The return for the fourth year of discussion around the future of connectivity and technology in the most important sectors for our future prosperity & wellbeing in rural New Zealand.

With the initial Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) now complete, we were promised through that programme better connectivity options to those living and working outside urban centres. However, we are yet to see the full impact of this improved RBI capability and there remains gaps in coverage and uptake – which we are now looking to the RBI phase 2 along with the Mobile Blackspots programme to bring the next step improvements we all want. This event gives you the perfect opportunity to help shape the future of rural connectivity.

At the same time, technology developments are not standing still, and the desire and demands of the rural sector to be connected continue to grow. Connectivity in general, and especially in rural communities, is a core requirement for addressing inequitable access to health services, social services, and educational services. Our focus for this event is to continue the conversation and hear from a range of speakers, including our rural leaders of the future, on how digital technology utilising connectivity is improving rural health outcomes, rural business opportunities and rural living in general.

We are pleased to welcome to this year’s Symposium, the Minister for Communications, Hon Clare Curran, who will speak on behalf of the Government during the second session of the day.

This year we are pleased to have the following support partners:

  • Rural Women NZ
  • Dairy Women’s Network
  • NZ Young Farmers
  • Federated Farmers NZ


Event Details

Tuesday 26th June

9:00am – 7:00pm (incl Networking Drinks)

Members Lounge, Westpac Stadium, Wellington

Event Programme 

This is the final programme for the day:



Time Topic Speaker
08:50 Welcome Chair
09:00 Introductory Comments Craig Young, TUANZ
Session 1: Scene Setting
09:10 Opening Keynote – How Have the Fastest Survived Ernie Newman
09:35 The Economic outlook & impact of Tech on the Future Nathan Penny, ASB
10:00 Turning farming into a tech business Krissy Sadler-Bridge, MYOB
10:25 Table Question 1
10:35 Break – MORNING TEA
Session 2: Case study on how do we change the game (IoT)
10:55 What can we learn from international experience? Theresa Corballis and Nigel D’Rozario, Ericsson
11:20 IOT – How we are already seeing real game changing implementations Michael Stribling, Spark
11:45 ( a hard time) Ministers Speech Hon Clare Curran, Minister for Communications
12:10 Beyond IoT – making a real impact. Garth Spencer, Visionstream
12:30 Table Question 2
12:45 LUNCH served from 12:45
Session 3 : Current and Future Plans
13:30 Vignette 1 – Regional Connectivity ConnectTararua
13:35 Keynote: A year on for The RCG Andrew Button, The RCG
14:05 Local solutions for local problems – and just getting on and doing it. WISP panel
14:35 Innovating for rural broadband Kurt Rodgers, Matthew Cole, Evie Turner-Walker, Chorus
15:00 Table Question 3
15:15 Break – AFTERNOON TEA
Session 4 : Is Tech is the answer to current issues?
15:35 Vignette 2 – Rural Access Waikato WebAccess
15:40 How unpacking rural connectivity for Maori matters to all of us Robyn Kamira and Antony Royal
16:05 Real life issue right now – Mycoplasma Bovis Mark Bryan, Vet South
16:30 Real life issues and use of Tech in to the future for farming. (Draft title) Andrew Hoggard, Federated Farmers
16:55 Day Summary Craig Young, TUANZ
17:10 Introduction to Networking Drinks Andrew Cushen, InternetNZ
17:15 Networking Drinks Chair

Future Leader Scholarships 

Thanks to the generosity of our partner Wireless Nation, we are able to offer 10 free places at the Symposium for future leaders – that’s typically people in the 18-30 age bracket who are studying or at the start of their career.

To make our event as relevant as possible we need leaders of the future to participate adn to give their thoughts, ideas and views on how digital technology utilising connectivity can improve rural business opportunities and rural living in general.
To apply to be considered for these 10 scholarships, please email Craig Young( with a brief (one paragraph is plenty) on why you should be considered for one of the places. 


Premier partner for 2018

Conference partners



Day partners


Networking Drinks



Morning & Afternoon Teas


Future Leaders Scholarships






TUANZ is the only truly unique independent voice of the users of digital technologies in NZ and the Government and media look to TUANZ to speak on behalf of the businesses and individuals who are our members.  TUANZ also works to keep members connected and informed.  As a not for profit membership organization TUANZ has over 30 years of positive change in its history.

The Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand (RHĀNZ) represents a united voice from across multiple rural sector organisations. We were established in 2012 as a charitable organisation and our aim  is to provide solutions and influence policy affecting the health and wellbeing of rural communities. We currently have 44 national organisations as members.

New Zealand Young Farmers is a national membership organisation.  We provide opportunities for young people with an interest in the rural and primary industry sectors to reach their potential through participation in social, education and leadership development activities and events throughout New Zealand at community, regional and national levels.  Formed in 1932, New Zealand Young Farmers is a registered charitable organisation governed by a Board made up of Young Farmer members and strategic primary industry partners and is managed by a team of 26 employees. New Zealand Young Farmers’ broader objectives is about actively engaging young people from across the wider community in the primary industry sector, and inspiring and empowering them to be the business leaders of tomorrow.

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) is an integral part of the rural landscape, members join RWNZ for friendship, support and learning opportunities. RWNZ offer scholarships and bursaries to assist rural students to access education opportunities.  RWNZ connects with the rural community through social events, fundraising and as an authoritative voice on rural health services, education, rural environment and social issues.  RWNZ supports and nurtures talent, and encourages members to grow their skills through roles within branches and provincials and progress into leadership roles in their communities.


Federated Farmers is New Zealand’s leading independent rural advocacy organisation.  The federation’s aim is to add value to the business of farming for our members and encouraging sustainability through good management practice.  Federated Farmers consists of 24 provinces and associated branches giving farmers a collective voice at both a national and provincial level. 


The Dairy Women’s Network is a kiwi not-for-profit organisation, built on our famous can-do attitude.  Our primary focus is to create occasions for women (and men) to get off farm and connect with others. We do this through a number of ways that have been developed by women in dairy to suit busy lifestyles.  DWN develop, facilitate and promote events and initiatives for members to acquire industry-based knowledge and soft skills. We have a nation-wide network of members supported by volunteer regional leaders who coordinate activity in your region.

Updated 28th May 2018