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  • 01 Apr 2020 11:17 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    The world's second-largest retailer has New Zealand clearance from an arm of the state to make its debut in this country with its first giant store.

    The Overseas Investment Office has just announced it has given consent for Costco Wholesale New Zealand to buy land at Massey's Westgate in Auckland where the retailer will open its first store.

    Costco, second only to Walmart globally, needed state consent here because the land it is buying is classified as sensitive. It applied to buy a freehold interest in 2.7ha of land at the corner of Maki St and Gunton Dr at Westgate near the Harvey Norman store.

    It also needed consent because it plans to establish a business in this country where the expenditure involved exceeded $100m - the land purchase and the development of the giant new store with its fuel station, food court, pharmacy, hearing aid sales centre, etc.


    Source: NZ Herald

  • 06 Mar 2020 5:00 PM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    The investment by major United States company Merck and Co in FarmIQ, is an endorsement of the technology that Pāmu has been championing since the inception of the agri-tech company, Pāmu Chief Executive Steven Carden says.

    “This latest investment from a global player in animal health and welfare confirms the vision we had when FarmIQ was started, which was to enable greater productivity by joining up the whole agriculture data ecosystem,” Mr Carden said.

    Pāmu holds a 30% shareholding in FarmIQ and is one of its original shareholders and biggest customers. The company has actively championed changes such as the Health and Safety module widely used by FarmIQ customers.

    “Merck’s investment in FarmIQ through their MSD Animal Health subsidiary company is an acknowledgement that the global ag sector is looking for innovative solutions for the challenges we face, and the fact they have realised the huge potential and uniqueness of the FarmIQ platform, and are prepared to invest in the company, is something all New Zealanders can be proud of.

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  • 03 Mar 2020 4:51 PM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    FarmIQ today announced MSD Animal Health, a division of NYSE listed Merck & Co., Inc. became a minority investor. MSD Animal Health joins FarmIQ’s existing shareholders Farmlands, Silver Fern Farms, Pamu Farms NZ, and Veterinary Enterprises Group who have also invested new capital into FarmIQ.

    FarmIQ Chief Executive Darryn Pegram said,

    “The new capital will be used to fuel FarmIQ’s domestic growth and to invest in its world-leading software. The investment is an exciting development for FarmIQ, and signals MSD Animal Health’s ongoing commitment to New Zealand agriculture and their focus on accelerating traceability in livestock to improve animal health.

    “We believe MSD Animal Health‘s investment confirms the considerable potential of the FarmIQ application and its world leading capability” said Mr Pegram. “We also believe it is a fantastic endorsement of the original FarmIQ Primary Growth Partnership “PGP” partners who foresaw the value of individual animal records for productivity and traceability as well as creating value from provenance. We hope the many supporters of FarmIQ over the years take justifiable pride in this endorsement. By connecting the power of FarmIQ’s open software platform and the range of MSD Animal Health’s products, including the Allflex Livestock Intelligence range of animal health monitoring solutions the companies are well placed to create new value for farmers the world over.”

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  • 02 Mar 2020 4:41 PM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    Boutique Kiwi dairy company Lewis Road Creamery has hit the shelves in United States in a deal worth up to US$5 million (NZ$8m) in its first year.

    The company has been pursuing a slow push into the United Since for the last 18 months, first appearing in California's premium organic grocer chain Erewhon and specialty supermarket Central Markets in Texas. Sales took off, with the Lewis Road brand selling twice twice as fast as it did in New Zealand, founder Peter Cullinane said.

    As a result the company caught the attention of Whole Foods Markets, a large US supermarket chain specialising in natural and organic food. The butter is now in 271 Whole Foods stores across 37 states.

    Cullinane says the deal is proof of concept for an idea that he founded the creamery on: That New Zealand should be exporting finished branded products rather than commodities for the lowest possible price.

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  • 25 Feb 2020 4:48 PM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    In a world first, Air New Zealand and NASA are working together to monitor climate change impacts, with the airline to collect unique environmental data during domestic flights.

