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  • 27 Sep 2018 9:25 AM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    In a New Zealand first, Kiwi Wealth’s new digital platform gives investors direct access to shares of US-listed companies and ETFs, easily and at low cost.

    Joe Bishop, Kiwi Wealth General Manager Customer, Product and Innovation, says Hatch fills a significant gap in the New Zealand investment market.

    “Kiwi Wealth’s investment philosophy is that opportunity and risk is best diversified through investing in global markets, especially relatively stable, liquid ones like the US. We deliver expertise as fund managers, while recognising some investors also want to self-direct a portion of their money.

    “These investors have the time, interest and knowledge to successfully self-manage their investments. Many want to self-direct their investments in US shares but, until now, it hasn’t been easy because they had to use a broker that offered dated, complex solutions.

    “Hatch is an innovative solution designed to meet the specific needs of the self-directed investor and follows other digital tools we’ve developed to empower people to take control of their investments. These include our award-winning Future You® retirement income planning tool and we’re very close to launching New Zealand’s first robo-advice platform.”

    Hatch is the first of its kind in New Zealand to also allow investors to buy fractions of a full share. This allows greater flexibility for investors to manage their portfolios as well as offering them the ability to invest in highly priced company shares they otherwise couldn’t afford.  Hatch full press release.

    www.hatchinvest.nz


  • 26 Sep 2018 9:44 AM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    Economic Development NZ (EDNZ) and the US-based International Economic Development Council (IEDC) are to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that will create unprecedented economic development ties between their respective countries, organisations and membership.

    EDNZ and the IEDC share a similar purpose to provide leadership and excellence in economic development for the benefit of members and communities.

    “The IEDC has over 5000 corporate and individual members world-wide so this will provide New Zealand and EDNZ with unprecedented international reach,” said Dr David Wilson, Chair of EDNZ.

    The MoU will connect New Zealand with economic development practitioners from across the globe and provide EDNZ with the opportunity to contribute to the world-wide development of the economic development profession via projects, capability building and annual conferences that push the envelope on contemporary practice and economic development issues.

    ”This is a first for New Zealand that marks a watershed in the advance of the practice in New Zealand and the sharing of expertise and experience amongst a global network,” said Dr Wilson.



  • 25 Sep 2018 4:11 PM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    Matthew Luckie's team will develop new methods to identify and attribute Network/Internet-scale Disruptive Events (NIDEs). These are "Disrupted internet connectivity may significantly impact critical infrastructure systems, such as energy and water systems, the finance sector, commerce, and public safety and emergency communications systems, as well as other essential systems on which society is dependent."

    Despite the impact of NIDEs, there is a lack of any rigorous understanding of internet outages or sufficient tools for their systemic and timely identification.


    The award, valued at $672,000 will support developing a system for internet-scale monitoring of router-reboots and their impact on Border Gateway Protocol routing and reachability. This effort will develop a method to conduct internet measurement and analysis for cybersecurity assessments quantifying and reporting the dependence of inter-domain routing on individual routers and employ an active probing technique. The effort encompasses applied research, software development, operations and maintenance, and development of an API that will allow third-party analyses.




  • 24 Sep 2018 9:39 AM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    Hawaiki Submarine Cable has contracted with US-based Ciena Corp to increase the capacity of its deep-sea fibre optic cable by more than half.

    The 15,000-kilometre cable links Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific and the United States and started operating in July with a transmission capacity of 43.8 terabits of data a second.

    Now Hawaiki plans to upgrade that to 67 terabits per second using Ciena’s GeoMesh solution.

    That will give Hawaiki the lowest cost for per bit of data transmitted, and let it offer greater granularity of capacity products for customers, the companies said in a joint statement.

    “As the provider of the largest and fastest link between Australia, New Zealand, and the US, we recognize our customers’ need for innovative capacity solutions that support a shorter time-to-market and improved revenue generation,” Hawaiki chief executive Remi Galasso said.

    “Our collaboration with Ciena will allow us to both scale our infrastructure with minimal operational complications and meet market requirements for greater connectivity and diversity across the Pacific.”

    Hawaiki is a carrier-neutral service linking Sydney, New Zealand, American Samoa, Hawaii and Oregon. The New Zealand link comes ashore at Mangawhai head.

    The US$300 million project was developed with support from anchor customers including Amazon Web Services, Vodafone, American Samoa Telecommunications Authority and Research and Education Advanced Network New Zealand.

    News release

  • 23 Sep 2018 4:43 PM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    Deadline October the 15thto file FINAL 2017 US Tax Return.

    As we approach the end of the month, one more important date is looming for many US citizens who are deemed “wilful in their failure to file tax returns”, the end of OVDP (Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program).

