Media Release : Major tech conference planned for 2016

23 October 2015, For Immediate Release

 A consortium of 12 successful tech-related conferences and bodies have announced a major collaborative ICT conference in Wellington in July 2016.

 ITx 2016, to be held at Wellington’s TSB Arena and Shed 6 complex on 11-13 July 2016, will include 12 individual tech-related conferences under one roof. Aimed at those working in the software and IT industry, ITx 2016 will include diverse specialist conferences focusing on areas such as testing, tech education, agile, communications, innovation and the internet, IT project management, professional practice, open source, exporting and commercialization, and more.

 In announcing ITx 2016, IITP CEO Paul Matthews said that the ITx concept had been born as a 3-conference collaboration in 2014 and the model had been hugely successful. “ITx brings the wider tech community together while maintaining specialisations, the best of both worlds”, Matthews said.

“ITx will bring together leaders in the tech sector from around New Zealand and the world”.

While the IT industry had been criticised at times for the fragmentation of bodies, events like ITx showed that collaboration was alive and well in the sector.

NZTech CEO Graeme Muller pointed to ITx as a great example of a united industry working together. “While we and others have growing individual programmes of events and other activities, ITx is a great opportunity for our sector to come together as one”, Muller said.

itSMFnz President Tristan Boot echoed that sentiment. “For the first time, itSMF Conference delegates will not only get the best of service management, but have the opportunity to learn and network with professionals from right across the sector”, Boot said.

“Being involved with other organisations in the ICT area fits nicely with our common need to collaborate as we look to raise New Zealand into a top 10 nation for business usage of ICT,” said TUANZ CEO Craig Young.

NZRise Co-chair Victoria MacLennan also welcomed ITx 2016 and the unashamed focus on the industry. “New Zealand’s digital technology industry is a thriving sector and large employer. It makes perfect sense to bring as many smart people as possible together under one roof”, MacLennan said.

Computing and IT Research and Education New Zealand (CITRENZ) Co-Chair Alison Clear says ITx as an opportunity for even greater collaboration across education and industry. “The successful CITRENZ conference has been fostering that education/industry partnership since 1988, and ITx is a great opportunity to grow that massively”, Clear said.

InternetNZ Chief Executive Jordan Carter also highlighted the importance of collaboration and the tech industry working together. “We are pleased to be a part of ITx as an opportunity to work together with organisations and events from around the tech industry. ITx will be an exciting opportunity for collaboration in shaping the future of the Internet for the benefit of New Zealand,” says Carter.

The Project Management Institute of New Zealand’s South Island Chair, James Dobson, is thrilled that PMINZ are a part of ITx. “Our annual Conference (usually held in Sept/Oct) focusses on Project Management across all industries. 40% of our members are IT Project Managers, so getting the chance to rub shoulders with the key players in the industry is a great opportunity. One of PMINZ’s key goals is to work more closely organizations where there is a crossover with project management – this will certainly allow us to do just that!”, Dobson said.

ITx 2016 will also see conferences across health IT, testing, agile, telecommunications, internet innovation, open source and IT project management. Health Informatics NZ (HINZ) CEO Kim Mundell said ITx was a great opportunity for those involved in Health IT to get together to hear about the latest in both health informatics and the sector as a whole. “This is the best of both worlds”, Mundell said.

 ITx partners include:

  • The Institute of IT Professionals NZ (IITP), the largest body of IT Professionals in NZ;
  • NZ Technology Industry Association (NZTech), the body representing tech companies;
  • NZRise, the representative body for NZ-owned digital technology companies;
  • IT Service Management Forum NZ, the network for IT Service Management professionals;
  • CITRENZ, the body of computing schools in the Institute of Technology and Polytech sector;
  • Health Informatics NZ, the leading body for individuals practicing in health IT;
  • TUANZ, the representative body for ICT and communications users.
  • Test Professionals Network, the leading forum for promoting excellence in systems and software testing;
  • Agile Day, where Agile professionals come together;
  • InternetNZ, the voice of the internet community;
  • Project Management Institute of NZ, representing PM professionals; and
  • NZ Open Source Society (NZOSS), the body promoting Open Source Software in NZ

ITx 2016 will be the largest independent tech-related conference in New Zealand in a generation, with more than 1200 delegates expected across three days.

