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  • 26 May 2022 9:39 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Multi-billion dollar US food delivery service DoorDash has chosen “New Zealand’s foodie capital” Wellington as its entry point into the country’s growing last-mile delivery market.

    The e-commerce operator has gone live offering deliveries from a range of vendors, including local and national food outlets, and has also lined up convenience and speciality stores for the platform with more categories “coming soon”.

    DoorDash was offering companies 0% commission for the first 30 days, but in general, pricing could range from anywhere between 10% and 30% commission depending on the service provided.

    The company said it was operating in Wellington, Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt from today with Porirua and Johnsonville soon to follow.

    Local Wellington food and beverage merchants signed include Mama Brown, The Ramen Shop, 1154 Pastaria, A Taste of Home, Zany Zeus, and Boneface Brewing, with national brands including Hell Pizza, Nando’s, Subway, Tank Juice, Taco Bell and Burger Wisconsin.

    The company, which had a valuation of US$60.2bn when it listed on the US Stock Exchange in 2020, followed other aggregators into the New Zealand market including Uber Eats, Delivereasy and Menulog, which is the local arm of Dutch giant Just Eat Takeaway.

    Menulog launched in New Zealand with a commission rate of 14% per delivery on the self-delivery service, rising to 30% for the full order and delivery service.

    Supermarket delivery services are also competing for delivery dollars, with Foodstuffs teaming up with Uber Eats and Geezy Go crossing the ditch from Australia to set up in Auckland.

    “We can’t wait to bring DoorDash to more places in New Zealand as we strive to connect more
    communities one doorstep at a time,” DoorDash general manager of Australia and New Zealand Rebecca Burrows said.

    “We’re thrilled to offer locals unprecedented access to the restaurants, cafes and food spots they love, not to mention a growing number of retailers offering groceries and convenience items – everything
    from hair products to pet food.”

    DoorDash entered Australia in 2019 and said it now operated across 85% of Australia with more than 40,000 local drivers.


  • 24 May 2022 11:14 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    On the eve of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s trade mission to the United States, New Zealand has joined with partner governments from across the Indo-Pacific region to begin the next phase of discussions towards an Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF).

    The Framework, initially proposed by US President Biden in October 2021, aims to deepen regional economic integration and boost economic cooperation to create a more prosperous and resilient Indo-Pacific.

    “New Zealand and the wider region will benefit from deepened economic engagement by the US, and I’m pleased that President Biden has driven this initiative forward,” Jacinda Ardern said.

    “As the world recovers from COVID-19 it is critical that trade and economic links are opened up and structures are put in place to provide greater security against future shocks.

    “The Indo-Pacific region is of the utmost importance for New Zealand’s strategic and economic interests. We see this Framework as an opportunity to enhance our strong partnerships with major regional economies as we continue to reconnect with the world.

    “This initiative, as a non-traditional agreement, will provide new channels of collaboration in ways not limited to trade.  In particular it will support collaboration on climate action, and will be designed with a focus on sustainability and inclusivity, principles that are fundamental for New Zealanders.  

    “This work sits alongside our comprehensive trade and growth strategy, that includes unlocking the full benefits of the CPTPP, securing a free trade deal with the European Union and supporting businesses to grow exports across markets,” Jacinda Ardern said.

    Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor said “I’m pleased to see that some of the most pressing issues facing the global economy will be discussed further between IPEF partners, including harnessing the digital economy, decarbonising our economies, making our supply chains more resilient, among others”.

    Further discussions amongst participating economies will take place in due course to flesh out the details of the Framework.

    The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework statement launched by participating leaders can be found here.


  • 23 May 2022 11:43 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)
    • Prime Minister to lead trade mission to the United States this week to support export growth and the return of tourists post COVID-19.
    • Business delegation to promote trade and tourism opportunities in New Zealand’s third largest export and visitor market
    • Deliver Harvard University commencement address 

    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is leading a trade mission to the United States this week as part of the Government’s reconnection strategy to support export growth and the return of tourists post COVID-19.

    The Prime Minister departs Monday evening and will be accompanied by Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor and business leaders from technology and tourism firms as well as innovative food companies Silver Fern Farms, Fonterra and Zespri.

    “New Zealand’s relationship with the United States is one of our most enduring and significant. This mission will feature political and security engagement as well as tourism and trade promotion,” Jacinda Ardern said.

    “A big focus of the trip will be supporting business linkages and technology partnerships with US innovators that have the potential to accelerate New Zealand’s sustainable economic recovery.

