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  • 30 May 2020 10:48 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Fonterra farmers, factory workers, teams from the US and even some of the crew at Air New Zealand have been doing their bit to help patients in the US who are suffering from COVID-19.

    Hydrolysates, a fast absorbing whey protein used to make high protein beverages that are easy for patients to drink or provide nutrition to those who are intubated, have been in high demand since COVID-19 was detected in the United States.

    One of Fonterra’s customers, a medical nutrition company, is playing a predominant role in the COVID-19 response and came to the Co-operative with an urgent request for more hydrolysates to help provide nutrition to patients.

    “We’ve worked with this customer for more than 20 years now, we’ve got a good relationship with them – they know when they need to pull a rabbit out of the hat and we’re the magicians that can make it happen” says US based Global Account Director Andrew Maude.

    When the team at the site received the order Hautapu and Tirau Site Manager Shane Harris says it was a staggering amount, but a challenge that the team were up for, extending the production season for another month.

    “It was about 15% of what we would normally produce in a whole season and they wanted it yesterday, but in true Hautapu style the team rose to the challenge and got to work.

    Given the criticality of getting the product to the US the logistics teams worked with Air New Zealand to charter a special flight direct to Chicago to get the product to the customer as quickly as possible.

    Source: www.fonterra.com

     

  • 29 May 2020 10:40 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Two American film studios are eyeing south Auckland sites at an $800 million land development project being sold by the richlister Stevenson family.

    Stephen Hughes, chief executive of the 362ha Drury South Crossing development, said the United States-based businesses had shown an interest in the location which he said were suitable for their requirements to build vast new production studios.

    "They'd make movies there. They've been looking at options in the Auckland area," Hughes said, adding the studios had been introduced to the project he runs via real estate agents they had contacted here.

    "My understand is that they need large warehouse-type facilities to build their sets and also potentially there's the benefit in being close to various locations," he said, referring to rural ranges as well as staff, contractors and Auckland Airport. "They need it to be accessible."

    New Zealand offers generous tax breaks for money spent on big Hollywood productions.

    Amazon Studios was making The Lord of The Rings television series in New Zealand before the pandemic when production was interrupted. That US studios was filming in Auckland, arriving after months of discussions with the Government, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development and the New Zealand Film Commission.

    After a post-Lord Of The Rings lull, our film studios had been beset by American streaming platforms and silver screen production companies, mostly making fantasy and sci-fi.

    But the pandemic has had a big effect on production and the Herald has also reported how the once-sunny $3.2 billion screen sector, which provided nearly 30,000 jobs here, was suddenly in the grip of its longest winter.

    Fallout from Covid-19 had suspended big-ticket international productions indefinitely and forced our suddenly-amputated local industry to grapple with filming in an age of social distancing.

    Yet Hughes remains confident about possible land sales to the US studios and other businesses.

    "You could possibly end up with more than one film studio at Drury. These were inquiries made before the Covid-19 environment and the challenge is how we can safely enable them to get here."

    Others to buy sites at the land development were food supply businesses, local engineering manufacturers, importers, logistics and warehouse businesses, Hughes said. But he refused to name one, saying all deals were subject to confidentiality agreements.

    So far, around 35ha of sites have been sold for more than $100m, he said.

    The National Business Review this year estimated the Stevenson family had a $350m fortune from construction and property. It noted the group's most recent large project is the Drury South Crossing, an $800m, 361ha business park development, building on the land, between the Drury quarry and the Southern Motorway.

    Hughes said a two-lane bridge of about 100m had cost $10m to build and was fully funded by Drury South Crossing. That traversed the Hingaia stream.

    The project is near the Drury Quarry, owned and operated by the family-owned Stevenson Group since 1939 but sold recently to Fulton Hogan. Drury South Crossing project does not involve expanding the quarry zone.

    Hughes said about 6000 people could work on the land once it was developed. The first building is due to rise there next year and international investors are being lured.

    "There are relatively few sites left in the Auckland region which can accommodate this scale of operation and it has been encouraging to see that local and international businesses are looking to invest at this level which will be an essential part of the region's economic recovery," Hughes said today.

