New Zealand's most inspiring individual

New Zealand's most inspiring individual
Year nine student Ayla Hutchinson won a top award at this year's NZ Innovators Awards.

Ayla Hutchinson took home the Most Inspiring Individual award at this year's NZ Innovators Awards for her invention the Kindling Cracker.

Simple ideas are often the best ones and 14-year-old Ayla Hutchinson’s Kindling Cracker is no exception.

Hutchinson launched her kindling chopping invention at Fieldays this year and has already stacked up some accolades, including James and Wells’ Intellectual Property Award at the Fieldays 2013 Innovation Centre, which means $3,000 worth of IP strategy advice, as well as the Young Inventor of the Year award.

Hutchinson came up with the idea after her mother nicked the end of her finger while chopping kindling and bled all over the show.

The result is a much safer, easier and yet enticingly simple device: an axe blade is enclosed in a frame, allowing for wood to be placed on the blade and chopped with a mallet. It also has applications for people with arthritis and disabilities.

The Year Nine student at Inglewood High School designed it and her father Vaughan helped her weld it up. Now she wants to sell it not only to New Zealanders but all over the world.

New Zealand patents have been lodged and a trademark filed, as well as design registration. Hutchinson has had “heaps of offers” of investment but wants to go it alone. So far she has won $4,000 at Fieldays and $600 in Fonterra awards.

The product is now in full production and available to purchase online at

Judges said it was a great story of a young entrepreneur and was clearly generating interest.

Vaughan Hutchinson & Ayla Hutchinson toast Kindling Cracker's success at the NZ Innovators Awards.

Idealog has been covering the most interesting people, businesses and issues from the fields of innovation, design, technology and urban development for over 12 years. And we're asking for your support so we can keep telling those stories, inspire more entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and keep pushing New Zealand forward. Give over $5 a month and you will not only be supporting New Zealand innovation, but you’ll also receive a print subscription and a copy of the new book by David Downs and Dr. Michelle Dickinson, No. 8 Recharged (while stocks last).