    The other cable being deployed in the initiative is Tabua - named after a sacred Fijian whale’s tooth - and will connect the US and Australia to Fiji. Tabua and Honomoana will also connect between French Polynesia and Fiji.

    Earlier this year, Intelia announced plans to launch a subsea cable connecting the Southern island of New Zealand to Australia.

    Existing cables landing in New Zealand include Aqualink, Southern Cross Cable, Southern Cross NEXT, Hawaiki, and Tasman Global Access.

    Vocus currently operates the 4,600km (2,900 mile) Australia Singapore Cable (ASC), the North West Cable System, and the Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore cable system.

    Google has invested in dozens of subsea cables - both privately and in consortiums. Earlier this month, the tech giant invested $1 billion in two new fiber cable routes between the US and Japan.

    Vocus currently operates the 4,600km (2,900 mile) Australia Singapore Cable (ASC), the North West Cable System, and the Darwin-Jakarta-Singapore cable system.

    Google has invested in dozens of subsea cables - both privately and in consortiums. Earlier this month, the tech giant invested $1 billion in two new fiber cable routes between the US and Japan.



  • 05 May 2024 11:08 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    A nationwide rollout of Ponsonby-based AF Drinks' alcohol-free drinks is now underway across the US mainland through major distribution deals with retail giants Target and Walmart.

    AF founder Lisa King said the deals will see four of her company's niche product range sold in 700 Target stores across 41 states and 820 Walmart stores in 35 states.

    The company launched in the US market 12 months ago, first establishing its products in Sprouts stores where they're now sold in 400 outlets.

    King said a lot of hard work has gone into ensuring supply and meeting sales targets set by the mega stores.

    "Well it's quite daunting," she told 1News, admitting it's also "incredibly exciting".

    Marketing academic Bodo Lang said having a niche product from Aotearoa New Zealand is a "really unique brand advantage for any local company".

    New Zealand Trade and Enterprise said retailing through such large retail chains is a "huge deal for a company from New Zealand".

    The latest market research has revealed sales of 'no' and 'low' alcohol increased by 5% last year, taking the global market value of the industry to a staggering $22 billion.


  • 02 May 2024 7:24 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Thanks to NASA and SpaceX Crew-8

    We’re so excited to announce, Fix & Fogg has become the very first
New Zealand Food brand to venture into Space thanks to NASA! Right now, your favourite F&F flavours are being consumed by astronauts onboard the International Space Station. 

    It’s a New Zealand first we never could have imagined when we started at Wellington farmers markets 10 years ago. 

    We received a special request from NASA astronauts on SpaceX Crew-8, us to embark on this latest adventure for their journey into space, marking a monumental moment for us, our PB pals and space-nuts nationwide!

    "To be chosen as the first New Zealand food brand to journey into space is an honour beyond words. We love to help people go places, but it’s not every day you get invited to go to space. So we’re thrilled that the NASA crew share our passion for exceptional peanut butter."


    "This is a truly exhilarating moment for Fix & Fogg and for New Zealand"

    - Roman Jewell, Fix & Fogg Founder. 

    Over several months, our team worked closely with NASA nutritionists to create a Fix & Fogg space pouch that can be sent safely, efficiently, and with ease to space. Importantly, it needed to meet the complexities of consuming and storing food in zero-gravity. 

    Glass jars are not permitted in space because they are heavy and can break - so, an easy-squeeze pouch was designed and especially made for NASA. The extra wide 18mm nozzle suits zero-gravity conditions yet still ensures Fix & Fogg extra crunchy pieces get to where they need to go: onto low-crumb space bread. 

    Our F&F x NASA space pouches were created specifically for astronauts, and we’re auctioning a few off for a charity here on earth! Click here to bid on a one-of-a-kind SPACE POUCH 

    To commemorate being in your pantry, and in space, we’re planning on spreading the love with our PB pals across the country, stay tuned for delicious giveaway announcements and exciting out-of-this-world updates on our social media. 

    Last but not least, we’ve created a limited edition Super Crunchy jar to spread the love with our PB pals (aka you!).

    Get ready to launch your taste buds into orbit with our limited-edition space packs, available here 

    Make space in your pantry, and raise your spoons to the moon


    • NASA reaches out and asks Fix & Fogg to create a specially-designed space-approved product that its astronauts can take with them on their mission to space in 2024. 
    • Mission accepted! Over several months, our team worked closely with NASA nutritionists to create a Fix & Fogg space pouch that can be sent safely, efficiently, and with ease to space. Importantly, it needed to meet the complexities of consuming and storing food in zero-gravity. 
    • There was a lot of trial and error that went into making sure we delivered what NASA wanted. Glass jars are not permitted in space because they are heavy and can break - so, an easy-squeeze pouch was designed and especially made for NASA. The extra wide 18mm nozzle suits zero-gravity conditions yet still ensures Fix & Fogg extra crunchy pieces get to where they need to go: onto low-crumb space bread. 
    • NASA’s SpaceX Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket took off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida destined for the International Space Station for a 6-month stay-aboard mission. 
    • Fifty specially designed and created 275g easy-squeeze pouches of NZ’s very own Fix & Fogg nut butters are onboard. This is the first time ever a NZ food producer goes to space!