    Hughes said a clear re-entry pathway into the country was needed for multinational businesses and he sees the pandemic as an opportunity.

    "This is one of the few times in our history where our geographic isolation is a clear competitive advantage and we are going to need more than international students and tourists to restart the economy," he said.

    "As a nation we need to create new infrastructure and manufacturing opportunities to provide New Zealanders with some control and certainty over their future. We have multinational executives queuing at the country's door to develop new operations and jobs here. Unfortunately, there is only so much we can do over email and Zoom calls before they need to physically visit the site of their future investment," he said.

    Read more

    By: Anne Gibson
    Property editor, NZ Herald

  • 29 May 2020 10:34 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Palmerston North's Frogparking was knocked back by the coronavirus lockdowns, like most companies. It claimed $160,000 in wage subsidies during the lull.

    But it's also set to power out of the period, having signed three major deals for its carpark management technology during the layover.

    Collectively, the three multi-year contracts are worth more than $10 million, managing director Shareena Sandbrook says.

    One is for the giant City of Hope Medical Centre near Los Angeles, involving around 6500 parking spaces.

    A second is for the Chadstone Shopping Centre in Melbourne - which claims to be the Southern Hemisphere's largest mall operation with its A$1.2 billion annual turnover and more than 10,000 parking bays catering to up to 70,000 shoppers per day.

    The third is the Central Coast Council in New South Wales, covering a vast swathe of territory north of Sydney.

    How do you land deals during a downturn?

    Shareena, who co-founded Frogparking with her father, entrepreneur Don Sandbrook (a director and major shareholder), says her company did not let any staff go during the level 4 and level 3 lockdowns. In fact, it took on a couple, boosting its tally to 47 as it brought in a couple of salespeople from faltering competitors in the United States.

    And, notably, Frogparking didn't just see white-collar laptop jockeys working from home. Sandbrook says "Lots of workshop staff took tools and equipment home, too." Garages became makeshift product-development labs for new hardware, helping with the push to win new sales.

    Many Aucklanders will have first encountered Frogparking when it installed sensors and lights (green for empty, red for full) above park indoor parking bays at anchor customer Auckland Airport.

    Offshore success followed. On the back of a successful pilot showcasing its technology at UCLA (the University of California, Los Angeles), Frogparking also landed Disney and Irvine (which bills itself as one of the largest mall operators in California) as customers.

    And the technology has evolved along the way. Frogparking's wireless parking-bay sensors now feed information to a cloud dashboard that parking owners can use to nudge pricing up or down, depending on demand, while on the consumer side of things, Frogparking's app can be used to find and pay for a spot.

    Read more

    By: Chris Keall
    Business writer, NZ Herald

  • 27 May 2020 4:49 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Six Barrel Soda Co. is growing its presence in Hong Kong and the United States, hot on the heels of expanding its export markets to include Canada just before the Covid-19 Lockdown.

    The craft soda company’s syrups are in more than 500 retail outlets, bars, and restaurants around New Zealand. While 90% of its NZ hospitality customers were closed during Levels 4 and 3, the focus on takeaway drinks is boosting sales during Level 2. Joe Slater, Founder of Six Barrel Soda, says this local support, combined with a growing presence overseas is helping the company through the Covid-19 response.

    “We shipped a large order to Hong Kong during the Lockdown, have launched our website in the US, and are now stocked on Amazon. We’re also expanding our presence in a range of Harvey Norman stores across Australia.

    “Here in New Zealand, the call to support local has been fantastic for our online store. With everyone at home during Lockdown, lots of people got creative with their drink making (which we are perfect for), and we had our best month online. It was very surprising, but gratefully appreciated, to soften the blow with wholesale accounts being closed,” says Joe Slater.

    The company’s first Auckland Store is also officially open, after a short few days in operation before Lockdown began.

    “We are excited to grow Six Barrel’s presence in our largest market - it’s always been a goal to open a physical store in Auckland to complement our factory in Wellington. We want to offer something unique and create a fun place for people to try our sodas, which includes experimental drinks and flavours – perfect for times like this when we’re all looking for a bit of an escape,” says Joe Slater.