    “The United States is our third largest trading partner and is our largest market for services. US firms are planning multi-billion dollar investments in cloud computing capability in New Zealand which will unlock big growth opportunities for digital exports to the world and we want to see more of that.

    “We’ve seen very positive growth in our exports to the United States, with an emphasis on high value products, such as digital services.

    “The United States is a sophisticated market where New Zealand’s clean, green and sustainable brand attracts a premium, both for our food and beverage products, but also our technology and innovation services.

    “The US was our third largest tourist market for arrivals pre COVID-19, and with travellers planning their visits months before coming in the New Zealand summer now is the right time to be visible in the US market letting American’s know we are open for business and travel.

    “The United States relationship is fundamental to us in political and security terms too. In a world of increasing challenges, we need to work closely with friends who share our values, so this is an important trip to be making right now,” Jacinda Ardern said.

    The Prime Minister will visit New York, Washington DC, Boston, San Francisco and Seattle.

    In New York, the Prime Minister will call on the United Nations Secretary General. She will meet editors of leading tourism publications, meet with investors hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce and attend a launch event for sustainable meat exports.

    In Washington the Prime Minister will meet senior members of the Senate.

    In Boston the Prime Minister will be the commencement address at the 371st Harvard Commencement ceremony.

    In San Francisco, the Prime Minister will meet the Governor of California, Gavin Newsom.

    “California is world leader in green technology. This technology will be essential to New Zealand’s ability to meet our carbon emissions reduction targets. My meeting with Governor Newsom will be an opportunity to discuss ways in which we can work closely together on combating climate change.

    The Prime Minister will also meet top technology executives from Twitter, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft to discuss investment, skills development for New Zealanders in the tech industries, digital cooperation and to further Christchurch Call objectives.

    The Prime Minister will depart New Zealand on the evening of Monday 23 May.

    • Two-way goods and service trade valued at NZ$18.5 billion to the year ended December 2021.
    • Trade growth has averaged 5 percent per annum over the past 15 years.
    • Tourists from the US comprised 10 percent of total arrivals pre COVID-1

  • 05 May 2022 11:55 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Over the last 6-8 weeks a team of Villanova University (PA) students have been working on a research report  -  Digital Free Trade Between the USA and New Zealand.

    Their recommendations were:
    Given the considerations laid out above, our analysis has indicated that New
    Zealand should sign onto the IPEF modules once released in order to facilitate and
    prioritize a digital trade agreement between New Zealand and the United States. The priorities of both parties seem to align under a non-traditional trade agreement, which eases the passage process significantly, while also allowing both parties to benefit from an extended range of stakeholders. IPEF marks US leadership on a rapidly developing trade issue, especially within the Indo-Pacific region in which it wants to expand relations to counter China’s active role. As the United States is not currently participating in the current trade frameworks operating within this area such as RCEP, CPTPP, and DEPA, it appears paramount to advance a timely and comprehensive agreement such as IPEF to ensure continued US presence in the area.

    For New Zealand, the IPEF seems to cover the areas of trade, particularly in the digital realm, that our findings demonstrate the need and desire for. Given the increasing role that digital trade will play in a more technologically enabled global economy, the IPEF format ensures flexibility in an evolving area as characterized by “partnership” trade arrangements.

    Additionally, with a digital focus envisioned to be embedded within each module,
    reflective of the far-reaching role it has for trade relations, it also benefits New Zealand as areas such as labor and the environment will be specifically addressed. The Knowledgeable Innovators and Worthy Investors Acts, better known as the Kiwi Act was signed into law in 2018, eases visa challenges for NZ workers traveling to the US to work. As such, being a member of IPEF and other US led agreements would deepen both diplomatic and trade ties between the countries if NZ wanted to pursue an even more extensive bilateral digital free trade agreement in the future.

    The read the full report Digital Free Trade Between the USA and New Zealand

    Our thanks to all who contributed to the report.

  • 02 May 2022 5:32 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Ringitia mai, waetia mai

    Tuhi tuhia mai e

    Kei te manawa tonu

    te aroha me te whakapono

    Can I please acknowledge our co-chairs today Fran O’Sullivan and Michael Barnett.

    US Ambassador to New Zealand Tom Udall.

    The Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor.

    And the really excellent speakers and panellists who you will hear from today such as RocketLab’s Peter Beck and Air New Zealand’s Greg Foran.

