Seeking TUANZ Board Nominations 2023

One of the opportunities that members of TUANZ have is to put their name forward for election to the Board.  Being part of the Board gives you the opportunity to influence the future work of the organisation and how TUANZ impacts the direction of the digital technology landscape in Aotearoa New Zealand.

We are now seeking nominations for the Board and encourage you to carefully consider nominating yourself or someone else to this role who can make a difference and help us to make sure New Zealand makes the most of the digitally connected world. More information about the Board member roles and responsibilities can be found here.

There are six seats available this year on the TUANZ Board in this rotation. If elected, Board members serve for a term of two years.

Board Nominations

The following Board members were elected in September 2022 and have another year to serve:

  • Andy Edwards
  • Caitlin Metz
  • Kaity Mitchell
  • Vaughan Baker

The following Board members’ terms expire at the upcoming AGM:

  • Jenna Woolley
  • Matthew Harrison
  • Maxine Elliott
  • Tristan IIich (Current Chair)
  • Wendy McGowan
  • Zoe Udy

While any member may be nominated, based on the current representatives on the Board we especially encourage members with the following skills or experience to consider nomination :

  • Risk & Financial Management
  • Experience in security or data protection
  • Experience in leading large corporate IT teams
  • Members who work within non-technology and telecommunications companies

Nominations must be received by 5pm Tuesday 22 August 2023. Nominations should be made using this form.

You or your organisation must be a fully paid-up member of TUANZ to join the Board, so if you are in doubt about your standing with the organisation, please contact us at accounts@tuanz.org.nz to check and/or arrange payment.

Online Voting

Voting will take place online in advance of the AGM and the results will be announced at the meeting.

Notices and Remits

If you have any remits, motions or other items that you would like raised at the AGM, please send these through to agm@tuanz.org.nz by 5pm Tuesday 12 September 2022.

 

Timeline

  • Now: Call for Nominations for Board representatives issued to Members
  • 22 August: Deadline for nominations to be received
  • 29 August: List of nominees to be issued to voting members and electronic voting commences
  • 12 September: Any proposed notices, motions or remits to be advised to TUANZ
  • 26 September: Annual Meeting, results of online voting announced.

 

Annual General Meeting

The TUANZ Annual General Meeting will be held online on Tuesday 26th September 2023. Details and registration information will be sent out soon.

All TUANZ members are encouraged to attend the AGM.

Tech Users Day 2022 Communique

Tech Users Day 2022 was a day of inspiring speakers, networking, table and panel discussions, challenging our vision of New Zealand being in the top 10 digital ready nations by 2030.  What will it look like and how do we get there? How do we gain momentum in transformation and ensure no one is left out or left behind? 

We have put together a communique, including an overview of the day’s key themes and takeaways, plus thoughts on where to next. Topics discussed include:

  • Te Rautaki Matihiko mō Aotearoa – The Digital Strategy for Aotearoa
  • A new era of digital connectivity
  • Growing for our digital future
  • Balancing sustainability and growth in our digital future
  • Empowering everyone’s participation
  • The power of connection
  • The importance of authentic relationships at local levels
  • Doing what’s right for our digital future
  • Nurturing our resilience and online safety

Thanks to everyone who was involved in making Tech Users Day 2022 a success. We look forward to next year’s event.

TUANZ Media Release : TUANZ Welcomes Kiwis home but not the return of roaming charges

TUANZ MEDIA RELEASE

Wednesday 2nd March 2022

 

With the news that Kiwi’s can now return home to Aotearoa from Australia with no home isolation from Wednesday evening, and the ability of Kiwi’s to travel to Australia, people can now look forward to once again flying across the Tasman to see family, friends and do business.

 

However, there is a cost to this that many will have forgotten over the last two years – that of International Mobile Roaming Charges even when visiting our closest neighbours. TUANZ is calling on the operators on both sides of the Tasman to do away with this unnecessary charge as travellers start to arrive in their respective countries. This would be in the spirit of the announcements as far back as 2013 by the Prime Minister’s of both countries to empower regulators to ensure roaming prices were regulated.