    Partnering with Electric Chicken, Six Barrel’s Auckland store is at 309 K’Rd. It features unique drinks including Smoke Cola Everyday (made with smoked cola) and the Mermade. The Mermade features Butterfly Pea - known for its calming properties the flower is blue but turns purple when mixed with citrus; the soda also comes with a side of fairy floss.

    About Six Barrel Soda

    Created by Joe Slater and Mike Stewart in 2008, Six Barrel Soda is stocked in more than 500 New Zealand retail outlets, bars and restaurants and exports to Australia, the United States, Hong Kong, and Canada.

    Crafting New Zealand’s finest sodas, Six Barrel still makes its syrups by hand at its factory in Luke’s Lane in Wellington, using natural ingredients, fresh fruit, organic fair-trade cane sugar and filtered water. Its creative soda syrup range can be mixed with soda or sparkling water, to make fancy sodas, cocktails and mocktails. Find out more at www.sixbarrelsoda.co/. 

  • 25 May 2020 10:00 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Risk and Automated Breast Density Assessment Helps Triage Patients to Supplemental Screening and Genetic Testing

    Wellington, NZ, May 20, 2020 – Volpara Health Technologies announced today that its subsidiary company, Volpara Solutions, has signed a collaboration agreement with Ambry Genetics®, one of the world’s leading genetic testing companies.

    Ambry Genetics, part of Konica Minolta Precision Medicine, developed the CARE (Comprehensive, Assessment, Risk, and Education) Program™.  Designed to identify high-risk patients through validated risk assessment models and genetic testing, the CARE Program provides clinically actionable results to guide cancer screening, prevention, and effectively communicates this information to patients and their care teams.

    Ambry and Volpara are collaborating to incorporate CARE with Volpara’s cancer screening platform to automate the workflow by creating an online ordering process for genetic testing within the Aspen® Breast practice management software. The goal is to help providers obtain the information they need to confidently make informed decisions about their patients’ screening options.

    The program will include the use of the Volpara®Density™ clinical function to automatically and objectively assess volumetric breast density, a key factor in estimating a woman’s risk for developing breast cancer. Risk assessment is often required by insurance companies to confirm reimbursement for supplemental screening and genetic testing. Patients who qualify for supplemental imaging based on genetic results or risk assessments may benefit from early cancer detection, which is key in increasing the chances of survival and reducing treatment costs.

    Volpara software provides radiologists with the clinical decision-support tools they need to personalize breast screening and provide radiologists, administrators, and technologists with the practice management tools they need to improve mammographic quality and maximize resource utilization.

    “Personalization of breast cancer screening based on risk is being adopted at a fast pace in the US, and Volpara is proud to be playing a major role in that. Our partnership with Ambry will allow us to offer additional value to our customers to ensure the right patients get the right testing at the right time,” said Ralph Highnam, Ph.D., Volpara Solutions CEO.

    “This partnership highlights the value and the need for precision medicine. Our goal is to elevate the standard of care for patients by providing an individualized approach that will allow doctors and researchers to predict more accurately which treatment and prevention strategies will work for patients, and this partnership is leading that charge,” said Tom Schoenherr, Chief Commercial Officer of Ambry Genetics.

    About Ambry Genetics®

    Ambry Genetics, as part of Konica Minolta Precision Medicine, excels at translating scientific research into clinically actionable test results based upon a deep understanding of the human genome and the biology behind the genetic disease. Our unparalleled track record of discoveries over 20 years, and growing database that continues to expand in collaboration with academic, corporate, and pharmaceutical partners, means we are first to market with innovative products and comprehensive analysis that enable clinicians to confidently inform patient health decisions. We care about what happens to real people, their families, and the people they love, and remain dedicated to providing them and their clinicians with deeper knowledge and fresh insights, so together they can make informed, potentially life-altering healthcare decisions. For more information, please visit www.ambrygen.com.

