Future thinking

Vend founder Vaughan Rowsell put his hat in the ring to be New Zealand's first CTO in the initial call for applicants and got as far as being reference checked, before hearing the government was going back to the drawing board. Now, after appointing Derek Handley as CTO, the government has rescinded Handley's appointment and is back to square one. Where to from here? Rowsell says the answer is not 'do nothing', as the future of New Zealand's tech industry is far too important. Here, he shares what he thinks went wrong, and what the government – as well as the technology industry – can do to move forward, following the botched process. 


Justin Tomlinson, a former corporate CTO, is the founder of Delivery Craft, a digital consultancy and advisory company that helped the re-launch of Pottermore, the digital heart of the Wizarding World created by J.K. Rowling. Here, he questions why New Zealand isn't leading the world in agritech R&D and in all fields where our market size, but physical space, represent an advantage, like energy, food and infrastructure, as well as whether appointing one person as CTO to tackle all this is the right solution.


There has been a lot of speculation and controversy surrounding the appointment process for New Zealand's first chief technology officer, which has been a relatively hush hush process so far. Startup Weekend NZ, Lightning Lab and ZeroPoint Ventures co-founder Dan Khan put himself forward for the role, but did not make it through. Here, he reflects on why he applied to take on the role, what the process was like and what he thinks the country needs from its CTO.

Green is the new black

The Government has set a goal to plant one billion trees over 10 years to tackle climate change, enhance natural landscapes and create jobs. Landscape architect Di Lucas says the initiative is a good one, but will require planting the trees in a planned and thoughtful way. Here, she outlines what needs to be done.

Redesigning New Zealand

Two sets of proposals advocating for better urban design in New Zealand have been pitched at the Government in quickfire succession since this year's Urbanism New Zealand conference. Here, Stephen Olsen takes a look at what conference delegates and the NZIA have separately offered up.