    Can I add my thanks to the Auckland Business Chamber, who made today possible, and to all of you as participants who have given us all the pleasure of being able to share some positive news and insights after what has been a pretty hard couple of years.

    Today I come to you amid a six month exercise of accelerating New Zealand’s re-entry onto the world stage.

    And I’m proud to do so.  The role of “lead” ambassador as it were is one that’s easy to underestimate and yet it’s an enormous part of the job, especially in these complex times. As my recent trip demonstrated, it’s a role that takes many forms, from political engagements to trade promotion. Even when that entails an enthusiastic sales pitch to a room with two oversized kiwifruit gently swaying to traditional Japanese music.

    But as Fran herself put it: getting international cut-through is what prime ministers must do. 

    Because what more important job is there, on the back of a proud national effort to successfully manage the Covid-19 pandemic, than to go to the world and remind people that

    New Zealand is open for business.

    Our pandemic strategy is now a matter of record. First elimination, then vaccination, then reconnection. It was a careful plan that always erred on the side of caution, which put lives and livelihoods first and delivered us the lowest deaths and hospitalisations in the OECD for two years, a larger economy than before Covid-19, and the lowest unemployment on record.

    A demonstration that what’s good for the health of our people, is good for the health of our economy too.

    And now, we shift gears.

    Our border has reopened, in fact visa waiver countries including the United States re-enter from today, the movement of people is scaling up, and the exports that are the deep and solid roots of our economy, even throughout the pandemic which shut so many other doors, are growing further still, with many opportunities possible within this period of economic recovery from Covid-19.

    So yes selling New Zealand to the world is a key part of my role as PM but that has been the case for successive Prime Ministers, albeit in different international environments. Some more complex than others.  

    It is now more than 80 years since the first New Zealand Labour government took office.

    Michael Joseph Savage and his Cabinet immediately confronted a global emergency – not a pandemic but the Great Depression, a crisis affecting people across New Zealand and around the globe.

    Another crisis erupted again a few years later with the rise of fascism and world war.

    Those were times that forced New Zealanders – and political leaders of the day – to be clear about where they stood and, in doing so, who they stood with.

    By 1945, looking ahead to a future beyond war, the same Labour government, now led by Peter Fraser, worked in the UN San Francisco conference and other forums to shape a new system of global governance, building on the hard lessons of the 1930s and 1940s, to allow nations to rebuild shattered economies under the shelter of an enduring peace.

    The legacy of the Savage, Fraser and Nash governments has been on my mind. Because now is another of those times when we as leaders, and as a nation, are reminded of what we stand for and not just to take a stand but to act on those values.

    And it is that that helps explain New Zealand’s bond with the United States, over many decades. We have held firmly to our independent foreign policy but also to our values. When we see a threat to the rules based order we rely on, we act. Distance is not our deciding factor, and nor it the size of our contribution.

    In fact, looking back at where we have deployed our Defence Force over the years I think we can say that New Zealand has been one of a smallish number of countries that has not only taken a global view of our security interests – but also a global view of our responsibilities.

    And acted accordingly. And that includes today.

    We have all watched with horror Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

    It must be clear to all just what is at stake. Russia’s actions are a threat not just to the lives and freedoms of the people of Ukraine but also to the larger principles of sovereignty and self-determination that underpin nationhood.

    We were clear that Russia’s actions demanded a direct New Zealand response.

    We worked round the clock to set up a legal framework to enact sanctions against Russia. 

    We focused on direct support. New Zealand has so far committed assistance worth $30 million toward humanitarian, military, legal, and logistical needs. This includes a contribution to weapons and ammunition through funding direct to the UK. We have deployed 67 defence personnel to Europe to support these efforts.

    And we will continue to stand by the people of Ukraine. After all, as the Ukranian Prime Minister said to me at the beginning of the invasion, there is no ‘big or small countries’ when it comes to this war – just those countries who react.

    This is of course not the first occasion we have responded to a security crisis.

    At different times we have deployed our defence force in Bosnia, Afghanistan, East Timor, in the Solomon Islands, Iraq, and, in a different form, in Bougainville.

    We have been prepared to incur costs and risks because to stand aside bears its own cost and risks, and because we have already taken a broad view of our interests and our responsibilities.

    And because acting on your values, in good company, really matters.

    On Ukraine we have been proud to work alongside democratic governments from Europe and our own region. The unity of response and collective determination to resist aggression could not be clearer. Here today let me specifically acknowledge the leadership shown by the Biden administration.