    Air New Zealand is set to be the first passenger airline in the world to join a NASA earth science mission, with one of its Q300 aircraft to be fitted with next-generation satellite receivers later this year.

    Using GPS signals reflected from the earth’s surface, the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receiver unit will act as a scientific “black box” during flights, gathering data to better predict severe storms, as well as enabling new climate change research in New Zealand.

    Air New Zealand Chief Operational Integrity and Standards Officer Captain David Morgan says with flight paths across Aotearoa, the Q300 is the perfect aircraft to pilot the mission.

    “Our Q300s cruise around 16,000 feet – much closer to the land and sea than NASA’s satellites. Placing receivers on aircraft will enhance the resolution and quality of information, giving scientists an unprecedented view over our entire network, from Kerikeri to Invercargill.

    “As an airline, we’re already seeing the impact of climate change, with flights impacted by volatile weather and storms. Climate change is our biggest sustainability challenge so it’s incredible we can use our daily operations to enable this world-leading science.”

    Data collected inflight will feed into NASA’s Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS). Dr Gail Skofronick-Jackson, NASA’s CYGNSS Program Scientist in the agency’s Earth Science Division, says with Air New Zealand on board there’s an opportunity to extend the mission and monitor the environmental signs of climate change.

    “CYGNSS uses GPS signals, bounced off the ocean, to measure wind speeds and help scientists better predict cyclones and hurricanes. Over land, the technology can determine soil moisture levels, so it can also monitor climate change indicators such as drought, flooding and coastline erosion.

    “This is a new approach to climate science and exciting terrain. The next-generation receivers Air New Zealand will fly have advanced features, new to CYGNSS, so we’re excited to test their capabilities and explore their potential for future space-borne missions.”

    The project has been made possible through an agreement between NASA and the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). MBIE’s General Manager of Science, Innovation and International Dr Peter Crabtree says the partnership aims to engage New Zealanders in a globally significant science mission.

    “Through this partnership Air New Zealand’s world-class engineers and researchers across New Zealand will have the opportunity to work with NASA on a mission that will advance global understanding of the impacts of climate change.”

    The University of Auckland will establish a Science Payload Operations Centre to receive and process data collected inflight. Project Lead, Professor Delwyn Moller, says the centre will manage what could ultimately be New Zealand’s largest source of environmental data.

    “Local scientists will work with the NASA CYGNSS team to process these unique measurements into environmental data, opening up a range of research opportunities and potential uses, from flood risk-management to agriculture and resource planning. Though this collaboration, Kiwi scientists will be at the forefront of this emerging field.”

    The receivers are being developed by the University of Michigan for NASA’s Earth Science Technology Office. Air New Zealand engineers will fit the first Q300 in late 2020 and if the approach is successful, the airline will explore introducing the technology more widely across the Q300 fleet.

    Air New Zealand has 23 of the 50-seat Q300 turboprop aircraft in its fleet. The Q300 fleet operates to 19 domestic ports, with each aircraft flying around 50 services a week.

  • 21 Feb 2020 3:28 PM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    Charging ahead: Kiwi startup Invisible Urban takes $35m in US orders for its EV charging-as-a-service

    While car companies and other organisations build networks of charging stations to accelerate the move to electric vehicles, a Kiwi company has won backing for its alternative approach.

    Reported in New Zealand Herald Newspaper

  • 18 Feb 2020 3:26 PM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    NYC & Company, New York City’s official destination marketing organisation, and Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED) today signed a first-ever official tourism agreement between the two cities.

    The new two-year partnership will enable ATEED and NYC & Company to promote their respective destinations and focus on attracting visitation through an economical and collaborative exchange and includes reciprocal marketing and promotion over two years.

    The new tourism partnership between New York City and Auckland comes as Air New Zealand prepares to launch a new non-stop service between Auckland and New York City, beginning in October 2020.

    The agreement was formalised this afternoon at an industry ceremony at Ōrākei Marae in Auckland, New Zealand, with Associate Minister Hon. Peeni Henare, Auckland’s Mayor Phil Goff, ATEED Chief Executive Nick Hill, NYC & Company President and CEO Fred Dixon.

