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  • 12 Jun 2018 3:29 PM | Creative Agency Secrets Ltd (Administrator)

    Your vote counts!  Did you know that many U.S. elections for house and senate seats have been decided by a margin smaller than the number of ballots cast by absentee voters?  All states are required to count every absentee ballot as long as it is valid and reaches local election officials by the absentee ballot receipt deadline.

    Follow a few simple steps to make sure that you can vote in the 2018 U.S. elections:

    1. Request Your Ballot:  Complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA).  You must complete a new FPCAafter January 1, 2018 to ensure you receive your ballot for the 2018 elections.  The completion of the FPCA allows you to request absentee ballots for all elections for federal offices (President, U.S. Senate, and U.S. House of Representatives) including primaries and special elections during the calendar year in which it is submitted.  The FPCA is accepted by all local election officials in all U.S. states and territories.

    You can complete the FPCA online at www.FVAP.gov.  The online voting assistant will ask you questions specific to your state.  We encourage you to ask your local election officials to deliver your blank ballots to you electronically (by email, internet download, or fax, depending on your state).  Include your email address on your FPCA to take advantage of the electronic ballot delivery option.  Return the FPCA per the instructions on the website.  FVAP.gov will tell you if your state allows the FPCA to be returned electronically or if you must submit a paper copy with original signature.  If you must return a paper version, please see below for mailing options.

    2. Receive and Complete Your Ballot:  States are required to send out ballots 45 days before a regular election for federal office and states generally send out ballots at least 30 days before primary elections.  For most states, you can confirm your registration and ballot delivery online.

    3. Return Your Completed Ballot:  Some states allow you to return your completed ballot by email or fax.  If your state requires you to return paper voting forms or ballots to local election officials, you can use international mail, a courier service such as FedEx or DHL, or you may also drop off completed voting materials during regular business hours at the U.S. Consulate General in Auckland, Level 3, Citibank Building, 23 Customs Street East.  Place your materials in a postage paid return envelope (available under “Downloadable Election Materials” on the FVAP homepage) or in an envelope bearing sufficient domestic U.S. postage, and address it to the relevant local election officials. 

    4. New this year – email to fax service by FVAP! - the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) will provide an email-to-fax conversion service for voters who have difficulty sending election materials to States that do not accept emailed documents.  Get more information here.

    Researching the Candidates and Issues:  Online Resources.  Check out the FVAP links page for helpful resources that will aid your research of candidates and issues.  Non-partisan information about candidates, their voting records, and their positions on issues are widely available and easy to obtain online.  You can also read national and hometown newspapers online, or search the internet to locate articles and information.  For information about election dates and deadlines, subscribe to FVAP's Voting Alerts (vote@fvap.gov).  FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebookand Twitter.

    Learn more at the Federal Voting Assistance Program's (FVAP) website, FVAP.gov.  If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact U.S. Consulate General Auckland’s Voting Assistance Officer atVoteAuckland@state.gov

    Primary Elections Are in Full Swing

    This year the entire House of Representatives and a third of the U.S. Senate are up for election.

     The following states have elections in the next 90 days:

     June - 30 Day Notice:

    • June 5: Alabama, California, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota;
    • June 12: Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina, Virginia; 
    • June 19: Arkansas, District of Columbia;
    • June 26: Colorado, Maryland, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah;
    • June 30: Texas 27th Congressional District Special Election.

     July - 60 Day Notice:

    • July 17: Alabama;
    • July 24: Georgia.

     August - 90 Day Notice:

    • August 2: Tennessee;
    • August 4: Virgin Islands;
    • August 7: Ohio 12th Congressional District Special General;
    • August 7: Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Washington;
    • August 11: Hawaii;
    • August 14: Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont, Wisconsin;
    • August 21: Alaska, Wyoming;
    • August 25: Guam;
    • August 28: Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma.

    Remember, your vote counts! Be absent but accounted for!

  • 12 Jun 2018 2:46 PM | Creative Agency Secrets Ltd (Administrator)

    Airline Update:

    • The coveted ‘world’s longest flight’ is about the change again with the front-running Qatar Airways Auckland to Doha 17 hour 40min flight being usurped with Singapore Airlines announcement that they will reinstate the Singapore non-stop to New York route from October this year, which is 400 nautical miles longer than AKL/Doha.  SQ operated the route previously until the GFC; with a flight time of 18 hours 30 mins the flight will depart from Newark daily and will be operated by the latest generation Airbus A350-1000ULR (ultra-long range) for which Singapore Airlines is the launch customer. The aircraft has 63 Business Class (1-2-1 config) and 94 Premium Economy seats (2-4-2 layout) and so is designed for space and comfort for long-haul premium travel. 

    • Also US – bound is Cathay Pacific which will operate between Hong Kong and Washington from later this year. They will also use the Airbus A350 on this route.  Cathay already serves a number of US destinations. Asia to the US connections with Cathay (One World) and Singapore Airlines (Star Alliance) are used as a part of the various Circle Pacific airfares from New Zealand.

    • Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engines power around 25% of the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner fleet and so the scheduling challenges with engine repair requirements in play at present are not exclusive to Air New Zealand. Key airlines we use a lot such as Thai, Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, ANA and LATAM have also experienced similar disruptions, which of course our team of experts here at BWT work to keep a step ahead of. In Air NZ’s case the most constantly affected routes to the US seem to be Houston and so our Travel Consultants are no longer booking connecting US travellers northbound with Air NZ via Houston, opting instead for SFO,  LAX or Vancouver, or via Honolulu to New York JFK with Hawaiian Airlines. If you are staying in Houston or overnighting (try it – Houston is fun!) or flying southbound on your way home,  Houston is fine. This issue will go on for some time. In the meantime Air NZ is using the chartered Hi-Fly Airbus A340 between Auckland and Honolulu. In the near future they are deploying a leased Boeing 777-200 which their own crew are licensed to operate.

    • American Airlines has improved the value proposition of its popular Main Cabin Extra service (extra leg room Economy Class) by including additional benefits such as complimentary beer, wine, spirits and early boarding for US domestic and Caribbean routes. Main Cabin Extra comes with a slight surcharge over any Economy Class airfare. 

    • Delta and Los Angeles Airport Authority has given the go ahead for a US$1.8billion dollar rebuild of LAX Terminals 2 & 3 to become Delta’s LAX home and also provide full connecting walkways into the Tom Bradley International Terminal.

    Hotel update:

    We’ve taken a sneak peak at Auckland’s newest hotel, the US-based Marriott owned Four Points which is on the corner of Mayoral Drive and Queen Street. Constructed within a former office building, the Four Points is a straight forward business hotel which has the attraction of being crisp,  new and having a Queen Street address! Rooms range is size from 29sqm and up. A show-stopping roof-top bar could be a star-attraction when it opens in a few weeks. We have some very good opening rates available –ask our Domestic team!

    The Sheraton brand, more upscale sister chain to the Four Points within the Marriott family is going through a transformation vision. There are 450 Sheraton properties around the world and the brand has lost its way slightly in recent years. Many of the US based Sheraton’s are quite basic but many international ones are more upscale.  Sheraton will be pitched above Four Points toward the 5-star market but short of other Marriott brands St Regis, JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton.  Your old SPG award programme is merged in with Marriott and points can be used at all of these properties.

    US brand Best Western’s head office is taking over the Australia/New Zealand franchise operation. There are currently 115 hotels, apartments and resorts operating under the Best Western brand in Australia and New Zealand (only a handful are in New Zealand) – all independently owned and managed. BW which has lost significant market share in this region will have a property-direct relationship with its owners and as with Sheraton will work to re-define its positioning in a saturated market.

    Travel better! At ATPI/Business World Travel we’re a member of the prestigious US-based Virtuoso, an invited group of the world’s leading travel agents and where we achieve benefits over and above any other travel agent or booking site for our clients. For the same as any advertised rate including on the hotel site, Bookings.com or Expedia you’ll receive:

    • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability

    • Daily Breakfast for two

    • Food & Beverage or Spa services credit usually around US$100

    • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability

    • Complimentary Wifi

    • Often some other kind of personalised in-room amenity

    • Take a look at www.virtuoso.com or call one of our BWT Travel Advisors

    Executive Leisure and Private Clients:

    We partner with All Blacks Tours and we have a reason to extend your business trip to the US in November for this triple header weekend on 03 November. Chicago’s famous Soldier Field sees three games – Black Ferns vs USA Eagles, Italy vs Ireland and finally Maori All Blacks vs USA Eagles.  Those of us who saw Ireland vs All Blacks will know that Chicago knows how to turn on a great party atmosphere. Combine business and pleasure! Tradeshows around these dates include SEMA/AAPEX Autoparts and Pool & Spa shows both in Las Vegas, FLIBS International Boat Show in Fort Lauderdale and Energy Storage in Pasadena. The medical fraternity is also well served that same week with Opthamologists, Neurosurgereons and Cardiologists all well served with Specialist Medical Conferences. Call our team to book your business and rugby trip! Call us to book your rugby trip this November (also Japan in 2019 is selling well! Be quick with that one!).

    Why give top performers cash when a memorable adventure away can deliver twice the benefit for less cost? Corporate travel experiential travel is a big part of what we do and we have the expertise to help you incentivise clients or staff member through travel  - choosing something they’re unlikely to do themselves and where the memory will last a lifetime. Research shows that giving cash bonuses is not nearly as effective as a non-monetary reward such as travel. Some steps to a successful incentive travel trip:

    1. Tie earning and selection criteria to your business objectives

    2. Be clear and consistent with communications about the programme and its progress

    3. Build a sense of anticipation with ticklers throughout the year

    4. We’ll design the programme to include a desirable destination, importantly that most wouldn’t go to themselves, include interactive sessions and leisure time.

    5. Have key executives and managers on the trip to act as hosts to reinforce the company’s commitment to the programme.

    6. Never let it be a ‘one-off’. Those who missed out will be extra-motivated to get on the trip the next year – assuming the participants were wowed the first time!

