Media Release: TUANZ welcomes Government's new Rural Connectivity Target

6th October 2015

TUANZ has today welcomed the Government's announcement from the Minister of Communications, Hon. Amy Adams of a new target for Rural Connectivity of 50Mbps for 99% of the New Zealanders by 2025.  Over many years TUANZ has consistently stated that that the availability of good quality high speed connectivity in all parts of New Zealand is a critical economic enabler for the future of the NZ economy.

“One of the 5 key goals in our recently released strategic direction is to continue to advocate for ubiquitous high quality connectivity across the country and this newly announced Government target is a good step forward towards achieving this goal.” said the CEO of TUANZ, Craig Young.  

As part of the submission made by TUANZ in July of this year regarding the RBI2 and Mobile Black Spots programme, TUANZ called for a bold vision where New Zealand should work to meet the aspiration that the rural connectivity experience is the same as the urban connectivity experience.  “It’s heartening to see that the Government has heard rural voices in regards to setting an ambitious goal for providing them quality connectivity.  We pressed for at least the FCC’s latest pronouncement on broadband as being 25 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload so this goal of 50 Mbps is a commendable uplift” said Mr Young.  “Obviously we would be keen to see this in place as early as possible so we challenge both the Government and providers to work to achieve the target earlier if possible”

TUANZ is committing to continuing to lead in pursuing this ambitious vision as well as providing a watching brief over the actual delivery against the target.  “Our only concern is that as technology changes and the demands grow, that we regularly question whether the target is still applicable or whether we should continue to raise it in line with user expectations.”

A copy of our RBI2 and Mobile Black Spots submission can be found on our website here:




Media Release: TUANZ to lead New Zealand business into new age of digital connectivity

Building on 30 years of representing telecommunications users, TUANZ is setting out in a new strategic direction to ensure New Zealanders can make the most of the digitally connected world.

TUANZ vision is to work collaboratively with industry and government to make sure that by 2020 New Zealand is among the top ten countries for business use of digital technology.[1]

TUANZ Chair Pat O’Connell says TUANZ has always been and will remain an independent and professional organisation that represents the interests of the users of digital technology.

“Our role will continue to be to put the business user at the centre of industry and government decision making in a sector that is going to define our economy for the foreseeable future”, says O’Connell.

“Digital technology and connectivity are the defining opportunities of the modern era, and throughout New Zealand we need to inform, educate and support businesses to raise their digital competency and take advantage of the opportunity in the digital economy.” 

The telecommunications and technology industries are undergoing a period of rapid change, with the government’s investment in Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) and the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI), its Green Paper on digital convergence, and the ongoing review of the Telecommunications Act. 

O’Connell says that the moment is right to make decisions and put in place structures that will ensure New Zealand has a telecommunications and technology industry that is focused on delivering users exceptional service and support through fair and sustainable competition.

“TUANZ’ role is to help everyday New Zealand businesses – the users of digital connectivity – to get their needs and interests in front of industry and government, with a focus on achieving outcomes which will see our members’ businesses succeed”, said O’Connell.

“New Zealanders deserve ubiquitous and high-quality connectivity across the country. Our opportunity is to provide decision makers in industry and government with informed, credible and independent advice on what business users expect to get out of their investment in digital technology.”

TUANZ members welcome new direction

Downer New Zealand has congratulated TUANZ on its new strategic direction, saying that it has an important role in helping all businesses become informed and educated about the potential of digital technology. 

“As a member of TUANZ Downer strongly supports its vision to see New Zealand ranked among the top ten countries in the world for business use of digital technology, says Mike Maunsell, Director – Network Operations at Downer.

New Zealand’s investment in digital infrastructure through the UFB and RBI programmes has been a great first step in making it possible for businesses to unlock the value of digital connectivity, says Mike.

“It is vital that the users of digital technology, from large businesses like Downer, through to the smallest rural SME have a voice in this sector, and that is a role which we believe TUANZ will expertly fulfil.”