  • 02 May 2024 7:21 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Retailers can expect shipments of Zespri kiwifruit soon as the first two shipping vessels have left New Zealand. The vessels are expected to arrive at the Port of Philadelphia and the Port of Los Angeles at the end of April. Retailers can track the shipments to start preparing for another successful Zespri™ Kiwifruit season.

    "We are heading into the new season as the #1 selling kiwi brand for the fourth consecutive year," explains Darren LaMothe, Zespri's General Manager, North America. "Our success is based on several factors, but one of our main points of differentiation is that our kiwifruit is grown for taste. Consumers love the taste of our refreshingly sweet SunGold Kiwifruit, which has helped solidify our top brand positioning. Consumers also love the tangy-sweet taste profile of our Green Kiwifruit. We've had great weather and growing conditions and are expecting an exceptional-tasting crop this year."

    According to a recent 3rd party consumer study, consumers were two times more likely to consider buying Zespri Kiwifruit versus other brands after tasting the Zespri Kiwi. Moreover, Zespri's SunGold Kiwifruit had a +40% higher likeness score versus other leading gold brands and Zespri's Green Kiwifruit had a +30% higher overall likeness score versus other leading green brands. To capitalize on the strong consumer taste preference for Zespri Kiwifruit, retailers are encouraged to build large prominent displays so shoppers can easily find their favorite nutritious and delicious fruit. Zespri's SunGold Kiwifruit continues to drive sales with 49% of total category dollar gains. When both varieties of SunGold and Green Kiwis are merchandised together, sales increased 32% compared to another green kiwi brand. Additionally, when SunGold and Green Kiwi organic varieties are also included in a display, there is an automatic halo effect of favorable consumer perception.

    Yellow display

    New for the 2024 season, Zespri updated its iconic yellow merchandising display to include new creative that ties into its successful "Taste the Obsession" consumer campaign. The extensive digital campaign will include social, email, online video, display advertising, Ibotta, sampling and event activations designed to drive consumers to stores. "We are excited to continue our campaign because consumers are resonating with the messaging and are interested to learn about the passion and care that goes into delivering the world's best kiwifruit. It's a delicious and nutritious fruit that aligns with consumers' growing health and wellness needs. To enhance our 'Taste the Obsession' campaign, we will be introducing our Zespri KiwiBrothers™ to America. The dynamic duo of SunGold and Green brand characters will start their journey through social media, connected TV, audio streaming and events," explains Jeanne Wilson, Head of Marketing North America.

  • 28 Apr 2024 1:12 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    New Zealand company Organic Initiative (Oi) is unfolding a remarkable success story in the competitive US feminine hygiene market. In just five months, Oi has risen to second in American organic retail juggernaut Whole Foods Market’s ranking of more than 10 period care products.

    The Kiwi business started selling its organic range in Whole Foods’ 500-plus stores last July and has since made significant strides in the US. It has captured the attention of other American retailers searching for a premium organic brand to sell in an exciting US $3.6 billion market.

    Oi CEO Clare Morgan said Erewhon, dubbed by Vogue as Hollywood's cult-favourite wellness store and shopped by Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, and the Kardashians, preceded Whole Foods and joined their growing list of US retailers in 2019.

    “Oi's journey in the US hasn't been without its challenges. The North Shore Auckland-headquartered business entered the US in 2018, first in Walmart and then in CVS. The onset of COVID-19 kept shoppers away from aisles, and Oi was unsuccessful in its first foray. Then, a strategic reset in February 2022 propelled us towards targeted growth.

    “We emphasised Oi’s alignment with the natural channel and sharpened our focus on our organic and ‘better for you and the planet' values,” said Morgan.

    Unlike most New Zealand businesses that strike gold in the US, 'Brand NZ' didn't factor in their pitch to retailers.

    "Made in NZ isn't what converted our US retailers to stock Oi, as most of our products are sourced globally,” says Morgan.

    "The clincher was that our products have been made from organic cotton and certified to either the GOTS, the Global Organic Textiles Standard, or the OCS Organic Cotton Standard. This means they're made free of toxic chemicals, chlorine bleaches, pesticides and products can be traced back to the cotton farm that grew the cotton flowers that make up their period products."

    A packaging glow-up to improve shelf appeal was rolled out last year, coinciding with the launch in Whole Foods, and Oi developed new, larger pack sizes specifically for Amazon.

    The business strategically partnered with US distributor UNFI, facilitating Oi's distribution in the high-growth natural channel.

    Looking ahead to the end of the year, Morgan says the business is focused on US growth.

    "We attended EXPO West in Los Angeles this month and have been getting in front of more buyers. We'll work with our brokers to build the business through the natural channel for the rest of the year. We'll also continue the momentum with Amazon - achieving 250% growth in the last 12 months - we’re aiming to repeat this growth in the upcoming year.

    "This includes adding new natural channel retailers, expanding the range of SKUs on the shelf and building the velocity or, in other words, the sell-through off the shelf or through e-retailers," says Morgan.