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  • 14 Feb 2020 4:38 PM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    Two significant business developments which will see its wastewater recovery technology being used in the US oil and gas sector and industrial wastewater applications in Europe.

    Aquafortus’ US licensee has entered into a joint venture with Pilot Corporation, a Berkshire Hathaway backed company and the tenth largest private company in the US. In addition, Aquafortus has signed a second, Europe-based licensee.

    Daryl Briggs, CEO and founder of Aquafortus Technologies comments,

    “These developments represent significant milestones and reflect both the quality of and environmental potential for Aquafortus technology to improve how wastewater is processed on a global scale.”

    “As a kiwi-start up founded only five years ago, and launched internationally last year, we are incredibly proud of this early stage momentum that has seen us partner with two well-capitalised licensees in the recognised and reputable markets of Europe and the U.S.”

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  • 13 Feb 2020 3:50 PM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    PredictHQ's founders did not predict their giant Series B round would happen, but they're not complaining.

    The Auckland-based software startup has just closed a US$22 million ($34m) raise, led by Sutter Hill Ventures, with participation from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Aspect Ventures, and Rampersand VC.

    PredictHQ, a company that aggregates data sets from myriad events and public holidays to help companies forecast demand for their services, has raised $22 million in a series B round of funding led by Sutter Hill Ventures, with participation from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Aspect Ventures, and Rampersand VC.

    The San Francisco-based startup taps myriad sources for data related to concerts, sports, public holidays, and more and then adds in proprietary and “hard to find” data. It throws all of this into a big melting pot, channels it into an API, and licenses it to companies like Uber, Domino’s, Quantas, and

    So why is this data so useful? Well, it all comes down to predictive insights — knowing how much demand a service is likely to see. During a major music festival or sports event, for example, Uber often employs surge pricing, a mechanism to manage supply (and make more money) when demand is high. But surge pricing often kicks in with little to no warning, as the pricing mechanism simply reacts to a surge in demand. Knowing when to expect a spike in ride requests could help Uber alert drivers to be at a location at a certain time.

    PredictHQ’s secret sauce is the way it combines data. For example, knowing there’s a rock concert on a specific date in San Diego is useful, but adding in the fact that the American Society of Hematology is holding an exposition in the same area on the same day might suggest an even greater demand for rides. Moreover, Uber could tap other independent data sources — including hyper local weather forecasts — to fill in the picture. If a torrential downpour is anticipated as the two major events are about to finish, for example, drivers can be standing by to cash in.

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  • 05 Feb 2020 3:20 PM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    The New Zealand Government and Wisk, an Urban Air Mobility (UAM) company, have announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish a passenger transport trial in Canterbury, New Zealand. Wisk’s self-flying, all-electric air taxi, called Cora, is the aircraft selected for the trials.

    In October 2019, the New Zealand Government announced that it was establishing an industry-wide Airspace Integration Trial to work with leading, innovative domestic and international industry partners to safely test and demonstrate unmanned aircraft. Wisk, based in the United States and New Zealand, was announced as the first industry partner to join this program.

    Wisk CEO, Gary Gysin, said: “We are delighted to now have a signed agreement with the New Zealand Government, which will propel Cora’s entry to the air taxi market. We see this agreement as a sign of confidence in our product and abilities to develop and deliver a safe and reliable air taxi service, starting in New Zealand. As the Minister of Research Science and Innovation Hon. Dr. Megan Woods said in her announcement:

    “This trial is the first of its kind and Wisk’s innovative technology and commitment to New Zealand make them an ideal partner for advancing the future of travel in New Zealand and the world.”

    “Wisk has been working with the Government and people of New Zealand since 2017, said Gary Gysin.

    "We are excited about what this agreement and trial represents in our journey to bring safe everyday flight to everyone. New Zealand values innovation, excellence and technology that is safe for people and the environment. Being selected as the partner for this program is an honor and testament to our hard work and steady progress.”

    Read more
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