[1] According to the Network Readiness report of the World Economic Forum – New Zealand is currently ranked 19th for business usage. 

Refreshed TUANZ board sets out on a new direction

TUANZ Chair Pat O’Connell has welcomed six new members to the TUANZ board, saying that their election will bring energy and ambition to the help execute the organisation’s new strategic direction.  

“The appointment of our six new board members shows that there is excitement about where TUANZ is heading and what it can offer New Zealand businesses as users of digital technology”, says O’Connell.

“It is fantastic to see some young faces, as well as so many women, represented on our board. TUANZ will also benefit from having people from a wide range of sectors and organisations, which shows just how deeply technology is changing every sector and industry of the New Zealand economy.”

The new board will get to work immediately, implementing TUANZ’ new strategic direction – ensuring New Zealanders can make the most of the digitally connected world – and achieving its vision of New Zealand being among the top ten countries for business use of digital technology by 2020.

The new board members are:

·         Donna Spargo – Downer NZ

·         Guy Alexander – Xero

·         Jenna Woolley – Network for Learning Limited

·         Liz Gosling – Auckland University of Technology

·         Maxine Elliot – Vocus Communications

They join existing board members:

·         David Clarke – independent

·         Kevin Drinkwater – Mainfreight

·         Mike Foley – Auckland Council

·         David Gatland – independent

·         Doug Wilson – New Zealand Automobile Association  

The new board members are replacing retiring board members John Crisp from Transpower and Marianne Archibald from the Whanganui District Council, as well as filling four new positions on the extended board. Chair Pat O’Connell has been re-elected for a 12-month term.

There were 12 candidates for the six positions, and more than 50 per cent of TUANZ’ membership voted. The new board members will each serve two-year terms.

For more information about the new TUANZ board please see our Board page. 

Media Release : TUANZ launches NextGen Leadership Programme

7th September 2015


TUANZ has today announced the launch of its NextGen leadership programme, which will focus on building a community of the next generation of leaders across its membership organisations.

The NextGen leadership programme is an early initiative as part of its new strategic direction to be released at its AGM on the 30th September 2015.  

Craig Young, CEO of TUANZ, said: “New Zealand has a great opportunity to develop into an economy driven by digitally enabled businesses, and TUANZ can play an important role in bringing businesses, Government and communities together to the long term benefit of New Zealand.

“At the heart of that is building collaboration and involvement of the next generation of leaders and decision-makers within the TUANZ membership. This programme will include a broad range of individuals who fill roles across a wide range of organisations.  Examples might include future leaders within the ICT functions of corporates, within regulatory and support teams in telco’s, customer service roles, through to sales and marketing.”  

Chorus has agreed to take up the founding sponsor position.  

Ian Bonnar, Chorus GM Corporate Relations said: “The disruption caused by New Zealand’s evolution into a fully digital economy gives our country a massive opportunity to re-shape its place in the world, and fundamentally change the lives we lead. But for New Zealand to thrive it is going to require the next generation of leaders to challenge the way we do business, collaborate and innovate.  

“It is also essential for New Zealand to remain competitive that we make the most of the talented people available to us, no matter what their background or status.  It is my hope that this programme will bring together a diverse group, who will challenge current thinking, drive real changes, and ensure greater equality of opportunity for talented Kiwis over the coming years as they move into leadership positions.”

TUANZ will also receive support from The Skills Organisation as the programme is developed.

 Membership of TUANZ will be a prerequisite and a volunteer leadership group which will oversee the programme will be set up.  This group will be supported and administered by TUANZ but is to be made up of individuals from the target group.  

 Initial elements of the programme will include hosting specific events for the participants in the programme, encouragement to attend TUANZ events to encourage networking, and the development of relevant mentor programme with TUANZ providing resources and feedback processes to monitor the effectiveness of the programme.

For further information contact Craig Young, CEO, TUANZ (, 021488188) or Ian Bonnar, GM Corporate Relations, Chorus (, 09 358 6688)