 

“Operators over the last two years have learnt to live without this revenue from everyday travellers and so any re-start of roaming will simply be unnecessary. Why not take the opportunity now to agree to not reinstate the charges between our two countries, further reducing the cost of travel across the ditch,” says Craig Young, CEO of TUANZ.

 

Young went on to say “while we recognise that roaming charges beyond ‘Australasia’ would be more problematic to remove, this change between two neighbours should be simple to fix. It would provide a boost to helping Kiwi’s reconnect, and support businesses, including tourism and hospitality.”

 

Young estimates that Kiwis have saved a collective $180million over the last two years. Telcos in New Zealand receive an estimated $114million from these charges for Kiwi’s and incoming tourists in a regular year. (These numbers are based on the Commerce Commission survey of retail telcos for the 2019 financial year and related to all overseas roaming, not just Australia).

 

“We have learnt the importance of remaining connected through the COVID-19 pandemic, and taking the opportunity to reduce roaming charges to zero across the Tasman would be a big step to helping us all remain in touch, even now that we can travel.”

A few tips for consumers when travelling:

 

  • Check the details of your current mobile plan and remind yourself of what charges apply when travelling

  • Utilise over the top messaging services rather than text messaging

  • Set up your voicemail asking for messages rather than phone calls

  • When out of the country, utilise secure wifi networks such as friends, families and workplaces to connect rather than overseas mobile networks

  • If travelling for some time, consider using a local prepaid service rather than roaming

 
Ends

10th November 2021: Submission on the Towards a Digital Strategy for Aotearoa – Discussion Document

On the 10th November 2021 we provided our feedback on the Government’s discussion document on “Towards a Digital Strategy for Aotearoa”.

The basis of our submission was the Digital Priorities for Aotearoa Report and the communique issued as part of the recent Techusers Day held in August 2021.   Our main point was that to lift our nation to the level of leading globally, the Digital Strategy for Aotearoa needs to be ambitious, challenging and a stretch. It needs to have audacious goals which are targeted and a call to action.  And while we think the vision and goals in the discussion document “Towards a Digital Strategy for Aotearoa” is a good start, it does not embody the ambition this strategy needs to realise the benefits for Aotearoa New Zealand.

We also made the point that the whole of business (economy) must be involved in developing and delivering on a holistic digital strategy. The discussion document alludes to this, however, there is no specific action to support the wider business environment or obligation placed on the wider economy. These businesses are not SMEs but are large users of digital services and we would like to see recognition of the importance of the wider business community – both in terms of how Government will support their digital transformation, but also how larger businesses will play their part in securing our digital future.

You can read our brief submission here.

MEDIA RELEASE : TUANZ LAUNCHES SITE WITH SIMPLE TO UNDERSTAND INFORMATION REGARDING 5G

17th April 2020

TUANZ (Technology Users Association of NZ) has for over 30 years been committed to helping users understand new communications technologies and the benefits that these bring for both companies and consumers.

To ensure that members as well as the general public have an independent source of easy to understand information, TUANZ has launched a new resource about the next evolution of mobile communications, known as 5G, on their website.  Here users can find simple explanations of the technology along with links to further detailed information, as well as being able to download a simple fact sheet.  

“We also know that there is a significant amount of misinformation on social media on what 5G is and the unverified health risks associated with this new technology” said Craig Young, CEO of TUANZ.  “ Our new site provides brief and simple explanations of why this risk is overstated and provides links to credible scientific information that debunks any theories.”

Young also has a message to those who consider that the current actions of damaging mobile towers is an acceptable form of protest. “There is absolutely no scientific evidence that 5G, or any mobile network, has in any way contributed to the current Covid-19 pandemic.  In fact, damaging equipment at this time only serves to disrupt those communities, families and whanau who are in isolation in need of being connected for their health and wellbeing, and in particular disrupts and causes harm for children who are now in the new school term, learning from home.”

