8 Nov 2017 - Maungatapere residents Gwen and Peter Ras were inspired to introduce a new hot water technology while searching for a more efficient system for their family home.Northern Advocate. Gwen and Peter Ras have launched Calitec, a company which is introducing a new type of hot water heating system to New Zealand.
Having spent 10 years working with heat pump technology, including eight years as a Home Tech heat pump franchisee in Northland, Mr Ras said Calitec is manufacturing the technology which he claimed can save 70 per cent on energy bills.
Calitec is planning to open the company up to franchisees in 2018.
Originally from Arnhem in the Netherlands, Mr Ras is a sparky by trade, while Mrs Ras was a public relations specialist, having worked on campaigns for energy companies.
08 Nov 2017 - New Zealand’s Fonterra Co-operative Group has deepened a long-standing commercial agreement with Lithuania’s biggest dairy producer, AB Rokiskio Suris, taking a 10 percent shareholding in the company. Ranked by Rabobank as the world’s sixth largest dairy company by turnover in 2017, Fonterra has invested €7.1 million (US$8.2 million) in Rokiskio, securing a supply line of high-value whey ingredients while opening up product options across Europe and the Middle East.
It also creates the opportunity to source additional dairy products from the Baltic milk pool to serve the increasing demand from nearby developing markets.
Fonterra Chairman John Wilson says the investment is closely aligned to Fonterra’s strategy to grow its global sources of milk in strategic locations such as Europe, enabling the co-operative to satisfy customer demand in market closer to those sources.
“Our New Zealand farmers will always remain our primary source of milk, but increasingly we are supporting our growth and their returns through strategic partnerships in Europe, Latin America, Australia and China. These partnerships enable us to produce products in demand closer to the market while providing more opportunity for milk and milk products we make elsewhere,” he said.
Fonterra CEO Theo Spierings says the development built on Fonterra’s current long-term supply relationship with Rokiskio and would benefit both companies.
“Our ability to access high-value whey protein ingredients is increasingly important as demand grows, especially in Eastern and Western European, Middle Eastern and North African markets.”
“Rokiskio is also a highly-respected cheese producer and this also opens up further opportunities for us to satisfy customer demand in these markets. This is another step in our strategy to develop a sustainable European-sourcing network, providing a reliable and efficient chain of supply that will complement our New Zealand-sourced ingredients.”Click to Enlarge
Rokiskio Suris Chairman, Dalius Trumpa says Rokiskio’s focus on product quality and safety, as well as its environmental performance, were important strengths the company brought to the relationship with Fonterra. Contract manufacturing for Fonterra had played a role in the company’s capacity expansions and upgrades in 2014 and 2016 and he is optimistic about future growth opportunities.
"We have worked closely as commercial partners for five years and over this time we have built a strong relationship. Fonterra’s investment in Rokiskio Suris lifts our company to a new global level, opening up export opportunities which will generate more value from our local milk pool,” says Trumpa.
“By welcoming Fonterra as a shareholder, future growth can be accelerated by entering new markets and investing in new technologies.”
Rokiskio has three factories in Lithuania and makes cheese, butter, whey protein and milk powders. It is one of the largest and most well-known cheese producers in Central and Eastern Europe, producing more than 30 thousand tons of cheese each year.
The company exports to both Eastern and Western markets as well as producing a wide range of fresh dairy products for the Baltic region.
In September, Fonterra confirmed that it lodged a bid for Australia’s largest dairy processor, Murray Goulburn, and also released its full-year results. A number of groups were believed to have made offers for the struggling company, but Fonterra was the first to confirm its interest on the back of a successful business year.
Fonterra’s full-year results were described as successful. The company announced that it had seen its net profit fall by 11 percent in the year to July 31. However, revenue rose to NZ$19.2 billion (US$15.52 billion), up 12 percent from NZ$17.2 billion (US$12.3 billion) the year before.
The Asian protein ingredients market forecast to grow by 11.5 percent from 2016 to 2020, according to Fonterra NZMP Ingredients General Manager for South & East Asia, Hamish Gowans.