    But we know that keeping the peace is not just a task for soldiers. And leadership is not just the prerogative of the great powers.

    New Zealand’s first Labour Government knew that the post-war framework was not just about security. It was also about averting the conditions that drove the rise of fascism: the Great Depression, mass unemployment, and beggar-thy-neighbour policies that drove a collapse in world trade.

    Post-war frameworks like the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, better known as the GATT, and the Bretton Woods system were, for those who conceived them, as much about keeping the peace as they were about rebuilding shattered economies.

    When Walter Nash signed the Havana Charter – the document from which the GATT was drawn – he will have been aware what a bold departure from past trade policy it signalled. 

    Thanks to the vision and insight of President Roosevelt’s Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, the GATT embodied those esoteric principles of non-discrimination – notably “most favoured nation”– that have allowed global trade to flourish.

    At moments when we have to deal with the political impulses driving new trade barriers we must remember that the core GATT and World Trade Organisation principles began as a practical response to the brutal experience of the 1930s and 1940s – and are as relevant as ever today.

    I said before that leadership in world affairs is not just the prerogative of big countries. I believe New Zealand can take pride in the leadership it has shown over decades not only in the WTO but also in shaping the trade architecture of our own region.

    As you know better than most, this has transformed the ability of New Zealand companies to trade in markets and sectors previously closed to us.

    We can take pride in our record of leadership in a series of strategic trade initiatives: The New Zealand-Singapore Closer Economic Partnership. An unprecedented free trade agreement with China. Working with regional partners to conclude ASEAN’s highest standard FTA – the ASEAN Australia New Zealand agreement or AANZFTA. The visionary P4 agreement with Chile, Singapore, and Brunei, which became the foundation for an ambitious regional initiative, the trans-Pacific partnership, or TPP, which Phil Goff and his team conceived and launched with the United States. The successor agreement, CPTPP, is now setting new standards for trade and economic governance across the region – and attracting strong interest from other capitals.

    And we are now breaking new ground with the next-generation trade agenda through open plurilateralism initiatives such as the Agreement on Climate Change, Trade, and Sustainability, and the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement.

    I note that last year President Biden ended federal funding of subsidies for the fossil fuel industry. We would welcome US engagement on the objectives underpinning Agreement on Climate Change, Trade, and Sustainability. Trade is part of the solution for slashing greenhouse gas emissions.

    When it comes to markets there is more to it than trade rules. One reason we put such an effort into APEC last year was the value businesses attach to good regulatory practice at and behind the border in the places of trade. I take great satisfaction from the success of our effort to ensure APEC got back on track after several hard years. It is now clearly, once again, one of the pillars of regional architecture. We have high hopes of the United States’ year in the chair in 2023.

    In the meantime you will know that in terms of future trade opportunities it would be our preference to see the Unites States enter the CPTTP. It remains my hope that in time we will be able to resume that conversation.

    We have our own commercial reasons for wanting that.

    But the stakes are much higher. It remains really important for the United States to be present and engaged in the economic architecture of our region. Because resilience and stability in our region is not solely defined by defence or military arrangements, but relationships in many forms.

    We have been having conversations on this with American counterparts. I think the basic point – the need for engagement – is fully registered. The real question is what form that engagement might take. And how it responds to the changes under way in the geopolitical and commercial environment.

    You will be aware of one big development. In the period ahead I expect we will be in a position, along with a number of others, to confirm our participation in President Biden’s Indo-Pacific Economic Framework initiative.

    IPEF is not a traditional trade negotiation but it does have a trade element. Digital trade is proposed as part of the agenda. It is important for New Zealand to be part of any conversation where future rules for digital trade are on the table. We have always been challenged by our distance from major markets and our small scale. Digital offers opportunities to shrink those disadvantages.

    But it is also vital that we get the digital rules right, balancing openness and innovation with social values and security in a way that works for all New Zealanders. This means being inclusive as well as drawing on te ao Māori views on data and digital issues and maintaining a human-centric approach as we enter the era of artificial intelligence.

    Another reason for our interest is the IPEF pillar covering clean energy, decarbonisation and infrastructure. The Indo-Pacific region accounts for over 50 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions. An initiative that brings together big emitters and has an explicit climate focus has real appeal to governments like ours that want to see collective action at scale and with a sense of urgency.

    The IPEF initiative also has a dedicated pillar covering supply chain resilience. I don’t need to remind this audience how much this matters for business.