     About Volpara Solutions

    Volpara Solutions is committed to helping save families from cancer. Volpara’s advanced technology platform combines with the healthcare provider’s expertise to provide a high-quality, optimized, and personalized cancer screening experience. From the time a patient enters a clinic to when they obtain key results, our platform collects and analyzes information to better understand a patient’s breast cancer risk, while also objectively evaluating image quality and workflow-improvement opportunities. These capabilities are being extended to lung cancer screening. Volpara’s platform is supported by numerous patents, trademarks, and regulatory clearances, including FDA clearance and CE marking, and validated by a volume of peer-reviewed publications unrivaled in the breast screening industry. For more information, visit http://www.volparasolutions.com.

  • 22 May 2020 1:31 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    A New Zealand swimwear company is experiencing a surge in demand for its bikinis made from recycled fishnets.

    As the United States eases into their summer months, Kalakoa swimwear says the company experienced a 300% increase in online traffic on the website in two days and is now shipping out orders to northern hemisphere customers daily.

    Former lifesaving champion Toni Burke created the company, which aims to produce swimwear that is ethically manufactured and sustainable. She says there is a clear demand for affordable and sustainable swimwear in the Northern Hemisphere, especially in the United States and the United Kingdom.

    The material the company uses is made from carvico vita, derived from fishnets found in the ocean, as well as lepreve lycra made from plastic bottles.

    "I also think they are also a bit more daring with their swimwear choices in terms of pattern and design and in NZ we can be a bit more conservative. That's why I've made the swimwear reversible so there is block colour on one side for those who don't want a swimsuit that makes such a bold or colourful statement," she says.

    Burke was unable to find a manufacturer in New Zealand, so opted for the product to be handmade in Bali.

    "I am constantly trying to make our brand as eco-friendly as possible and will have more ideas on the horizon as we grow," Burke says.

    "I also think they are also a bit more daring with their swimwear choices in terms of pattern and design and in NZ we can be a bit more conservative. That's why I've made the swimwear reversible so there is block colour on one side for those who don't want a swimsuit that makes such a bold or colourful statement," she says.

    Burke was unable to find a manufacturer in New Zealand, so opted for the product to be handmade in Bali.

    "I am constantly trying to make our brand as eco-friendly as possible and will have more ideas on the horizon as we grow," Burke says.

    Source: New Zealand Herald

  • 22 May 2020 10:37 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    If overseas inquiries to industrial engineering company NDA Group are any yardstick, the perception that New Zealand is back in business after Covid-19 is already working in Kiwi manufacturers' favour.

    Australasia's largest stainless steel and specialty alloy fabricator is getting "significant" inquiry from the US for processing equipment for the food and beverage industries, says chief executive Mark Eglinton.

    "This is a result of US food and dairy companies being concerned about the risk around the supply chain in the US and trying to de-risk it.

    "We do see a real advantage for New Zealand manufacturers if New Zealand is seen as coming out of this quite quickly and is seen as being open for business."

    Hamilton-headquartered NDA has six companies in New Zealand, Australia and North America, providing technology, engineering and stainless steel and specialty alloys for use in a range of industries including dairy, food, wine and beverage. Much of its work is in processed water and it supplies engineering and services to the chemical and gas industries, and is also a world leader in heat exchangers for industry.

    The company traces its history back to 1894 in Hawera, Taranaki, as a co-operative for the primary sector, supplying everything from gumboots to tea leaves. By the 1950s it was focusing on manufacturing stainless steel for the dairy industry.

    Today NDA employs 700 staff, including 200 in the US and 60 in Australia.

    Revenue in the 2019 financial year was $200 million.

    The business is 59 per cent owned by Pemba Capital Partners Fund, Sydney. Chairman and former managing director Gary Mollard holds 10 per cent, and management owns 10 per cent. Mollard led a management buyout of NDA in 1998 and Pemba Capital became a new investor in 2007.

    Eglinton, who has been chief executive for 11 years, says the business operated at an average of about 15 per cent of capacity during Covid-19 level 4 lockdown, recovering to about 80 per cent in level 3.

    No staff have been laid off.

    NDA claimed a Covid-19 wage subsidy of around $1.5 million for the impact of level 4 on its engineering and sheetmetal businesses and all salaried staff took a 20 per cent cut in base salary for that period.