    7. Incentive trips range in the number of participants, length of stay and budget

    8. Always try to include spouses and even families


    For more details and bookings contact your BWT consultant on 0800-508 580 or 09-5293700


  • 11 Jun 2018 2:36 PM | Creative Agency Secrets Ltd (Administrator)

    MiMOMax Wireless is pleased to receive the prestigious Utilities Technology Council (UTC) Impact Award for Hardware, honoring the company's impact on the Utility industry through technological innovation.

    Announced today during the Telecom & Technology 2018 conference in Palm Springs, California, the award honors UTC member organizations for innovations which improve efficiencies, support sustainability and provide an immediate impact on the industry.

    Source:  MiMOMax


  • 11 Jun 2018 2:27 PM | Creative Agency Secrets Ltd (Administrator)

    Auckland-based Autogrow has created a talking automated growing system through the virtual assistant capabilities of Amazon Alexa, backed up by the provider’s IntelliGrow application programming interface (API).

    Headquartered in Mairangi Bay, Autogrow provides intelligent hardware, software and data solutions for single compartment environments through to large-scale fully-automated greenhouses.

    According to the provider, the technology ranks as a “first ever” in terms of a talking automated growing system.

    Source: Reseller.co.nz


  • 11 Jun 2018 1:39 PM | Creative Agency Secrets Ltd (Administrator)

    A group of four undergraduate business students from The Ohio State University have interviewed and analysed dozens of American and New Zealand firms who have expanded operations into both countries. With the objective of enabling Kiwi and American companies to better navigate the challenges of multinational expansion, the students released a detailed report with the guidance of AmCham NZ.

    This report aims to identify and explore the prominent challenges and opportunities of expanding operations and conducting business in the US and NZ. The findings address obstacles that may arise when developing a multinational venture and provide a comprehensive picture of both business landscapes and distinguish potential for growth in each country.

    Download the New Zealand Global Project 2018: Business Relations NZ & US report here.


  • 07 Jun 2018 11:05 AM | Creative Agency Secrets Ltd (Administrator)

    Kiwi wine maturation startup Wine Grenade has appointed an exclusive North American distributor and established a new executive role in the USA as the company ramps up production of its micro-ox and data solution.

    The distribution deal with Enartis USA gives Wine Grenade immediate access to a sales network selling a complementary portfolio of winemaking products, analytical services and winery technology throughout North America.

    Wine Grenade’s vision is to provide winemakers with the insights they need to consistently make great wine, year after year.

    Source: bizEDGE NZ


  • 07 Jun 2018 10:48 AM | Creative Agency Secrets Ltd (Administrator)

    Winery control technology originating from VinWizard in New Zealand is currently installed at 160 wineries worldwide. It has now been recognised by industry leaders in the United States of America for innovation at the prestigious Innovation + Quality Napa Valley forum.

    The INNOVATION + QUALITY event is an annual forum for ultra-premium wineries focused on cutting-edge innovations that advance wine quality. Each year products are hand selected by the INNOVATION + QUALITY Advisory Board and Wine Business Monthly team solely on criteria of innovation that lends itself to high-quality, ultra-premium winemaking. This year VinWizard Managing Director David Gill received the INNOVATION + QUALITY 2018 award for the company’s Multi-Level-Probe with American distribution partner Tom Beard Company in attendance.

    Source: Scoop


  • 06 Jun 2018 11:42 AM | Creative Agency Secrets Ltd (Administrator)

    Scott Technology has entered a conditional agreement to buy Transbotics, a US-based automated guided vehicle manufacturer. No price was disclosed.

    The deal will add 30 staff to the 700 it has globally. The effective completion date is expected to be June 1. The deal is subject to conditions, including Transbotics shareholder approval.

    Source: Scoop

  • 05 Jun 2018 2:32 PM | Creative Agency Secrets Ltd (Administrator)

    Longroad Energy, a renewable energy project developer jointly owned by Infratil and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, has funding in place to build a US$300 million wind project in Texas and is evaluating the long-term ownership options of the project.

    Earlier last week Boston-based Longroad said it had closed financing for the 237.6 megawatt Rio Bravo wind farm project in Starr County, Texas. Longroad, which is 45 percent owned by Infratil, 45 percent owned by the New Zealand Superannuation Fund and 10 percent owned by management, is investing approximately US$100 million as sponsor and a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy is providing the balance of the permanent financing.

    Source: Scoop


  • 03 Jun 2018 11:13 AM | Creative Agency Secrets Ltd (Administrator)

    ArcActive from New Zealand and East Penn Manufacturing Co. from the United States have signed a commercial arrangement covering the further development of ArcActive’s extremely innovative carbon fibre electrode technology for lead batteries.

    Stuart McKenzie, managing director of ArcActive, says the deal involves supplying carbon fibre products to East Penn Manufacturing (EPM) so it can manufacture lead batteries that include ArcActive’s electrodes.

    Source: ArcActive