    I want to reassure you that we have not lost sight of the multilateral trade agenda. We have welcomed the Biden administration’s renewed commitment to the WTO. US leadership will be indispensable as we work to revitalise the WTO and shape the Geneva process to respond to new realities and challenges. As we emerge from the pandemic trade needs to be one of the drivers of recovery. The WTO’s Ministerial Conference next month is an opportunity for collective action and our strong view is that the membership needs to grasp it.

    Just as we had to act at different times in response to world war, to the pandemic, to the Great Depression – we must act now in our response to climate change, with urgency and decisiveness against a crisis that is impacting lives and economies now, and which will only escalate further, unless strong and joined up action is taken.

    And in that effort the United States represents an incredibly important partner.

    The prosperity, security and well-being of New Zealand and our Pacific neighbours depend on an effective response to climate change – limiting the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees and transitioning our economy. The science shows the need for deep and urgent cuts to emissions. 

    New Zealand is acting and we have high ambition.

    We updated our Nationally Determined Contribution in 2021, requiring us to halve our emissions by 2030. This will not be easy, but inaction would cost us more dearly.

    We will shortly release our Emission Reductions Plan and emissions reduction budgets out till 2035, which will spell out the steps every sector of our economy will need to take.

    We will do our bit to meet the global commitment to deliver $100 billion a year in climate finance. We have committed $1.3 billion in climate finance over four years. At least 50 percent of this will go to the Pacific, where the impacts of climate change are felt acutely for coastal communities and low-lying islands. At least 50 percent of our funds will go to adaptation action.

    Like the US, New Zealand has a 2050 target. New Zealand has legislated reduction targets for methane. We have worked together to finalise the Paris rulebook and drive global action.

    We cooperate in a range of environmental and sustainability forums. And we are both focused on developing trade rules that support our climate change objectives.

    Globally, carbon pricing and carbon markets will play a key role in our collective response.

    Pricing emissions, removing environmentally harmful subsidies, requiring financial disclosure of climate risks – these moves will ensure climate is present in all investment decisions, not just those of climate champions. Developing and connecting high integrity carbon markets will increase our ability to connect capital with opportunities to reduce emissions on the ground. Ultimately these measures help finance to get where it needs to go (and away from where it must not) if we are to limit warming to 1.5 degrees. We have an interest in working with the US on carbon markets.

    But equally important is taking practical steps to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies. We have been outspoken on this issue because continued fossil fuel subsidisation risks eroding any good work on carbon pricing by giving money back to the emitters.

    Encouragingly, APEC agreed during New Zealand’s host year to develop a plan to pump the brakes on further fossil fuel subsidisation above the current level of $500 billion. But further urgent action is required, including at the WTO, to bring an end to these and other environmentally harmful subsidies once and for all. I’m incredibly pleased to have the Biden administration on side on this cause.

    So to close I want to look quickly to the near term.

    New Zealand is in demand. We have a strong brand. And we want to leverage those assets to support New Zealand Inc – including entrepreneurs and firms you will be hearing from today – to do great things in the United States and other markets.

    I will be leading a business delegation to the US later in the month. In shaping a programme several themes have been top of mind.

    One is to leverage the new ‘work from anywhere’ culture that has taken off over the past couple of years – one of the few good things to come from the pandemic. In practical terms it means distance is no longer the barrier it once was.

    Another is our sustainability credentials. Having an electricity supply that is already over 84 percent renewable and really matters for some players in the market – as we are seeing with the big data centre investments now being announced for the Auckland region. We need to strengthen these credentials and the relationships they bring.

    Then there is talent. The efforts of our movie makers and games developers have put us on the map. New Zealand’s creative sector has huge strength.

    We have an equally compelling story to tell on tech and innovation – whether we are talking software or space. Now we need to keep telling it.

    For reasons I have gone into today, over many decades we have built a reputation as a good citizen of the world. This matters in a future where commercial success is increasingly about attracting the best international talent.

    We continue to offer a great environment for doing business. And a great place to work, live and play.

    Most fundamentally, as we work to catch the eye of US firms and entrepreneurs who might want to partner or invest here, we offer a story built on values – the values that among other things drove our successful response to the pandemic.

    So New Zealand is open for business. And I stand ready to do whatever I can to support

    New Zealand business to do great things with American partners.

    Thank you again for the opportunity to participate in this event at such an important moment.