 ENDS

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: http://tuanz.org.nz/representation/2015/7/3/tuanz-response-to-the-ufb-and-rbi-extensions

 

 ENDS

 

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. 

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 (craig.young@tuanz.org.nz, 021488188) or Ian Bonnar, GM Corporate Relations, Chorus (ian.bonnar@chorus.co.nz, 09 358 6688)

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Media Release: TUANZ releases Issues Paper for Telco Review

MEDIA RELEASE : 10th August 2015

 

TUANZ (The Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand) has today published on its website a paper which lists the issues it suggests should be covered in the upcoming review of the Telecommunications Act by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).  “We provided this list to MBIE earlier this year and we have released it today in line with our principles of positive leadership and providing credible contributions to debate around the issues” said the CEO of TUANZ, Craig Young.  

“Our focus is on helping New Zealand make the most of the digitally connected world and so we are more interested in the outcomes of any review for users rather than specific details.  To help with this we have suggested a high level list of specific issues we believe are critical to the continued development of our connected economy” Mr Young said.  

Mr Young says that TUANZ is supportive of the current market structure and are keen to see it allow such things as structural separation to fully bed in. TUANZ supports incremental change as required to this structure in the period covered by the review which is the post 2020 environment. This period will be featured as one where fibre services would be the predominant new fixed-connection type given the Government UFB project would be completed and the Crown Fibre contracted fibre pricing would cease to apply. Wireless technology is also likely to be advanced enough to offer reasonable competition to fixed services.

The summary list of issues that TUANZ consider are important to be debated is as follows:

  1. We should have an aim of ensuring we continue to have a world leading communications network supporting our economic growth and social development

  2. Our services must be competitive with like nations given we are increasingly competing in a global market

  3. Funding of user groups to enable credible input should be considered similar to the Australian model in regards to Government funding of ACANN (Australian Communications Consumer Action Network)

  4. The need for a TSO and the services included post 2020 should be debated. Questions of its applicability, its application to which market participants, and whether it should include any minimum standards of service performance should be included in the review.

  5. Urban and Rural planners need to consider Telecommunications as a basic infrastructure along with roads and water. We strongly suggest that it should be considered that the provision of these services be a mandatory planning requirement.

  6. Fair and sustainable competition at the service level should be the focus to encourage continued investment in infrastructure. One of the key planks of any regulatory framework must be to balance the requirement to deliver fair competition for end users, but also to ensure the investment engine is sustained.

  7. The continued convergence of service delivery over telecommunications infrastructure should lead to a review of the alignment of regulation and regulator of the sectors. The aim should be to ensure end-customers see increased choice and competition on how they receive content.

  8. The question of de-commissioning the urban copper networks should be a discussion so that post 2020 we encourage continued uptake of the new connectivity options, but also to reduce the cost overhead on the network owners.

  9. The Product disclosure regime needs to be tightened up.  Whilst the TCF has made valuable progress in this regard, we believe the continued development of a standardised disclosure regime would assist users to make informed choices.

  10. Independent dispute resolution should be mandated or at least heavily encouraged. The current dispute resolution service is a voluntary process and works reasonably well within its remit but TUANZ is of the view that the possibility of making membership of some such scheme compulsory should be considered as part of gaining the right to operate as an RSP.

Two other issues are included in the paper but are subject already to proposals included around the extension of the Nation Environmental Standards and the Land Access for Telecommunications discussion paper released by MBIE.

Mr Young said “The issues raised are indicative of our early thoughts on the items that should be canvassed through the review process but are unlikely to be exhaustive. We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with the Government and the ICT industry on this and more generally on ensuring NZ businesses are able to make the most of the digitally connected economy.”

The full paper can be found here: http://tuanz.org.nz/representation/ 

nds

Media Release: TUANZ today submits response to proposed UFB and RBI extensions

TUANZ Media Release – 3rd July

TUANZ has today submitted a response to the Government on the proposed UFB2, RBI2 and Mobile Blackspots programme.  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.

“We have been providing leadership in the need for improved access for rural users since the first Rural Connectivity Symposium held in 2005 which made the Symposium held last month the 10th anniversary event.” said the CEO of TUANZ, Craig Young.  