The information can be found on the TUANZ website from a link on the homepage or at https://tuanz.org.nz/articles-research/5g/. The association is committed to updating the site with new information as it becomes available.

 

GUEST BLOG*: “Retail Resistance Frustrates Fibre”

Last week on the 9th February, Ernie Newman, past CEO of TUANZ, posted a blog on his experience ordering UFB for his home office.  Below is what he wrote to explain his story which we repost as a Guest Blog* (You can see the original post here).

“Is UFB – a visionary, nation-building programme that taxpayers have funded – being undermined by the retail telecommunications companies? From my recent experience, yes – the moment a customer in a shop or call centre uses the “F” word – fibre – your typical telco sales person  scuttles off like a scared rabbit.

Last year I helped a client connect to the UFB and found the process cumbersome, with RSP staff not merely uninformed but outright resistant. I hoped this was a teething issue, but now it seems endemic.

In recent days I’ve been trying to get my home office upgraded from naked DSL (on the old WorldxChange network, more recently taken over by Vodafone) to fibre. A breeze, I thought – Chorus had mailed me to say that work in my street is complete and to start enjoying UFB I should get in touch with my service provider.

Last week I rang 0800 123456 to start the process. – I was about to leave Auckland at the time and decided I’d use the downtime in the car to organise the deal. Before joining the Southern at Tamaki I dialed and typed in my landline number, after which I was put in the queue.

Near Takanini I got a real person – Jonathan. He asked for my home number – never mind that I had already typed it in. I explained my request. Jonathan went quiet – he seemed quite stumped that someone was asking to be connected to fibre. He put me on hold. Eventually he came back and said he would need to pass me to the sales team. Ok – back on hold again,

Near Drury I was answered by a lady whose name I forget. Once again she asked me for my home phone number and once again I explained my request. Once again there was a silence in which it was clear that she was out of her depth with such a request. She put me on hold.

Coming up to the Bombays, a third Vodafone person answered – how can I help you? She had not had any handover from the two previous operators. For the fourth time I gave my landline number.

I must admit to getting a bit tetchy at that point. “I’m only trying to do my job”, she retorted – and within a second the call was disconnected. Coincidence?

But it gets worse.This morning I started again ringing the same call centre number. They eventually answered but the moment I mentioned the “F” word they couldn’t wait to transfer me to another department. Unfortunately this department had their phones on nightswitch despite being 10am on a weekday, so I was asked to leave a recorded message which I did.

Later this morning I got a call back.“Sorry but we don’t offer fibre in Whakatane” I was told. “What” – I said – “I have a letter from Chorus saying it is available. Are you serious that Vodafone does not offer it”

“Your account is not with Vodafone” I was told. “You are a customer of Vodafone Next Generation Services – and we don’t offer fibre in Whakatane.”  (Next Generation Services but nix fibre? Yeah right!)

“Well then,” I asked, “does Vodafone (parent company) offer fibre in Whakatane?” “I don’t know,” they said – “you’ll have to ask Vodafone.”

I gave up. I drove to my nearest Spark shop.Nice people. Yes they said – we can get fibre for you. But there’s a crunch. I first have to convert to Spark DSL which potentially means replacing my IP phones with PSTN ones and will take two weeks. Then and only then can the process start to get fibre to me – that will take up to 3 months.

Despite all that, I agreed. Until, that is, it became clear that the whole process is so complex that it is beyond the normal salespeople. I need to deal the branch manager, who was busy out the back .So I gave up.

My thesis is this:

  • The reason UFB takeup is slow is that no matter which RSP you deal with the staff run like scared rabbits the moment the “F” word is mentioned

  • The underlying cause might be incompetence, or woefully poor training

  • However it is plausible that the RSPs, or a business partner, have a perverse incentive to keep customers on the copper rather than convert them to fibre – in which case that is really bad news for the consumer and for the taxpayer’s substantial investment. 

Whatever the reason, it seems that customers wanting to take advantage of the UFB for which they as taxpayers have picked up the tab, are being seriously frustrated.I would love to be proved wrong. Please somebody tell me if I am.”