  • 01 May 2022 10:29 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Hollywood star Mark Wahlberg could be on his way to New Zealand this year to open the family burger bar in Auckland.

    The actor, rapper and entrepreneur thought to be worth up to US$350 million ($537m) founded Wahlburgers in 2011 with his brothers, Donnie Wahlberg, who found fame as a member of 1980s boy band New Kids on the Block, and Paul, the chef behind Wahlburgers' menu. A 10-season reality show on the brothers' venture wrapped in 2019.

    The international chain of 91 restaurants will open its first New Zealand Wahlburgers in the former Euro restaurant site in downtown Auckland's Princes Wharf this year, Wahlburgers Australia and New Zealand chief executive Sam Mustaca said.

    At least four more New Zealand outlets are also planned, with Mustaca scouting Queenstown sites this weekend and Tauranga, Wellington and Christchurch the other likely locations. Up to 350 part and full-time jobs will be created, including around 75 in Auckland.

    t's too soon to know the opening date for the Auckland restaurant, but at least two of the Wahlberg brothers would attend the grand opening in person, he said.

    "Mark and his brothers are very much looking forward to coming over for the opening."The decision to expand to New Zealand was motivated by their Kiwi staff overseas, Mustaca said.

    "They've always spoken so beautifully about the place. If it wasn't for those people we probably wouldn't have come here."

    A Wahlburgers opened in Sydney in February, and included local favourites and adaptations on the menu, including a burger with beetroot and egg, and vegemite aioli.

    The restaurants also include a bar.

    Kiwis could expect something special designed to their tastes, Mustaca said.

    "I'll leave that to chef Paul [Wahlberg]."

    A portion of profits would also go to charity, as happens in other outlets.

    Mark Wahlberg has his own charitable foundation, but funds would probably go to locally chosen charities, Mustaca said.

    Mark Wahlberg said he was "really looking forward to opening the first Wahlburgers in New Zealand".

    "I will hopefully be able to visit soon."


  • 30 Apr 2022 8:10 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Amazon Web Services (AWS) is pressing on with plans to build a giant $7.5 billion data centre in Auckland, after receiving clearance from the Overseas Investment Office.

    The global giant said decision the was an "important milestone" and brings it a step closer to delivering world-class computing services to New Zealand.

    "Our investment includes building data centres, buying regional goods and services, operating utilities and facilities, and supporting wages and salaries that contribute to the local economy," AWS country manager Tiffany Bloomquist said.

    The major investment would create 1000 direct and indirect jobs, Bloomquist said, claiming it would add about $10.8b to the local economy over the next 15 years.

    The centres would provide cloud-based storage facilities of data, so it could be accessed more quickly by local organisations.

    Bloomquist said the facilities would help build digital skills and accelerate innovation.

    "According to research commissioned by AWS and conducted by Alpha Beta, one million more New Zealand workers or 35 per cent of the country's total workforce, will require digital skills training for their jobs in the next year.

    "The nation is making tremendous strides on its digital transformation journey, and we are committed to strengthening our presence in the global digital economy by making our world-class infrastructure more easily accessible to all Kiwis."

    Microsoft, part Infratil-owned CDC and DCI are also building giant "hyperscale" data centres in Auckland's northwest, close to Southern Cross Cable landing points and NZ's largest internet peering exchange.

    From RNZ

  • 27 Apr 2022 10:14 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Rutherford & Meyer is building out its Upcycled Grain Project brand with its eye on the prize of “owning the deli category” in the US.

    The family-owned business, which was founded by Canterbury farming friends Alison Meyer and Gaye Rutherford in 1996, sells its flagship R&M fruit paste, crackers and wafers via the foodservice and retail channels in New Zealand, and exports to retailers in the US and Australia.

    However, the current focus for the company which since 2001 has been owned by Meyer’s daughter Jan and her husband, is expanding the range and distribution of its upcycled deli brand, which it launched three years ago targeting the growing conscious consumer demographic.

    “Some companies have an organic line, but we called ours Upcycled Grain Project so it was really obvious from the name on the packet what it was about,” chief executive Jan Meyer told the Ticker.

    Using spent grains recovered from the beer brewing process, it went to market with two UGP cracker SKUs, parmesan and rock salt respectively, which are now stocked in selected Foodstuffs supermarket delis and independent retailers.

    “We were the first snacking company in New Zealand to go mainstream with upcycling,” Meyer said.

