Latest News

AmCham shares news updates from member companies - subscribe by RSS, follow our LinkedIn page or become a member to receive notifications. 
  • 26 Apr 2019 3:52 PM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    New Zealand tech business Biomatters, a global leading provider of DNA data analysis solutions, announced today that it will be acquired by US company GraphPad, a leading provider of data analysis and visualization software for the life sciences industry. The acquisition creates a life sciences software platform with technology and data analysis at the core of scientific research around the world.

    Biomatters was incubated in Auckland’s Icehouse accelerator and launched with seed funding from the Ice Angels and NZ Venture Investment Fund. Over the last decade the company has established its Geneious software as the premium brand for DNA data analysis, used by leading academic institutions, and pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies worldwide.

    Brett Ammundsen, CEO of Biomatters, is proud of the international success the company has achieved, and enthusiastic about joining forces with GraphPad. “We have built a team with world-leading expertise and domain knowledge in applying computation and graphical visualization to the challenges faced by life sciences researchers working with DNA data,” he said. “The combination with GraphPad will further accelerate our mission to enable technologies based on molecular biology to advance critical research in medicine, diagnostics, and agricultural and environmental science.”

    “The acquisition of Biomatters is an exciting opportunity to better serve our customers and the scientific community,” said Thomas Swalla, CEO of GraphPad. “There is a critical need for scientists and researchers to leverage technology in a way that enhances—not impedes—innovation. As a unified company, we can invest further in these software solutions allowing scientists to stay focused on advancing their research.”

    In 2017, GraphPad received an investment from Insight Partners. Insight is a leading global venture capital and private equity firm investing in high-growth technology and software companies.

    “This is a strategic and exciting acquisition in the life sciences sector, which continues to see exponential growth in the adoption of technology,” said Jeff Lieberman, Managing Director at Insight Partners. “By creating a platform that delivers technology solutions to enable better data analysis across various aspects of the scientific workflow, we can empower more customers to further scientific innovation. We will continue to invest in products and solutions to complement the platform and further this mission.”

    Following the acquisition, both companies will continue to operate and serve customers under their respective brands. 


  • 26 Apr 2019 3:46 PM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    Air New Zealand’s Gas Turbines business has won a third significant contract to service US Navy LM2500™ Power Turbines, worth more than USD$17 million.

    The contract will see the Auckland-based Gas Turbines team carry out maintenance on LM2500™ Gas Turbines which power the US Navy’s cruiser fleet.

    Work on the 10 power turbines under the new contract is expected to commence in August 2019 and the overall body of work is expected to conclude in late 2021.

    The contract was competitively bid for and Air New Zealand’s Chief Ground Operations Officer Carrie Hurihanganui says the contract win further builds on a longstanding relationship dating back to the late 1990s the airline has with the US Navy.

    “This is the third consecutive US Navy contract Air New Zealand has been awarded. This latest successful bid is testament to the efforts of our Gas Turbines team. The contract is a significant body of work for our business and demonstrates the robust working relationship we have built with the US Navy.”

    Since 2017 the Air New Zealand Gas Turbines business has secured USD$38 million worth of confirmed work covering 22 engine units. This latest contract brings the total committed US Navy work to date to USD$55 million.

    Air New Zealand Gas Turbines is a business unit of Air New Zealand and a General Electric “Authorised LM2500™ Service Provider” providing LM2500™ gas turbine overhaul and repair services to clients across a range of industries. The business began sourcing work in the industrial and marine sector more than 35 years ago and has since supported several of the world’s navies, offshore oil and gas platform operators and power generation companies.


  • 04 Apr 2019 11:34 AM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    Fast-food multi-national McDonald’s is spending $5.4 million on a 9.9 percent stake in NZX-listed technology minnow Plexure after being a customer off and on since at least 2012.

    McDonald’s says this is its first-ever investment in a mobile app vendor and will provide it with enhanced access to Plexure’s technology in the quick service restaurant space, including access to greater back-end and front-end features, customer functionality and customer targeting.

    “Across all markets, we’re using technology to elevate and transform the McDonald’s customer experience,” says group president and chief executive Steve Easterbrook.

    “This investment is a testament to our belief in Plexure’s ability to deliver strong results for our business as well as the talent and technology they’ve cultivated.”

    Plexure designs and builds software allowing other businesses, mainly retailers and fast food outlets, to target customers via their mobile phones.

    Plexure chief executive Craig Herbison says the funds from the placement of 13.8 million shares to McDonald’s will be used to expand his company.