    "The wage subsidy has been very effective because it's given companies like us an opportunity to pause, not to make any decisions on the go. We can make very considered decisions once we see what clients are doing," Eglinton says.

    The business has responded to the Covid-19 crisis by shifting more sales and business development resources into overseas markets, encouraged by the offshore inquiry for engineering services and processing equipment.

    Its US operations in Alabama, Oklahoma and Texas have continued to operate as essential services, as has its South Australia operation.

    While buoyed by the overseas interest, Eglinton says the Covid-19 recovery challenge is just beginning.

    New Zealand industries that NDA serves, such as food processing, dairy, wine and beer production are in a healthy economic state but they could delay scheduled projects so timing issues have to be worked through.

    But the bigger challenge is with NDA's overseas projects, he says.

    "We were commissioning a major cheese plant in Ireland and we had to bring the commissioning team home before the project was commissioned.

    "We have a major industrial project in the Pacific islands and had to bring 25 people back from that project.

    "So it's a matter of how we get those people back to complete those projects.

    "Our biggest challenge is how to access those overseas markets and make some sensible decisions as to how much we can do on the ground and how much we can produce in New Zealand and get local companies to do installations under our guidance.

    "How do you complete projects remotely if you can't travel? We're spending a lot of time on that issue in New Zealand and offshore."

    Eglinton says future staffing is part of this focus.

    NDA will keep all staff on through the initial 12-week subsidy period to the end of June.

    "We are reviewing our capacity needs for the second half of the year, which presently has a lot of variables relating to customer activity levels and commitment timing of projects.

    "Once we understand that we will be in a position to determine if we need to reduce capacity in the second half of the year," he says.

    "Obviously we will be doing everything we can to avoid that, however if we do need to go down that path we will conduct an extensive consultation process."

    By: Andrea Fox
    Herald business writer based in the Waikato
    Source: New Zealand Herald


  • 17 May 2020 12:42 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    New Zealand startup realityvirtual.co has just been awarded the sudden funding from American video game and software giant Epic Games, creators of the popular video game, Fortnite. The grant is just one of several large sums stemming from a whopping NZD$164 million (USD$100 million) fund for people doing amazing things with Unreal Engine.

    Aotearoa Discovered: Imagine being able to visit the most beautiful and culturally significant locations in New Zealand and elsewhere, with your friends and family, without leaving the comfort of your living room. This is what NZ-based startup realityvirtual.co makes possible. Users will be immersed in photorealistic NZ scenes, interactively exploring them together in Virtual Reality (VR)

    Project deepMIrror: In the age of covid-19, realityvirtual.co is repackaging and rapidly deploying their prior deep learning and volumetric video technologies into what can only be described as an extremely immersive one-on-one video conferencing experience. “One can describe the experience as being not too different from that of speaking between a sheet of glass, you're in their 3D space and they are in yours, you share not just eye contact but light itself. We feel this is a gift that me action immediately!” states Mr de Boer.

    realityvirtual.co is one of only two NZ companies to win such an award. “Honestly. This brought me to tears, it’s been a hard many years for us struggling to make our case heard”, realityvirtual.co’s CEO Simon De Boer says referring to years of unique pioneering research and development in 4D, 5D.

    realityvirtual.co is known for their immersive VR experiences from around the world, such as the Large Hadron Collider, and Queen Nefertari & King Tutankhamun's Tombs in Egypt. They won the prestigious Lumiere Award for best VR Educational Experience in 2020.

    Founder and CEO Simon Che de Boer, the eccentric man at the helm,  is an internationally renowned photogrammetrist and VR content creator. He has received international media recognition for the quality of his photo-realistic virtual experiences from Forbes, TechCrunch and other reputed publications featuring De Boer’s work. Many notable players of the Visual Effects (VFX) industry refer to such VR projects to demonstrate the potential of this new immersive medium.

    This round of funding will be used to improve the process of making virtual copies, and allow them to upscale, or better render existing models of places and digitize many more beautiful NZ locations, including picturesque beaches, places of natural beauty and historic buildings  including Saint Matthews Cathedral, Sir James Wallace Homestead, with a lot more is planned they are accepting suggestions from the public.