    With an estimated 1.3 billion tonnes of food wasted globally per annum – around a third of food that is produced globally – upcycled products are gaining ground with consumers looking for options to reduce the climate and environmental impacts associated with food loss and waste.

    “It’s not only just about upcycling but also about sustainability – reducing our reliance on new resources,” Meyer said.

    The fact that R&M had cracked scale manufacturing using the grains supplied by an unnamed local brewery from IPA and APA brewing processes, was crucial for the Wellington-based company and unlocked the opportunity for new products and growing export markets, including the US.

    “We know how to dry the grain at volume, which no-one else has managed to do,” Meyer said.

    This saw it enter the US with its UGP cracker SKUs earlier this year securing shelf space with well-known national natural and speciality grocery store, Sprouts Farmer Markets, and Meyer confirmed it was in talks about the release of its new range of grain crisps that have this month gone on sale domestically.

    “Grain crisps are being presented to conventional and natural retailers in the US. They will launch in July this year,” Meyer said.

    “It is a really exciting market to be in. There is a huge amount of opportunity – we want to own the deli space in the US.”

    The four-strong range this month went on sale in New Zealand via New World, Pak’nSave, Four Square, Farro Fresh, Moore Wilson’s and Ballantynes, as well as R&M’s website.

    The four flavours – Fig and Cardamom, Cranberry and Coconut, Raisin and Rosemary and Orange and Sesame – have an RRP $5.49. The range is also online now through the R&M’s website for $5.50 for a 90g box.


  • 20 Apr 2022 5:31 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    NZX-listed Foley Wines' grape harvest is forecast to be up 65 per cent annually and the business has consent to buy a Central Otago vineyard as well as building at another property.

    Chief executive Mark Turnbull made the three announcements today.

    First, he said the company has almost completed its harvest and got 9085 tonnes. About 100 tonnes are still to be harvested at Foley's Mt Difficulty. The total to be harvested for the year represents about a 65 per cent increase on last year's harvest of 5582 tonnes, he said.

    Second, the Overseas Investment Office had granted approval for the company to buy the Zebra Bendigo Flat Vineyard from Zebra Vineyards. That is a 55.5ha property with about 30ha in Pinot Noir and 12.5ha bare land, ideal for further planting, Turnbull said.

    Third, resource consent has been granted for a new cellar door and restaurant project at Foley's Bannockburn's Mt Difficulty property, he said.

    The business is also building a new restaurant, cellar door and distillery development in Martinborough. Progress there has been slower than initially expected due to Covid.

    Turnbull said once both new cellar door projects were completed in Central Otago and Martinborough, the business would have significant new wine tourism venues.

    In October, Foley told the market it had entered into a conditional contract to buy the Bendigo property from Zebra Vineyards, subject to approval. The company said it planned to finance the deal via the Bank of New Zealand.

    Foley owns many vineyards including Martinborough Vineyard, Te Kairanga, Grove Mill, Vavasour, Mt Difficulty and the Lighthouse Gin distillery.

    Brands include Russian Jack, Dashwood by Vavasour, Roaring Meg by Mt Difficulty, Grove Mill, Martinborough Vineyard, Sanctuary by Grove Mill, Te Tera, Goldwater, Boatshed Bay, Clifford Bay and The Pass.

    The new Martinborough cellar door and restaurant project has been delayed due to Covid. The roof is now going on. Problems getting materials to the site had, like many other projects, delayed completion.

    The Te Kairanga winery on Martins Rd is being redeveloped, an old winery building removed and the new purpose-built facility is rising.

    Lighthouse Gin's new distillery within the development will give it the space and design to meet demand, with a custom-built copper still commissioned from German distillery manufacturer CARL.

    Visitors will be able to see the distiller at work, Foley Wines said.

    Shares are trading around $1.52, giving a market cap of $99 million. The shares traded up yesterday, by around 12c. Bumper harvests are being recorded at other vineyards due to a good season. Foley Wines had already signalled its Zebra purchase some months ago.


  • 15 Apr 2022 12:08 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    $6.1 Million investment for Pictor — led by Marko Bogoievski and K One W One Ltd. — to aid the market development of novel antibody testing and other in vitro diagnostics

    LOS ANGELES, California, USA — April 13, 2022 — Following a new investment of $6.1 million (NZD $8.8 million), biotech company Pictor today announced a partnership with U.S. laboratory service provider Mobility Health, launching a new antibody test as an important advance in COVID-19 monitoring and treatment. The investment, led by former Morrison & Co CEO Marko Bogoievski and specialist growth investor K One W One Ltd. (K1W1), will support market and product development of the new antibody test and other Pictor in vitro diagnostics.