    Read more


  • 02 Apr 2019 11:13 AM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    Mike Hearn announces the 2019 AmCham Innovation Awards

    The American Chamber of Commerce is delighted to announce the launch of the 2019 AmCham – DHL Express Success & Innovation Awards, held in conjunction with United Airlines. The Awards celebrate business achievement between New Zealand and the United States.

    With the growing tourism and air freight volumes with the USA, AmCham is delighted to welcome Auckland Airport as a silver sponsor of this years awards.

    Full details on the Awards Page including entry forms

    Categories for awards 

    Entries close May 31st and the Awards Dinner is on 22nd August 2019.

  • 28 Mar 2019 11:06 AM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    Air navigation services provider Airways New Zealand and global science and technology provider Leidos have agreed to work closely together on future air traffic management (ATM) opportunities under an agreement recently signed in Washington.

    The two organisations have already been working together on the  SkyLine-X air traffic management system, a $58 million system that will replace Airways’ two existing ATM platforms. 

    This latest agreement, signed by Airways International CEO Sharon Cooke and Leidos Vice President Fran Hill, lays the foundation for Airways and Leidos to cooperate on several customer opportunities spanning the air traffic management sector, including a joint flow management solution anticipated in the near term.

    “The co-development of the SkyLine-X platform really does provide a launch pad for an exciting and much broader collaboration with Leidos,” Airways International CEO Sharon Cooke says. “We value the long-standing relationship we have, and we’re excited about this new commitment to work together, where Airways will complement Leidos’ ATM capability with our training, simulation, and technical support expertise.”

    More information


  • 21 Mar 2019 3:05 PM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    TV station, ABC7 Chicago remarks on the 'breathtaking'  breakfast and lunch menu which has been serving residents in the Windy City for about a year.

    It’s Mojo Coffee’s only location outside of New Zealand, and the original menu is pretty much intact from back home.

    Since 2003, Mojo Coffee has been a constant presence in New Zealand. When they wanted to break into the US market, they first thought East Coast.

    “We looked at New York first, but realised pretty quickly that for a new business breaking into this market, retail is really expensive, so a bit risky,” owner of Mojo Coffee Steven Gianoutsos said.

    “Coffee’s gotta be premium. The quality has to be up there. The consistency has to be really, really good,” Gianoutsos said.

    The flat white is new for many Americans, although typical for us. But that's not the only innovation.  Mojo has an ambitious menu, with some grab-and-go, light snacks and a few ambitious dishes. 

    Not only is Mojo’s menu a little bit different than the standard US fare, There's no wifi, and hence, no one sitting on laptops. The intention is come down, have a bite to eat, have your meeting and then move on.

    Original article by Steve Dolinsky, ABC7 Chicago.

    Thanks to NZ Edge for the link.


  • 20 Mar 2019 4:37 PM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    One of the largest privately owned fleets in North America has become EROAD’s largest U.S. based enterprise customer.  

    The master supply agreement was signed in the United States for approx. 4,900 EROAD EHUBO 2 units.

    Given the fleet size and diverse geographical locations, it is anticipated that the majority of these units will be installed during FY20.

    The decision to switch to the user-friendly, accurate and reliable EHUBO 2 was made after a successful pilot programme. The customer’s full fleet operates out of hundreds of branches located within most States, forming one of the largest privately-owned fleets in the USA.

    Read full press release.

  • 19 Mar 2019 3:26 PM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    AmCham joins all New Zealanders in condemning violence against any individual based on race, religion or creed.

    The Prime Minister's words "You may have chosen us, but we utterly reject and condemn you" send the strongest possible message to the world. Our condolences go out to all the families of victims.

    AmCham has made a donation on the United for Christchurch fund raising page. [Photo Credit: Christchurch City Council Newsline/Kirk Hargreaves ] 

    Thank you for the photo.


  • 14 Mar 2019 11:31 AM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    This month we celebrate our 27th year at ATPI Business World Travel – established in 1992 our longevity is attributable to our loyal Clients, our amazing team of Travel Professionals and our proactive Suppliers.  A winning combination. Thank you and congratulations to all! 

    We’re amidst the peak of our inbound tourist season in New Zealand and Australia which creates the perfect storm as our Business Travellers have also gotten back on the road with a flourish. Domestic New Zealand travellers will be aware of the challenges with securing hotels or motels at reasonable rates and of course car rental availability is a problem. We’re concerned about containing your travel budget and to avoid extremely high accommodation rates (most are plus 50% to 100% over normal year round rates) we strongly recommend just making day trips to your business destinations. Once there, think about taxis, Uber or car sharing firms instead of scarce rental cars.  Also keep an eye on our New Zealand Calendar of Events (call us for your copy) and avoid destinations hosting concerts, sports events or multiple cruise ships on a single day. The record hotel rate we saw was a 4-star hotel in Albert Street Auckland – last room between Hamilton and Warkworth – at $10,000 for the night!  The pressure will ease as we move toward Easter. 