As part of this years symposium there were a number of general themes of concerns from rural users ranging from perceived lack of quality of connectivity, affordability issues through to a general lack of awareness of what services were currently available.  “The overriding theme though was that there was no ‘one size fits all’ solution and that the Government should be mindful of regional solutions in this round.” said Mr Young.  “And while it’s outside the current RBI process, We think we as a nation need an ambitious vision that is couched in terms of outcomes and experience”

TUANZ is committing to continuing to lead in pursuing this ambitious vision:

New Zealand should have the vision of meeting the aspiration that the rural connectivity experience is the same as the urban connectivity experience.

TUANZ believes this would provide truly transformative change.  It would require political will and effort and education is key:

  1. New Zealand needs to accept that connectivity is now seen as a right not a want

  2. New Zealand should aim for equity of access across any perceived rural/urban divide

  3. New Zealand should develop a long-term, cross party strategy for rural connectivity.

The document itself also includes a section on the criteria and priority that participants at the symposium suggested should be applied to and preferred solution under the current ROI process which are around the idea of being “fit for purpose”.

We have placed a copy of our reponse on our website here: http://tuanz.org.nz/representation/  .

ENDS

 

Media Release : Commerce Commission Draft Decision delivers a disappointingly mixed outcome for Users

TUANZ MEDIA RELEASE – 2nd July 2015

The Commerce Commission latest draft decision on wholesale copper charges this morning has  provided a mixed bag of results for users today.  Users will see no benefit in their monthly bills from telecommunications service providers given that the price set for monthly access remains basically unchanged from the previous draft decision.  Users have already seen the effect of the increase of the latest decisions over the benchmarked initial price when it was released at the end of last year.  TUANZ had submitted with other interested parties that we believed the price should be lower than had been announced by the Commission last December and therefore lower than announced today.  

“For the significant number of people who will continue to receive their broadband over the copper network over the next 5 years, and especially those users in Rural New Zealand who will not have fibre access as part of UFB, this announcement disappointingly means no likelihood of reduction in monthly broadband charges” said Craig Young, TUANZ CEO.

TUANZ is pleased that the Commerce Commission has announced their preliminary decision not to backdate the changes to the copper access prices once finalised, which if implemented could have added more cost and uncertainty to users.

The Commission has released a raft of documents which provides complex detail around these numbers and TUANZ CEO Craig Young is concerned that the time for organisations such as TUANZ to submit on the decision is limited.  

“We will continue to participate fully in this process, always speaking for the end-users of these services.  Our concern has always been over ensuring a fair and competitive market which is sustainable and continues to provide world class services to New Zealanders at fair prices.”  

 

ENDS

 

Media Release: KPMG Agribusiness Agenda 2015 highlights the importance of improved rural broadband

10th June 2015

Today’s release at NZ National Field Days by TUANZ member, KPMG, of the Agribusiness Agenda 2015 highlights the importance of improving access in the rural sector to high speed broadband.    The Agenda notes that since the last release in 2014 there has been an increased priority attached to delivering high speed rural broadband.  This year it has risen four places in a list of strategic issues of concern to be the second equal along with food safety.   The first issue of concern being ensuring a world-class biosecurity system.

Ian Proudfoot, KPMG Global Head of Agribusiness, said that “Fast connectivity in rural areas not only supports economic growth. It enhances healthcare delivery, overcomes isolation, and enables the unemployed to develop skills and become productive.”

“This recognition of this issue by rural thought leaders who contributed to the Agenda, shows the importance that we must continue to focus on ways to improve rural connectivity beyond where it is today.” said Craig Young, CEO of TUANZ.  “This publication supports the messages we heard at our recent Rural Connectivity Symposium that it is time to recognise rural broadband needs are no different to urban needs.”

“We will be submitting on the MBIE request for information process to ensure a strong rural user voice is heard when deciding where to spend the current $100m allocated to extend the rural broadband initiative.. But this report also reiterates rural NZs call for continued improvement beyond current plans.” Mr Young said.

TUANZ has identified that working to help lift the digital competency of the New Zealand economy is one of its principles, and advocating the continued investment in improving rural broadband is a key element to this.  

The full KPMG Agribusiness Agenda can be downloaded from this websitewww.kpmg.com/nz/

ENDS