*Guest Blogs do not necessarily reflect TUANZ official position but are posted to encourage debate and discussion on pertinent issues.

Fibre Readiness Survey – Speed is the Killer App

In 2010 a survey on business use of Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) was conducted.  Earlier this year (2015) it was decided to survey the TUANZ membership once again and to invite the Greater East Tamaki Business Association (GETBA) to participate given the length of time UFB had been available in that area.  The survey was conducted online during the month of June 2015.

Over November, each week we will publish a post that covers off a key finding from the survey finishing up with our thoughts on the opportunities that we see arising from the survey results. We have also published the data to the Figure.NZ site and you can see the results herenote that at present that although the graph titles state that it is “TUANZ members”, the results include the GETBA results as well.   If you want to know more of the background and the response rate you can read that on our website here.

 

This week we look at the respondent’s view that SPEED is one of the key drivers to take a fibre service.  In the survey we asked a series of questions that attempted to understand the key drivers for taking a fibre service  In some ways it was unsurprising that the key underlying reason was the reliable speed of connectivity.

However when asked what speed broadband they would like to buy in future (n= 142), none of the respondents who already have fibre or UFB (n 70) = selected VDSL or 30 Mbps/10Mbps plans and 42% of that group would purchase plans of 1Gbps or more. Of those without fibre (n = 72), it was interesting to note a general preference for lower speed plans, with the exception of the 1 Gbps plan (selected by 13%), which has been heavily marketed through Gigatown and other campaigns.

Of those respondents who had taken up UFB or fibre at their head office or single site, the majority (45%) were on plans of 100 Mbps symmetric or less. Almost 30% were on 1Gbps symmetric plans or more (including those on dark fibre). This appears relative to the greater sample of SME respondents than corporate.  Of the more than 42% (n=92) on copper broadband, around 23% reported they were on a VDSL connection. The same number didn’t know what speed their fibre connection was.

There are indications that opportunities lie in improving broadband speeds at branch offices. Nearly 45% of respondents (n= 83) had branch offices and although this sample diminished further when asked about the type of broadband connection they had (n=65), just under half were still on copper.

The trend to uncapped plans was confirmed with around a third of respondents no longer tied to a fixed amount of data.

 

Other Drivers of uptake:

 

Price (n=85) again proved to be a challenging question to survey, especially as many broadband plans are still bundled with telephony. Accordingly caution should be exercised when considering these results. When asked what monthly fee they were paying for broadband now, 77% of respondents said they were paying under $200 per month. The median price paid was $109. Unsurprisingly, SMEs and non-fibre users were the predominant type of businesses to answer this question. When compared with the 2010 survey results, it would appear businesses continue to be price sensitive. The similarity of the monthly UFB access fees to those for ADSL (copper) services was considered of greatest importance (74%) in encouraging UFB uptake by non-fibre respondents.

Other – The UFB benefits which were ranked second and third most important after access fees in encouraging uptake by non-fibre businesses were improved productivity (76%) and remote working (65%) respectively. All respondents considered cloud, remote working and voice-over-IP to be the three ICT services they would most consider investing in to leverage the benefits of UFB. These were similar to the responses given in 2010. The benefits respondents were least aware of in 2015 were reduced power costs and supply chain improvements.

Fibre Readiness Survey – Speed is the Killer App

In 2010 a survey on business use of Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) was conducted.  Earlier this year (2015) it was decided to survey the TUANZ membership once again and to invite the Greater East Tamaki Business Association (GETBA) to participate given the length of time UFB had been available in that area.  The survey was conducted online during the month of June 2015.

Over November, each week we will publish a post that covers off a key finding from the survey finishing up with our thoughts on the opportunities that we see arising from the survey results. We have also published the data to the Figure.NZ site and you can see the results herenote that at present that although the graph titles state that it is “TUANZ members”, the results include the GETBA results as well.   If you want to know more of the background and the response rate you can read that on our website here.

