November - December

Issue #60, November - December

Our tenth anniversary issue ...


Social entrepreneurship

It was the clashing of two worlds that gave 19-year-old Bonnie Howland her business idea. On the one side there was her part-time job in a hair salon in Auckland’s trendy Newmarket suburb, while she studied for an event management degree at Auckland’s AUT University.


In a nondescript hangar at Whangarei Airport, a bunch of Very Clever Chaps have built a million-dollar helicopter simulator out of a tsunami-damaged Japanese plane and a collection of off-the-shelf computer gear. Idealog columnist and aviation editor Vaughn Davis overcame his prejudices against helicopters and headed north to see just how the Northland Emergency Services Trust did it.


Telecommunications infrastructure provider Chorus is keeping our high tech companies connected.When you are the country’s largest telecommunications infrastructure player and are tasked with supplying nearly one million homes and businesses and close to 2500 schools with ultra-fast broadband by 2020, sometimes you have to do things a bit differently.


Picture this. A shopper of the future is rushing around the supermarket. They care about where their food comes from, particularly its green credentials. They see a bottle of olive oil with a green tick. What does it mean? Is it genuine? No longer do they have to take out their smartphone to test the brand’s credentials.


With rising incomes globally and an aging population, health food is no fad. Whether we’re talking whole grains, organic, gluten-free, paleo, nutraceuticals (for example, dietary supplements, scientific-based natural remedies, and nutrient-enriched foods with purported health benefits), or just general healthy eating with a focus on fresh fruit and vegetables, New Zealand exporters are making inroads.


We can be fairly positive in New Zealand that what’s printed on the packet is the same as what’s inside the packet – and whatever that is won’t kill us or make us sick. But news headlines today often feature food scares (some deliberate, some unintentional) even in well-regulated nations.


“The big four banks in New Zealand are among the most profitable in the world. Why?” asks Monica Mathis, Harmoney’s general manager. Because, she says, while they are lending money to people (to buy a car or take a holiday, for example) at an average 15%-17%, customers with fixed term deposits are getting 2%-4%. “The rest goes into bank operating expenses and profits.”