    United Airlines has confirmed its schedule for the Northern Summer  and will offer three flights weekly between Auckland and San Francisco every Mon/Thu/Sat. The flight departs at 1330hrs and lands into SFO at 0640hrs which allows for connections to destinations right across the US and Canada and with an appealing early evening arrival into East Coast destinations such as New York, Boston and Miami. United will operate a Boeing 777-200 aircraft featuring the well-liked Polaris Business Class, Premium Economy Class, Economy Plus and Economy Class.  

    Emirates has reduced the check-in luggage allowance on its lowest fare categories. Seat sale type fares are often booked in V or X class and these categories of fare will only attract a 15kg luggage allowance. Conversely Emirates does offer one of the highest luggage allowance of all airlines for all other economy fares at either 25kg, 30kg or 35kg per person. Emirates flights between the US and Dubai sit at 2 pieces/ 23kg each for Economy Class.  

    North American airlines operating the Boeing 737 Max8 model aircraft include Southwest, American Airlines, Air Canada and Westjet.  The FAA has now grounded the entire fleet of this aircraft type worldwide (there are 350 in service around the world) following the safety concerns raised about this newer model Boeing following the two devastating aircraft crashes. The aircraft is denoted as ‘7M8’ on your itineraries – not to be confused with the widely used Boeing 737-800 which carries the code ‘738’. The various airlines have advised us of the adjusted schedules and we have re-arranged clients travel to accommodate this.

    Bonvoy is the new branding for the Marriott group’s Guest Loyalty Programme. Previous brandings have been Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest. The three-programme integration will be completed this month and the new cards issued to members.   Marriot merged with Starwood in 2016 and from the New Zealand perspective most clients have been SPG Members. The top tier Bonvoy Ambassador Elite recognises those roadwarriors who stay in the group’s hotel for a minimum of 100 nights or spend more than US$20,000 annually, individually. 

    One of our US based Virtuoso partners arranges our private sightseeing for clients in a number of cities in the US. One of the highlights is their private tours around Washington DC. They offer  guided tours into a wide range of attractions – from the National Archives, Mount Vernon, walking tours of Alexandria and their popular tour of the Potomac River. Clients enjoy the personalised attention from their very skilled and specialised Guides. 

    Zion National Park in Utah celebrates its 100th Anniversary this year. There are activities planned throughout the year. 

    A reminder that travellers to the US who qualify for an ESTA must apply for these a minimum of 72 hours prior to departure. These can no longer be applied for within this time frame.  And an additional reminder to ensure you carry a hard copy of your ESTA form for both the US and Canadian versions.  The US ESTA can be re-printed from the ESTA system any time (via our website www.bwt.co.nz/Traveller Resources/ESTA). The Canadian one allows only one print when you first receive your application. Remember that if you need to show it that there is no wi-fi  or other means of internet access within most Customs and Immigration halls.

    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 can achieve benefits over and above any other travel agent or booking site for our clients. For a similar rate as any advertised rate included 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 Wi-Fi
    • Often some other kind of personalised in-room amenity
    • Take a look at www.virtuoso.com or call one of our BWT Travel Advisors

    Grant Bevin is an AmCham member and Managing Director of ATPI 

    Grant.Bevin@atpi.com

  • 14 Mar 2019 10:57 AM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    Organic Initiative (Oi) is delighted to announce that its 100% certified organic cotton feminine hygiene products will now be available in most Walmart stores from March 12, 2019.

    By being 100% certified “organic cotton, the tampons, pads and panty liners are free from synthetics, chemicals sprays, perfumes and dyes. They are also biodegradable, and with a woman using about 11,000 products in her lifetime, having a readily available alternative to synthetic feminine hygiene products is a game changer. Being affordable and available throughout Walmart in the USA gives women easy access to the product range, and more choice.

    Feminine hygiene sales in the U.S. are $2.7b per annum and Walmart accounts for about 20% of these.

    Oi CEO, Helen Robinson says that Oi believes all women should have access to an affordable range of premium, organic tampons, pads and liners. “Our initiative is to be the new norm and we invite all women to make the healthy, certified organic feminine choice. It’s a small change each month every woman can make for themselves and for our world."

    Read more