 

This week we look at the respondent’s view that SPEED is one of the key drivers to take a fibre service.  In the survey we asked a series of questions that attempted to understand the key drivers for taking a fibre service  In some ways it was unsurprising that the key underlying reason was the reliable speed of connectivity.

However when asked what speed broadband they would like to buy in future (n= 142), none of the respondents who already have fibre or UFB (n 70) = selected VDSL or 30 Mbps/10Mbps plans and 42% of that group would purchase plans of 1Gbps or more. Of those without fibre (n = 72), it was interesting to note a general preference for lower speed plans, with the exception of the 1 Gbps plan (selected by 13%), which has been heavily marketed through Gigatown and other campaigns.

Of those respondents who had taken up UFB or fibre at their head office or single site, the majority (45%) were on plans of 100 Mbps symmetric or less. Almost 30% were on 1Gbps symmetric plans or more (including those on dark fibre). This appears relative to the greater sample of SME respondents than corporate.  Of the more than 42% (n=92) on copper broadband, around 23% reported they were on a VDSL connection. The same number didn’t know what speed their fibre connection was.

There are indications that opportunities lie in improving broadband speeds at branch offices. Nearly 45% of respondents (n= 83) had branch offices and although this sample diminished further when asked about the type of broadband connection they had (n=65), just under half were still on copper.

The trend to uncapped plans was confirmed with around a third of respondents no longer tied to a fixed amount of data.

 

Other Drivers of uptake:

 

Price (n=85) again proved to be a challenging question to survey, especially as many broadband plans are still bundled with telephony. Accordingly caution should be exercised when considering these results. When asked what monthly fee they were paying for broadband now, 77% of respondents said they were paying under $200 per month. The median price paid was $109. Unsurprisingly, SMEs and non-fibre users were the predominant type of businesses to answer this question. When compared with the 2010 survey results, it would appear businesses continue to be price sensitive. The similarity of the monthly UFB access fees to those for ADSL (copper) services was considered of greatest importance (74%) in encouraging UFB uptake by non-fibre respondents.

Other – The UFB benefits which were ranked second and third most important after access fees in encouraging uptake by non-fibre businesses were improved productivity (76%) and remote working (65%) respectively. All respondents considered cloud, remote working and voice-over-IP to be the three ICT services they would most consider investing in to leverage the benefits of UFB. These were similar to the responses given in 2010. The benefits respondents were least aware of in 2015 were reduced power costs and supply chain improvements.

Fibre Readiness Survey – Barriers to Uptake

In 2010 a survey on business use of Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) was conducted.  Earlier this year (2015) it was decided to survey the TUANZ membership once again and to invite the Greater East Tamaki Business Association (GETBA) to participate given the length of time UFB had been available in that area.  The survey was conducted online during the month of June 2015.

Over November, each week we will publish a post that covers off a key finding from the survey finishing up with our thoughts on the opportunities that we see arising from the survey results. We have also published the data to the Figure.NZ site and you can see the results herenote that at present that although the graph titles state that it is “TUANZ members”, the results include the GETBA results as well.   If you want to know more of the background and the response rate you can read that on our website here.

This week we look at what barriers to uptake that became apparent from the responses in the survey.  The first barrier is simply the apparent lack of awareness that a fibre service is available.

It is interesting to note that in 2015, some 39% of all respondents without fibre (n=98) didn’t know whether UFB was available in their area.  When added to those who thought UFB wasn’t available, that figure grew to almost 60% of those without fibre. This data was gathered when the rollout to businesses was some 93% complete.  The TUANZ results are in line with those from the Statistics New Zealand Business Operations Survey 2014 supplied to Chorus which found that 48% of respondents cited lack of availability of fibre as the greatest barrier to uptake.  Note that market research on UFB has generally shown high awareness of what UFB is, which should not be confused with where it is available.