    A snapshot: Organic Initiative US retailers

    1. Whole Foods Markets

    2. Erewhon

    3. Harmon's

    4. Mother’s Market and Kitchen

    5. Giant Food

    6. Good Earth Natural Foods

    7. Wegmans.


    8. Amazon

    9. Thrive Market

    10. Vitacost.


  • 26 Apr 2024 10:23 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    The following joint statement was released by the Governments of the United States and New Zealand on the occasion of the U.S.-New Zealand Space Dialogue. 

    Begin Text 

     Pursuant to the desire of the Government of The United States of America and the Government of New Zealand, the countries held a bilateral Space Dialogue in Washington, D.C. on April 12, 2024, to strengthen bilateral space cooperation. The Space Dialogue demonstrates the robust and growing cooperation between the United States and New Zealand in outer space.  

    The U.S. delegation was led by Rahima Kandahari, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs and the New Zealand delegation was led by Iain Cossar, Head of the New Zealand Space Agency.  Chirag Parikh, Deputy Assistant to the President and Executive Secretary, U.S. National Space Council, delivered opening remarks. Both delegations included whole of government participation.  

    The participants welcomed the holding of this inaugural Dialogue during the 150th anniversary of the space relationship between the two countries, commemorating the work of two visiting American scientific parties and their New Zealand collaborators during the 1874 Transit of Venus. 

    A significant focus of the Dialogue was on the growth of the commercial space sector, to include the changing role of government in commercial space, and a growing range for commercial activities. Both sides expressed their intent to continue cooperation on a range of issues including launch, payloads, and space situational awareness.  

    The delegations recognized the potential for expanded cooperation on policy and regulatory interoperability related to commercial space, including launch and reentry, commercial remote sensing, and spectrum frequency management.  Both sides also discussed opportunities to advance scientific education, research, and space cooperation between the countries.  

    Participants welcomed the open and productive nature of the Dialogue, which included discussion on space cooperation within international multilateral organizations, including supporting the work of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and other UN bodies. Both sides emphasized the importance of promoting peaceful, sustainable behavior in outer space.   

    Participants acknowledged that New Zealand’s geographic advantages has enabled frequent and responsive launch for U.S. industry and government agencies, adding strategic resilience to launch capacity. New Zealand’s location has enabled hosting of ground-based infrastructure to enhance both space situational awareness and communications with space craft.  New Zealand has also provided a base for important scientific programs, including the NASA Scientific Balloon Program’s super pressure balloon flights from Wanaka and, previously, the southern hemisphere flights of the SOFIA airborne observatory.  

    Both sides welcomed the signing of an updated Memorandum of Cooperation between the New Zealand Space Agency and the Federal Aviation Administration during Space Symposium. Participants recognized the success of this regulatory partnership which facilitated robust regulation of the world’s fourth highest equal orbital launch cadence in New Zealand. 

    Participants observed the significant relationship milestones of the entry into force of the bilateral Space Cooperation Framework Agreement as well as the visit to New Zealand in 2023 of the Administrator and Deputy Administrator of NASA which led to New Zealand’s deepening science, technology and educational connections with NASA.  

    They welcomed the announcement of the first round of joint research projects between New Zealand research institutes and NASA centers, focusing on Earth observation. These projects lay the foundation for future collaborations in other research areas, including contributions to the Artemis program. 

    The New Zealand delegation expressed its appreciation for the opportunities unlocked for high achieving students through the internships hosted by NASA and by the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory since 2019. 

    Participants welcomed the launch of MethaneSAT, noting the unique partnership involving the New  Zealand government, a US not-for-profit entity, academic and research institutions, and commercial organizations in both countries. They looked forward to the data from the mission being exploited to enhance understanding of anthropogenic methane emissions and for taking action to mitigate global warming. 

    Preceding the government-to-government discussions, both sides held a commercial roundtable on the margins of 39th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, CO which brought together over a dozen private space companies from each of the two countries and highlighted existing partnerships. The Roundtable was co-chaired by the Hon. Judith Collins, New Zealand Minister for Space, and Richard DalBello, Director of the U.S. Department Commerce’s Office of Space Commerce. The session allowed industry representatives to better understand how the United States and New Zealand promote their respective commercial space sectors and to outline opportunities and challenges for stronger bilateral cooperation. Participants welcomed reciprocal investment into each other’s space sectors. Existing partnerships were examined to help boost ties between the two commercial space sectors.   

    Both countries are determined to continue work in the areas mentioned above and to explore other opportunities for strengthening bilateral cooperation to include facilitating bilateral commercial connections.  


  • 22 Apr 2024 7:44 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today announced four new diplomatic appointments for New Zealand’s overseas missions.

    “Our diplomats have a vital role in maintaining and protecting New Zealand’s interests around the world,” Mr Peters says.

    “I am pleased to announce the appointment of these senior diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.”

    The appointments are:

    • Catherine Graham as High Commissioner to the Cook Islands.

    • Catherine McIntosh as Ambassador to the Philippines.

    • Daniela Rigoli as Ambassador to Chile.

    • Katja Ackerley as Consul-General to Los Angeles.

   © American Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand Inc  •  Site by