You can listen to a podcast interview with Gowans here.
| A FoodIngredients release || November 8, 2017 |||
8 Nov 2017 - Automation, artificial intelligence (AI) and digital transformation issues facing the country could become threats, leading to increased social and economic difficulties and a strain on government resources unless they are immediately addressed, New Zealand’s tech leader say. The TechLeaders executive has only recently just been formed because New Zealand is facing unprecedented growth and change in tech, which is now the nation’s fastest growing sector. TechLeaders from some of New Zealand’s biggest companies and organisations has been set up with the support of NZTech and is a group of New Zealand tech, digital and ICT focused-executives from leading organisations. They have just met in Auckland and all agreed AI and other digital changes will greatly impact on many of today’s jobs in coming years, as well as the income of many Kiwi families, NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says. “Automation will change just about every industry in New Zealand and over the next few years rapidly change the number and type of jobs available. If we act now to prepare the New Zealand workforce for these changes it may provide opportunities. “If left unaddressed these opportunities will turn to challenges and potential threats leading to increased social and economic difficulties and a strain on government resources. “The TechLeaders discussed how we can help prepare New Zealand’s future workforce. Being at the forefront of technology change these senior executives have insight into the pace of change and see critical elements in ensuring Kiwi families all have jobs in the future. “We need to ensure that our education system is developing the skills needed for a future workforce, in particular, an understanding of digital technologies and collaborative working practices. “We need to start developing policy and a national shared purpose around how to re-train or upskill current employees who work in jobs that may change or disappear rapidly due to technology. “Through the discussion a number of ways were identified where technology leaders and industry could play an active role in helping secure the future of work for Kiwis. “We must bring a stronger connection with education to help prepare students, support teachers and support the introduction of the new digital technology curriculum. “And we need to work with government to help reshape the national conversation away from the robots are taking my jobs to a more positive view that encourages upskilling.” TechLeaders chair David Kennedy says they have a responsibility as industry leaders to prepare future generations for what tomorrow holds. “We are well placed people to help tackle the difficult questions that need to be addressed to ensure future work for generations of Kiwis,” Kennedy says. “We all agree that tech leaders and industry have a role and responsibility to guide and support initiatives to retrain people for the new skills paradigm brought on by technological change. The development of the next generation of workers is also critical.” Among a series of recommendations, the leaders want to reduce fear-inducing messaging about everyone losing their jobs and robots taking over.
7 Nov 2017 - MyBitcoinSaver, the New Zealand micro-savings platform for Bitcoin, has today announced the closing of $400,000 in seed round funding. The platform, launched by Aucklander Sam Blackmore in November last year, makes it easy for New Zealanders to invest small ongoing amounts in the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, which has grown in value by almost ten times since January. The startup plans to use the funding to continue driving growth in New Zealand while also expanding into the UK market.
Investors in the seed round included Brian Cartmell, investor in the billion-dollar US Bitcoin exchange Coinbase; David Smith, director of Caci Clinic; and Techemy: the parent company of Bitcoin analysis and news company Brave New Coin.
"Bitcoin is one of the most exciting things to happen to the financial world in decades," Blackmore says.
"But until recently, the cryptocurrency world has been an exclusive little club of early adopters. Unless you were very smart or willing to spend hours hunting for them, buying Bitcoins in New Zealand hasn’t been easy. We want to help all New Zealanders tap into the exciting opportunities Bitcoin presents."
Once registering to MyBitcoinSaver, users can set up automatic bank payments of between $10 and $200 on a weekly, fortnightly, or monthly basis.
The startup then bulk buys Bitcoin from an overseas exchange and distributes it to users’ wallets that same week.
MyBitcoinSaver has grown by more than 4000% in its first year with 1460 New Zealanders signed up to the service so far.
Blackmore has been investing in Bitcoin since 2013 and initially built the early prototype of MyBitcoinSaver - with a few lines of code - for himself, friends and family.
With a limit of $200 per week per user, MyBitcoinSaver aims to be a responsible and safe platform for buying Bitcoin, encouraging its users to use a Dollar Cost Average savings approach.
"Public interest in Bitcoin has exploded and people see buying it as a sensible addition to their savings plan," Blackmore says.
"We take the stress and complication out of buying Bitcoin and help anyone - from millennials to grandparents - take part in this revolutionary financial technology."
MyBitcoinSaver will be soft-launching in the UK within the next two months with plans to roll out the service publicly after three months in Beta testing.
The startup decided to extend its operations there because London is the financial capital of the world and there’s an appetite for a safe and reliable way to buy Bitcoin with Pounds Sterling.
The $400,000 seed money will be used to hire development staff and fund marketing here and in the UK.
7 Nov 2017 - As the Government ramps up enforcement of law-flouting employers, discussions about how best $9 million can be spent to prevent worker exploitation continues. Teuila Fuatai reports for Newsroom today. Each year, Community Law centres take on more than 7000 cases alleging illegal employer behaviour against workers.
According to Darryn Aitchison of the Auckland Community Law centre, the increased number of employment-related cases has coincided with a depletion in the role of labour inspectors, particularly in the last five years.
News that the Labour-led Government plans to invest $9 million in the Labour Inspectorate over the next three years and increase its inspectors from 60 to 110 is a welcome relief. But is it enough?
Aitchison said a shift in the investigative and prosecution focus of the labour inspectorate in recent years has been particularly difficult for those whose minimum employment standards were not being met.