The second apparent barrier was the perceived price of a fibre service.  When all respondents were asked what speed broadband they would like to buy in future (n= 142), it is interesting to look at the impact of UFB prices, now that they are in market. Non-fibre respondents (n= 72) were more likely to buy lower speed, lower cost plans than those already on UFB or fibre.  

Other barriers to takeup among non-fibre respondents were the one off installation cost, the monthly access cost of the new service and the cost to break an existing contract or potential risk to business interruption.  There were perceived as the four greatest barriers to connecting, being considered a “high” or “very high” barrier by 56%, 44% and 34% equal respectively. Of least concern to this group was the need to gain a neighbour or building owners’ consent to connect and potential hardware, software or systems integration costs.

When asked what businesses would like to know more about, respondents (n= 84) had a strong or great need for information on performance guarantees (56%), UFB rollout timeframes (49%) and speeds and bandwidth (47%).  Non-fibre users were more than twice as likely as those already with UFB/fibre to want to find out more about applying the benefits of UFB to their business model and products, services and solutions which run over UFB, however this was off a low base and should be considered indicative only.  The survey in 2010 demonstrated a real lack of interest in these aspects of UFB by non-fibre/UFB users, but given the sample size in 2015 (n =~40) it is hard to draw an accurate conclusion about the extent to which this has changed.

When asked who they would trust to advise them on UFB (n = 121), over half the respondents chose their IT provider (50.4%) to assist, followed by their retail service provider (47%) or TUANZ (40%).   Asked if they would undertake training to make the most of UFB, (n = 120) more than half the respondents (52%) were not willing to do so. Given this, the sample size of respondents to further questions about training was not sufficient to draw meaningful conclusions.  

 

 

 

Fibre Readiness Survey – SME’s yet to seize the opportunity

In 2010 a survey on business use of Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) was conducted by TUANZ.  Earlier this year (2015) it was decided to survey the TUANZ membership once again and to invite the Greater East Tamaki Business Association (GETBA) to participate given the length of time UFB had been available in that area.  The survey was conducted online during the month of June 2015.

Over November, each week we will publish a post that covers off a key finding from the survey finishing up with our thoughts on the opportunities that we see arising from the survey results. We have also published the data to the Figure.NZ site and you can see the results herenote that at present that although the graph titles state that it is “TUANZ members”, the results include the GETBA results as well.   If you want to know more of the background and the response rate you can read that on our website here.

This week we look at the uptake amongst SME’s in the survey and conclude that they are yet to seize the opportunities available to them.

In 2010 around 64% of respondents said they already had at least one fibre service. This was not surprising given that fibre optic services had already been deployed in many CBD locations and the majority of respondents were corporates. For clarity on the difference – fibre laid before the UFB initiative was not built as part of an open access network available for all retail service providers to offer services over, and therefore more costly. It was largely made up of a series of bespoke, point-to-point connections from the exchange directly into the corporate office.

Back in 2010, of all respondents asked about their likelihood to connect to UFB within a year of it being available, 82% said they were “likely to”, “highly likely to” or “definitely will” connect. This could only be considered an indicator of future behaviour as no retail costs were provided then.

By 2015 49.5% of all respondents had actually taken up UFB or fibre at their head office or single site. More than 20% of those with UFB or fibre had pre-existing fibre and more than 65% were corporates.  Drilling down, the share of those who had not taken up UFB was 42.3% and of them, 60% were SME.

The message from several studies in recent years, that there are untapped productivity and efficiency gains available to SMEs with a strong internet presence, isn’t yet changing behaviour.  

Cloud applications, remote working and voice-over-IP were the areas most businesses said they would consider investing in to use UFB. This was in line with the feedback in 2010, although collaborative tools ranked more highly then. Improved productivity, remote working and improved video conferencing were the most well known benefits of UFB.

Less than half the total respondents answered questions about the need for further information. Interestingly, the information most sought after was simple, high level and readily available, such as performance guarantees, UFB rollout timeframes, and speeds and bandwidth.

Looking forward, the survey results suggest there remains a strong need for wholesale and retail service providers to improve awareness of UFB availability, especially among SMEs.