    The experiences will be distributed for free on the ubiquitous games platform STEAM. Although current travel restrictions make it difficult for people to physically come to New Zealand, they will soon be able to be in the country virtually, and see it in a way that has never been experienced before.

    The technology from realityvirtual.co relies heavily on deep learning, machine learning and the latest in mixed reality technologies. They are working closely with Epic Games, Amazon Web Services, NVIDIA and other parties, to make these technologies available to all.

    Source: http://www.realityvirtual.co/

  • 09 May 2020 9:28 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    An American billionaire who lives in New Zealand has won consent to buy land north of Auckland for new golf course ventures.

    Ric Kayne has already spent an estimated $100 million creating one of the world's top 10 golf courses and now his plans to spend another $50m-plus developing two new public courses have taken a step forward.

    In January, American publication Golf Digest released its list of the world's best non-US courses, naming Tara Iti course at Te Arai, between Pakiri and Mangawhai, as the world's second-best after Northern Ireland's Royal County Down course.

    Last week the Overseas Investment Office released approval for Te Arai Links to buy 169ha of sensitive land at Te Arai South, a beachfront site flanked by pine forests just over an hour north of Auckland. Of the 169ha, 144ha is leasehold and 25ha is freehold.

    Kayne struck a deal with Ngati Manuhiri, who bought the Mangawhai south forest as part of their commercial redress under their Treaty of Waitangi settlement.

    According to the OIO decision, Kayne plans to develop two links-style 18-hole championship level golf courses on the land, together with a clubhouse and visitor accommodation, as well as maintenance and water storage facilities. The land is now a pine plantation used for production forestry.

    Kayne has previously said he wanted to build two public courses of similar quality to Tara Iti, which he completed in the adjacent Mangawhai north forest. That was also a project in which he partnered with a local iwi – in that case Te Uri o Hau – and with Queenstown investor and golf developer John Darby.

    Former United States President Barack Obama played at Tata Iti in 2018.

    Kayne told the Herald last March: "The goal is to create a significant recreational, economic and environmental asset for Auckland and New Zealand.

    "Much of the 700ha Mangawhai south forest will be retained by Ngati Manuhiri. About 200ha is expected to be turned into a regional park in partnership with Auckland Council. That will include all the beachfront land and sensitive ecological areas.

    Kayne's Tara Iti includes major environmental enhancements such as a large-scale native revegetation programme and pest and weed control. That approach is expected to be replicated in this new project.

    The OIO decision says the benefits of allowing the business to buy the land include the creation of 40 permanent full-time roles, an increase in exports by at least $6m annually by the end of 2022, advancement of the New Zealand-Aotearoa Government Tourism Strategy and the introduction to New Zealand of at least $25m for development purposes.

    A written history of the land shows that in 1993, Carter Holt Harvey was granted a long-term Crown forest licence for the north and south forests. Commercial pine plantations were originally established there by the Forest Service.

    Public access to the forests was banned then and the privately-held pine plantations extended over the foredunes down to the high tide line of both the north and south beaches.

    In 2000 the Crown included the freehold of the north and south forests as commercial redress land for settlement of Treaty claims. Two years later, a Crown deed of settlement was reached with Te Uri o Hau to transfer the freehold ownership of the north forest to a settlement trust.

    John Darby said that a year later, the trust selected his Queenstown-headquartered landscape architects Darby Partners as its joint venture partner.

    Later, the Te Arai south forest was included in Ngati Manuhiri Treaty settlement claim.

    In 2004, a new comprehensive and sustainable land use plan for both forests was progressed with the two iwi settlement trusts. Darby said a key component of that plan was the creation and management of a coastal park extending the length of both forests either side of Te Arai Point.

    That provided for reinstatement of the foreshore's natural character and improved public beach access and recreational opportunities, balanced with the protection and enhancement of endangered shorebird habitat.

    In 2005 Darby Partners bought the lease over 754ha of the south forest on behalf of a pending joint venture with Ngati Manuhiri.