7 Nov 2017 - The first big test for the Government will be to get TPP over the line with New Zealand on board writes Catherine Beard in today's NZHerald. Why does this matter? Because free trade agreements translate into new income and jobs, and if the new Government wants to spend more we need to earn more. Every additional $1 billion in exports equates to 8500 new jobs.
6 Nov 2017 - Top New Zealand CEOs are leading the way in progressing to flexible workplaces and providing a roadmap for other business leaders to follow, thanks to the Champions for Change business group of 56 New Zealand CEOs and Chairs. Champions for Change recently launched a Flexible Working Toolkit that collates CEOs’ insights in developing flexible workplaces to attract and retain top talent,increase productivity, and foster an agile response to changing market needs. The Flexible Working Toolkit provides templates, case studies, and specific suggestions of how flexibility can work for organisations.
With over half of the New Zealand workforce either currently working flexibly or wanting to in the future, a shift in leadership mindset and a plan to transition teams and employees to the “new normal” is critical to managing businesses of the future.
“We are seeing a fundamental transformation in the way we work,” says Alison Andrew, CEO of Transpower and a Champion for Change. “There are some very real challenges to overcome as we adapt from corporate traditions of set hours and locations to flexible hours and the ability to work remotely, whether at home or while travelling.”
New and constantly evolving technology, the 24 hours “open” global village, changing life styles, increased ethnic diversity, talent shortages and growth in female participation in the workforce are all trends driving the need for flexibility in the workforce, said Mark Verbiest, Chair of Spark and a Champion for Change.
“New Zealanders are famous for their ability to adapt and evolve, and having a flexible approach and mindset enables problems to be solved in new ways,” says Mark Verbiest.
Representing more than 100,000 direct employees in New Zealand across 44 leading organisations, Champions for Change is a group of 56 CEOs and Chairs from across the public and private sector who are committed to increasing diversity in the workplace.
The Champions for Change group reinforced that workforce flexibility is a much broader concept than “part time hours for new mums”; it is just as important for men as women. It encompasses caring for family members, embracing cultural commitments, and having the ability to participate in lifestyle activities such as sport, study and travel.
Under existing workplace law, employees have the right to request flexible work arrangements and employers have an obligation to consider the request.
“With the increasing pace of change including legislation that ratifies the importance of flexible work, an agile approach is essential,” says Alison Andrew. “We see flexibility as the biggest enabler for creating diverse and inclusive workplaces – and these businesses will be the most resilient and successful in the future.”
“When managed well, we’ve found that a flexible workplace will reduce staff turnover, lower absenteeism and increase how much satisfaction people get from their work. Plus, giving people flexibility has a real impact on morale,” said Mark Verbiest.
The Flexible Working Toolkit includes videos, info-graphics, fact sheets, templates and links to additional resources for company leaders. It is free to anyone looking for practical advice on how to develop a more flexible and inclusive workforce: http://flexibility.championsforchange.nz
| A Champion for Change release || November 6, 2017 |||
6 Nov 2017 - The Tappoo Group of Companies’ unique business strategy and its significant growth in re-exports was recognised during the Prime Minister’s International Business Awards as the company won the Re-Exporter of the Year Award. The Award recognises companies that have utilized Fiji’s strategic location in the Pacific and well established sea and air connections to manifest the country’s position as the true hub of the region. The company must have incorporated innovative business strategies in its growth plan that led to its significant progress both in re-export value and volume.DSC_3224
Established in 1941, the Group continues to strive for excellence and has successfully stamped its mark in the local and regional markets.
“We have recently ventured into re-exporting business and it has shown strong signs of growth. We are targeting the Pacific market together with New Zealand and Australia,” said the Executive Director of the Group, Kamlesh Tappoo.
The Group is the re-exporter of a number beverages to Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Samoa, Tonga and the Cook Islands. Exports to PNG and Vanuatu were under the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) agreement.
“We believe that we have successfully established an export market to PNG. We now aim to expand into other countries in the South Pacific region and subsequently to more develop neighbouring countries,” Mr. Tappoo said.
Investment Fiji Chief Executive Officer, Godo Mueller- Teut applauded the Group’s commitment towards enhancing Fiji’s position as the trading hub of the pacific.
“Re-exporters play a crucial role in the growth of the Fijian economy. They not only bring in wealth for the nation and create employment opportunities, but also make Fiji the centre of trade in the region. In 2016, Fiji’s total re-exports were valued at more than $814m, which represents 42 per cent of total exports.
Fiji has a positive balance of trade with the Pacific Island countries where re-exports were valued at more than $174m or 21 per cent of total re-exports last year,” Mr. Mueller- Teut said.