    The OVDP program closes completely on 28th September 2018.

    OVDP was introduced in 2009, and revised in 2014. In brief, OVDP was a form of amnesty program designed to allow taxpayers who could not be considered “unwilful” (ie did not intentionally fail to file their returns) to come back into the fold, with a prescribed penalty regime. For many, this offered an opportunity to come forward regarding international bank accounts, investments or similar, without the risk of criminal prosecution.

    For the last 9 years, this has proved an incredibly successful, netting over $11b in additional tax revenues for the IRS (according to the most recent statistics available).

    It is a common misconception that OVDP is ending as the IRS is no longer focusing on international taxation. This is untrue, and the reality is quite the opposite. The IRS has established multiple international tax enforcement groups, and the amount of penalties issued for unreported entities or accounts (trusts etc.) is rising.

    The IRS introduced OVDP as a voluntary program, as the agency didn’t previously have the ability to track the foreign assets and accounts held by individuals at the time. This is no longer the case, and the IRS no longer needs a voluntary disclosure program, but rather can use the instruments built as part of FATCA to catch up with any individuals it deems to be failing to comply.

    Luckily, few New Zealand or Australian based US citizens have needed to use the OVDP program, instead using the Streamlined Filing Amnesty Program, which is far less punitive and designed for “non-wilful” individuals. Rather than the severe penalty regime of OVDP, Streamlined instead waives all penalties for taxpayers who were not aware of the need to file returns to the IRS, and thus unintentionally failed to comply.

    Now is the time for any US citizen with any worldwide income to take advantage of the amnesty programs available, and come into compliance without penalty. OVDP is the first to go, don’t leave it too late, Streamlined may be next.

    Dave Tzimenakis,Client Services Manager Dave@usglobaltax.com +649 373 2949                                                


  • 18 Sep 2018 4:35 PM | Rebecca Caroe (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:

    Request Your Ballot:  

    Complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA).  You must complete a new FPCA after 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.

    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.

    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.  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.

    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 Facebook and 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 the U.S. Consulate General Auckland Voting Assistance Officer at VoteAuckland@state.gov.  

    Remember, your vote counts!

    Be absent but accounted for!

  • 17 Sep 2018 5:43 PM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    Exciting news from Company-X, the Waikato based software experts about a new partnership with Silicon Valley's Enquero. 

    Jeremy Hughes and David Hallett have created a team with world-class software development skills - their goal with this partnership is to add digital engineering and solution architecture expertise from the Enquero team.

    Scoop press release


  • 13 Sep 2018 1:39 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of diplomat Rosemary Banks as New Zealand’s Ambassador to the United States of America.

    The new Ambassador has previously held a number of senior roles in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and has served as New Zealand’s Ambassador to France and Portugal, as well as Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York.

    Ms Banks is currently a Crown Negotiator in the Treaty of Waitangi settlement process, a member of the Council of the University of Canterbury, and a Senior Adjunct Fellow in the Department of Political Science.

    “The Government congratulates Rosemary Banks on her appointment. She is a highly experienced diplomat and public servant who will be a consummate professional in representing New Zealand’s interests in Washington,” Mr Peters said.

    “The Government also wishes to acknowledge the departing Ambassador, Hon Tim Groser for his service. He has been a strong advocate for New Zealand and has been successful in cementing the relationship between our two countries.”


  • 30 Aug 2018 6:26 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    I’m delighted to able to announce that Agritech New Zealand has signed a significant MOU with Western Growers, the largest producers of fresh produce in North America.

    The agreement addresses some of the significant challenges that New Zealand agritech companies have faced when entering the US market. Where to land? Who to speak to? How to validate tech in-market and on-farm? This Agreement answers these questions.

    Today, the 30+ New Zealand delegates attending the 2018 Silicon Valley AgTech Immersion Program & Conference are visiting the Western Growers Technology & Innovation Center in Salinas. It’s a place I have been visiting regularly over the past three years as the relationship with Western Growers has grown. Several of the delegates today are already discussing how their businesses and entities can leverage the Agreement to establish a more formal presence within the US market.

    Yesterday, we visited Fresno and the Central Valley here in Northern California. We saw at first hand the scale of the region’s agricultural sector. We also experienced some of its challenges: Water, labor & lack of automation. These are challenges that New Zealand’s agritech sector players are uniquely qualified to address.

    This is not a one-way agreement. It includes a provision to enable US-based agritech businesses to establish a presence in New Zealand to continue R&D during the northern hemisphere ‘off-season’. This is designed to enable two-way tech transfer between both countries.

    Most programs of this type end after a week and everyone heads home to ‘business as usual’. For the delegates in Salinas today, the signing of this agreement has changed all that. This is the start of an exciting new journey and a significant opportunity that Agritech New Zealand will share with the rest of the country’s agritech sector on our return to Aotearoa.