    In 2009 Ngati Manuhiri signed an agreement for settlement of historic claims, and in 2012 its settlement trust bought the freehold land at Mangawhai South. A year later, it struck a joint venture with Darby Partners to plan and fund an integrated, sustainable land use plan for better economic, cultural and environmental outcomes.

    By 2016, Auckland Council's Unitary Plan recognised the South Te Arai Special Precinct, based on the original integrated land use plan. That provides for:

    • A new 180ha coastal park for public use
    • An extensive trail network over private land, linking reserves
    • Removal of pine plantations and revegetation with native species
    • Protection and enhancement of endangered shorebird habitat
    • 60 rural residential lots
    • Visitor facilities, amenities and accommodation including public campground
    • Two championship public links-style golf courses

    The habitat of New Zealand's endangered fairy tern - or Tara Iti - is in the area. But Leigh Bull of consultancy Boffa Miskell, which consulted on plans for the land, said the terns were not where the two new golf courses were planned.

    "The golf courses in the Te Arai south forest are located away from foraging and breeding habitats of the New Zealand fairy tern/Tara Iti. East coast New Zealand fairy tern breeding sites are all located north at Waipū, Mangawhai, Te Arai Stream and south at Pakiri of the Te Arai south forest," Bull said.

    "There is no New Zealand fairy tern breeding at Poutawa Stream. The Te Arai stream at Te Arai North is also a well-known post-breeding flock site for east coast birds, which is not the case for the Poutawa Stream at Te Arai South. New Zealand fairy tern have been reported foraging at Spectacle and, to a lesser extent, Slipper lakes during their post-breeding period from December to March but not at Tomarata Lake," Bull said.


    By: Anne Gibson

    Property editor, NZ Herald


  • 06 May 2020 11:52 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Latest datacenter region affirms Microsoft’s commitment to enable digital transformation while accelerating innovation and growth in Aotearoa  

    Auckland, New Zealand, 6 May 2020 – Microsoft Corp. today announced plans to establish its first datacenter region in New Zealand, a major  milestone toward delivering enterprise-grade cloud services in the country. The New Zealand datacenter region will be the latest addition to Microsoft’s global datacenter footprint, which totals more than any other cloud provider at 60 regions announced, with Microsoft Azure available in over 140 countries around the world. 

    With the development of this new datacenter region, Microsoft aims to fuel new growth that will accelerate digital transformation opportunities across New ZealandThe company will also continue its investments in new solutions that support both New Zealand and Microsoft’s sustainability goals. In addition, Microsoft will add support for educational skilling programs to increase future employability opportunities for the people of New Zealand. 

    “This significant investment in New Zealand’s digital infrastructure is a testament to the remarkable spirit of New Zealand’s innovation and reflects how we’re pushing the boundaries of what is possible as a nation,” said Vanessa Sorenson, general manager, Microsoft New Zealand. “The Fletcher School’s Digital Evolution Index characterises New Zealand as a ‘standout nation’ demonstrating to the world what the future might look like. I’m confident this investment will help accelerate our digital evolution.”   

    Accelerating digital transformation in New Zealand 

    Through the development of the new region, public and privatesector entities, large enterprises, and small and medium-size businesses will be able to use scalable, highly available and resilient public cloud services, while also helping companies meet their data residency, security and compliance needs.  

    Customers will have access to Microsoft’s cloud services, including: 

    • Microsoft Azure  an ever-expanding set of cloud services that offers computing, networking, databases, analytics, AI and Internet of Things (IoT) services.  
    • Microsoft 365  the world’s productivity cloud, featuring best-of-breed productivity apps delivered as part of an open platform for business processes with email, collaboration, conferencing, enterprise social networking and business intelligence.  
    • Dynamics 365 and Power Platform  intelligent business applications that enable organisations to grow, evolve and transform to meet the needs of customers and capture new opportunities. 
    • Built-ITrust and Security  an industry-leading portfolio of government and industry certifications and world-class security as well as a commitment from Microsoft to store customer data at rest in New Zealand. 

    While this new region will deliver local access to cloud services, New Zealand customers and partners are already benefitting from Microsoft’s global scale cloud services.  

    Read more.

    Source: Microsoft

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