Mr. Mueller- Teut has urged the local businesses to take advantage of Fiji’s central location in the heart of the Pacific as it presents unique opportunities for them to expand their export footprints, especially in the regional markets.
6 Nov - The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) has approved Teletrac Navman as an Electronic System Provider (ESP) and appointed it as an agent for the collection of Road User Charges (RUC) using its new RUC Manager platform and Electronic Distance Recorder. Teletrac Navman RUC Manager along with the Electronic Distance Recorder will allow users to manage, purchase, display and update road user licences in real-time. RUC Manager automatically tracks vehicle distance and calculates off-road activity, enabling accurate, NZTA-approved RUC rebates.
“The work Teletrac Navman undertook to develop RUC Manager to meet specific New Zealand regulatory requirements and gain ESP approval is a mark of our commitment to our long-standing customers and to the transport industry as a whole,” says Ian Daniel, vice president and managing director Asia Pacific, Teletrac Navman.
In July 2017, Teletrac Navman reached the milestone of tracking 100,000 vehicles across Australia and New Zealand.
“Globally the transport market is highly competitive. Businesses must perform under pressure, so solutions which help them to better manage costs, improve service, address safety, capture and analyse data, and address compliance requirements are extremely important.”
To receive NZTA approval Electronic System Providers must go through a rigorous development and testing process to prove the quality and reliability of the system.
“Teletrac Navman has completed the NZTA testing process and meets the standards for recognition as an ESP. The standards are designed to ensure that the technologies and systems tested are robust, reliable, and make compliance easier across many industries including transport, agriculture, forestry, trade and civil services,” says John Freeman, manager revenue assessments, NZTA.
6 Nov _ Ingram Micro New Zealand and HP have teamed up in a deal which will see Kiwi resellers receiving an additional bonus for trade-ins when buying HP’s mobility offerings. The Ingram Micro HP buy back deal will see resellers – and their customers – receiving ‘some really awesome buy-back rates’ on old equipment when upgrading to HP, with the vendor sweetening the deal even more with an added ‘top-up’. The deal applies to HP’s Elite mobility range. A full list of eligible HP Elite devices can be found here.
Jamie Hall, Ingram Micro HP business development manager, says the buy back, which runs through to January, covers any PCs, regardless of the brand, along with accessories, and does not affect special pricing currently available to resellers.
Amit Jamnadas, Ingram Micro Life Cycle Services business solutions manager, says up to $1000 trade-in will be available, depending on the devices.
The HP bonus is added on top of the trade-in.
“When you take that trade-in value and add the bonus HP is going to put on top of that it is a great value towards purchasing new HP devices,” he says.
The HP top up will be sizeable, adding additional value to each buy back device linked to a new HP Elite sale.
Hall says the amount of money customers can receive from the trade-ins creates a compelling story.
“It’s helping them close sales,” Jamnadas adds.
“Customers never want to pay full price and they end up with a whole lot of old kit when they acquire new devices. A lot of that kit has real value, so rather than turning them into a spare machine for staff to take home or for kids to load computer games on, they can trade it in and put the value towards new device purchases.
“That’s where the value is.”
Hall says often customers will look at replacing a handful of devices, without considering that the rest of their fleet is aging and will require replacement soon.
“A buy-back option will see the existing value in the fleet they have and that if they do the buy-back now they will get more value out of the old kit and potentially be able to refresh more and get more value back.”
He says many businesses also have devices that while not old, are not appropriate for the business anymore – such as devices bought for cloud services, but now needing more grunt.
“If the devices don’t meet what they ultimately need, this is a perfect opportunity to get some amazing value back, and then move to a device that will give them the productivity they’re after,” Hall says.
To get the most out of a buy back process, Hall says resellers simply need to provide Ingram Micro with the model serial number, processor, hard drive and accessories details for the old equipment.
Accessories can bump up the value of the buy back because buyes like having the full package, he says.
The increased dollar value in turn makes the decision to switch or upgrade to new HP equipment easier for resellers’ customers, Jamnadas says.
Ingram Micro will be doing a secured three-pass data wipe on all devices returned, with certificates issued to confirm the process has been completed and help with insurance coverage.
The Blancco data wipe used by Ingram Micro is regarded as a gold standard of data wiping and is used by intelligence and government agencies around the world.
“It provides the peace of mind that none of the data will appear anywhere else,” Jamnadas says.
"Concerns about what will happen to data on devices that are traded in is a key issue for people considering buy-back schemes," Hall notes.
The HP buy-back promotion builds on Ingram Micro’s work in the buy-back arena over the past year.
“It’s an area of business we’ve seen ramp up over the past year,” Jamnadas says.
For more information on the buy-back offer, click here.