    The Media Release in full:
    SALINAS, CA, USA (30 September 2018) – Western Growers (WG) has formalized a new strategic partnership with Agritech New Zealand to strengthen, share and accelerate the development of agricultural technologies, as well as help businesses in both countries access U.S. and New Zealand agriculture markets.

    “We are currently facing a myriad of issues that are severely impacting agriculture and the production of food globally,” said Hank Giclas, Western Growers’ senior vice president, strategic planning, science & technology. “Building a two-way bridge for agricultural technology will result in international collaboration where we can create, transfer and share knowledge and experiences about new technologies that can help solve the industry’s most pressing issues.”

    The signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) establishes a business relationship focused on providing in-market support for agtech companies in New Zealand. It also opens doors for New Zealand agtech companies to enter the U.S. market via WG’s Center for Innovation & Technology (WGCIT) in Salinas, California, and for U.S.-based agtech startups to access the New Zealand market and opportunities.

    “Connecting our agriculture innovation ecosystems will benefit innovators, growers, investors, regulators, researchers and public stakeholders not only in our two countries, but around the globe,” said Peter Wren-Hilton, executive director at Agritech New Zealand. “We are excited to embark on this new partnership to foster economic growth in the U.S. and New Zealand through international connections and missions.”

    The WGCIT provides a co-working space that offers agtech start-up companies access to training and mentorship; monthly seminars; regularly scheduled events; and exclusive events with WG members – specialty crop farmers in Arizona, California, Colorado and New Mexico. As part of the MOU, the community that Agritech New Zealand serves will now have access to WGCIT offerings. Additionally, the WGCIT will work with Agritech New Zealand to evaluate opportunities to conduct R&D trials with potential New Zealand partners during the Northern Hemisphere off season.

    About Western Growers:
    Founded in 1926, Western Growers represents local and regional family farmers growing fresh produce in Arizona, California, Colorado and New Mexico. Our members and their workers provide over half the nation’s fresh fruits, vegetables and tree nuts, including nearly half of America’s fresh organic produce. In December 2015, WG opened an agtech incubator—the Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology—in Salinas, California to provide startups with the resources and mentoring needed to get their companies and technologies up and running. The Center now houses 47 startups. Connect with and learn more about Western Growers on our Twitter and Facebook.

    About Agritech New Zealand:
    Launched in 2018, Agritech New Zealand is a purpose driven, membership funded organization whose members share a passion for the opportunities that agritech can generate. Agritech New Zealand connects innovators, investors, regulators, researchers and interested public.  It promotes opportunities and challenges raised by agritech.  Agritech New Zealand advances the ecosystem through advocacy, collaboration, innovation, talent and economic growth through international connections and missions. 

  • 17 Aug 2018 12:10 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Tourism Holdings takes out Supreme Award at the 2018 AmCham - DHL Express Success & Innovation Awards for companies doing business with the USA

     Auckland, 16th August 2018 The 19th annual AmCham DHL Express Success & Innovation Awards were held at the Pullman Auckland Hotel last night, with Tourism Holdings winning the Supreme Award for doing business with the United States.

    Amcham was delighted to welcome the Hon Grant Robertson as keynote speaker and presenter of the three key exporter awards with the U.S. Ambassador Scott Brown presenting the Importer of the Year award.

    Over the last year trade of goods with the USA were just under $12 billion, up 4%, representing 10% of New Zealand’s total merchandise trade.  Trade in services continue to grow with total trade bilateral worth around $17 billion. The years finalists on show at the awards highlighted some of New Zealand’s most innovative products and services succeeding in the USA.

    This year saw a new award added – Bilateral Entrepreneur/Innovator with the USA which was won by serial entrepreneur and investor Chip Dawson.   

    The Supreme Award is chosen from the winners of each of the categories presented on the night. The complete list of winners is as follows:

    This year’s award finalists were some of the strongest AmCham has seen in the last eighteen years and the judges decided to award a number of Highly Commended certificates. These were presented to:
    Tekron International
    RJ’s Licorice
    The Walshe Group
    Helen Robinson

    The AmCham DHL Express Success & Innovation Awards celebrate success and innovation in the export, import and investment sectors between New Zealand and its third-largest trading partner, the USA.  Winners of the importer, exporter, tourism and bilateral connections awards categories receive an Economy Plus® Round Trip Ticket to the USA from United Airlines. 

    In addition to AmCham, DHL-Express and United Airlines, the Awards are also supported by ANZ Bank, Baldwins, Fonterra, The Pullman Auckland Hotel, media partner The Business, wine sponsor Constellation Brands and event manager Lime & Soda.