    This first of its kind test, Pictor’s PictArrayTM SARS-CoV-2 assay, will enable high efficacy personalized COVID-19 assessments by detecting if a patient has antibodies from a previous infection of SARS-CoV-2 (from spike protein (SP) and nucleocapsid protein (NP) antibodies) or from vaccination alone (SP antibodies only). It will also indicate whether at-risk patients have failed to mount a detectable antibody response despite vaccination or infection (SP and NP negative).

    “The PictArray™ SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Test is a high performance, all-in-one, NP/SP COVID-19 antibody test with serological differentiation. This is the only known test that separately measures antibodies from vaccines and SARS-CoV-2 infection in one test,” explained Pictor’s Chief Medical Officer Tadd Lazarus, MD. “The separate detection of SP and NP enables more precise clinical intervention.” Due to its ability to differentiate between natural and vaccinebased antibodies, the PictArray test is an advancement with critical applications including vaccine development.

    “Pictor is pleased to partner with Mobility Health to offer such a unique and important test,” said Howard Moore, CEO of Pictor. “We are also incredibly grateful to Marko Bogoievski and Sir Stephen Tindall’s investment company K1W1 for their leadership in this investment. We now have the capital for further market development and launches within the United States, India, Australia, New Zealand, and the EU.

    ” Mobility Health founder and CEO Sandra Gunselman, Ph.D. expressed her own excitement about the launch of the PictArrayTM test: “This best-in-class technology offers each patient a personalized status of his or her protection against Covid-19. This is an important new tool in the enduring fight against Covid-19 and advances our mission of providing access to innovative new products.”

    The COVID-19 pandemic remains a healthcare concern as new strains of the virus have emerged. According to recent data, COVID-19 cases are up significantly in many US states as well as in Europe and the UK. According to a March 31st statement by the World Health Organization in its weekly epidemiological update: "COVID-19 remains a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, and it is too early to reduce the quality of surveillance.”

    Sir Stephen Tindall’s New Zealand investment company K1W1 and the former Morrison & Co. CEO Bogoievski led the round of funding, which involved 20 investors, bringing Pictor’s overall capital raised to $17 million (NZD $24.6 million). It was one in a series of funding rounds resulting from Pictor’s commitment to expanding manufacturing and R&D capabilities, not only in New Zealand, Europe, and India but in the U.S. where Pictor recently established headquarters.

    About Pictor
    Pictor is an in-vitro diagnostics company that offers a patented multiplexed platform for highly accurate and efficient testing of complex and infectious diseases for human and animal health. PictArray™ multiplexed technology makes it possible to test multiple disease markers in a single test simultaneously — with higher sensitivity, faster throughput, and reduced turn-around time. The company’s lead product, PictArray™ SARS-CoV-2 IgG ELISA Kit, enables more informed clinical intervention to manage the threat of COVID-19. For more information, please visit,, and @LtdPictor on Twitter.

    About K One W One Ltd.
    K1W1 is an investment company owned by Sir Stephen Tindall, the founder of successful New Zealand retailer The Warehouse. To date, K1W1 is responsible for over a total of $100 million in seed and venture capital funds for a large number of start-up and early-stage businesses in the arenas of biotech, environmental technology, high tech, software, and other high export potential businesses. The company’s objective is to assist young entrepreneurs to grow New Zealand as a leader in the “knowledge economy” and to help create a culture of making New Zealand “cash flow positive” in the international goods and services trade.

    About Marko Bogoievski
    Known as a high conviction investor, Marko Bogoievski served as the chief executive officer of New Zealand-based Morrison & Co before stepping down this past December. His career saw him lead Morrison & Co to become a global leader in infrastructure investment, specifically focused on data, renewable energy and healthcare. In his thirteen-year tenure with Morrison & Co, Bogoievski led growth in funds under management to over US$20 billion.

    About Mobility Health
    Mobility Health is a biohealth diagnostic company focused on bridging unintended gaps in healthcare by providing access to advanced diagnostics in innovative ways. In addition to mobile testing, the company has a CLIA-certified reference lab with accreditation for 43 states, including California and New York. Mobility Health provides clinical trial and research services to universities, biotech, and pharmaceutical companies worldwide. Mobility Health is a member of the Mason, Ohio living lab initiative to scale biohealth start-up companies.. More information can be found at