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August 2014 Cluster Event - Political Panel Discussion

August 2014 Cluster Event - Political Panel Discussion with Hon Amy Adams, Clare Curran, Gareth Hughes & Laila Harré

When: Tuesday, 5 August 2014 from 5:30pm (Panel start at 6:00pm).
Venue: Jack Mann Auditorium, University of Canterbury's College of Education Campus, 53 Solway Ave, Ilam, Christchurch.
Cost: Free for Cluster Members (incl. NZSA), $10 for guests
Free Parking: Car Park 1 off Parkstone Avenue map
Register: Click to register for this event
Please note this is a non-catered event & by registration only.

Is government keeping up with the pace of technological change?

Government policy plays a huge role in the success of the ICT industry - from the Christchurch rebuild and the Innovation Precinct, software development government RFPs, access to ultrafast broadband, R&D grants, export assistance, quality education, skilled migrants, compliance, and more. In recent years the NZ ICT sector has experienced strong year on year growth, and export earnings from this sector are predicted to rise significantly over the next decade.

On Tuesday 5 August, speakers from National, Labour, Greens, and Internet MANA parties will share their policy ideas for this growing industry at a Canterbury Software Cluster hosted event to be held at the University of Canterbury’s Jack Mann Auditorium. During the event, four panellists – Hon Amy Adams, Clare Curran, Gareth Hughes and Laila Harré - will be asked questions chosen from online submissions, as well as questions from the floor.

Canterbury Software Cluster Chair, Geoff Brash, says: “The speed at which technology is driving change in our society is phenomenal - from how we communicate with others, buy things, share things, to how we work, learn, run our businesses, run our lives, and more. We rely heavily on government to support our values, keep our infrastructure running smoothly, and to help New Zealand businesses keep ahead in international markets. With the elections fast approaching, this event is our chance to ask politicians how they understand these technological changes, and what plans they have for our technology future.”

If you have a question that you’d like us to put to the panel, please use the question feature when you register through Eventbrite or tweet it to @CSCluster and use hashtag #CSAskGovt.

We look forward to seeing you!

Panel Members:

Hon Amy Adams, National Party
Amy Adams is the Minister of Communications & Information Technology. She believes that greater use of ICT offers huge opportunities for New Zealand across a range of sectors. During her time as the Minister, Amy has overseen substantial positive change in the sector, including continuing the successful rollout of the $1.65 billion Ultra-Fast Broadband and Rural Broadband initiatives, ensuring New Zealanders have access to 4G networks, and the development of a product disclosure code to improve the transparency of broadband product information for consumers. Amy has also taken action to address the high cost of mobile roaming rates between New Zealand and Australia, leading to significantly lower costs.

Clare Curran, Labour Party
Clare Curran currently leads Labour’s ICT Policy development, working to ensure the digital divide does not become a new measure of poverty. She is the member for Dunedin South and has been outspoken about the need for a telecommunications watchdog.

Gareth Hughes, Green Party
Gareth Hughes is one of the youngest and most tech-savvy MP’s in parliament. He is also the Greens Musterer (Whip) and spokesperson for ICT. He recently launched the first crowdsourced bill by a political party in New Zealand, the Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill, and he campaigned for a second Internet cable for New Zealand and copyright reform. He also helped establish the cross-party IT forum which has improved the technical accessibility and literacy of Parliament.

Laila Harré, Internet MANA Party
Laila Harré has had a long career in industrial relations and politics, first entering Parliament in 1996 as an Alliance MP, then serving as a Cabinet Minister from 1999-2002 under the Labour-Alliance coalition government. In May this year, Harré was appointed leader of the newly established Internet MANA party. She returned to politics because she wanted to encourage young people to vote, to reconnect disenfranchised people with the political system, and to bridge the digital divide.

ICT Grad School Workshop - your input is welcomed!

The Tertiary Education Commission has budgeted $28.6m over 4 years for the development of 3 ICT Grad Schools. The Christchurch school was recently announced as part of the Innovation Precinct.

Business and education providers are invited to a workshop which is not simply consultation, but more an opportunity to co-create the ICT schools’ objectives with the people that best know what the industry skill demands are and how to best deliver education. Following workshops in Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington a tender process will be implemented.

Date: Friday 18th July
Time: 1:30pm - 3:30pm
Location: Russley Golf Club, 428 Memorial Ave, Burnside, Christchurch

To register for the workshop send an email with your details to

For further information visit:

Hi-Growth Launch Programme 2014

Canterbury Development Corporation (CDC) are offering their Hi-Growth Launch Programme to ten local businesses. This free programme is of enormous benefit to anyone looking to grow their emerging business.

The three month workshop inludes:
• Insights from business experts.
• Skills including: strategy, planning, finance, marketing and sales.
• 1:1 mentoring from industry specialists.
• Valuable business networks.
Visit to find out more about the programme and to complete your application.

Applications close on Friday 18 July.

For more information contact:
Ria Chapman
Mobile: 022 3020 682

The Inaugural Excellence in IT Awards

NZ Software Association and the Institute of IT Professionals have partnered with eight other IT associations to create the inaugural Excellence in IT Awards, kicking off in October this year.

The Awards will recognise individuals and teams that have truly excelled in IT. Nominations are now open until Friday 18 July 2014.

For more information please visit:

PwC seminar on tax law in Australia

Do you need a little help identifying and understanding key tax and corporate obligations in Australia?

PwC Australia Partner Murray Evans will be providing practical guidance on the challenges of managing income tax and GST and FBT compliance in Australia for subsidiaries and branches of New Zealand companies. This four hour seminar focuses on key Australian tax obligations and minimising the risk of Australian Taxation Office review - essential content for people working with New Zealand entities operating in Australia.

Topics include:
• Registration process for an Australia subsidiary or branch.
• ASIC reporting requirements
• Key income tax risks areas, such as transfer pricing, thin capitalisation, financial arrangements and capital gains tax.
• Common FBT and GST issues.
• Australian and New Zealand tax differences.
Date: Thursday, 24 July 2014
Time: 8.30am - 12.30pm
Venue: Melton Estate, West Melton RD 5, Christchurch
Cost: $275 (inc GST)

Please register online or contact Kelly Smith for more information.

New Zealand Spatial Excellence Awards (NZSEA)

Every year spatial industry innovation results in far-reaching benefits across many different sectors of New Zealand society, yet the organisations and individuals responsible go largely unnoticed.

The inaugural New Zealand Spatial Excellence Awards (NZSEA) is a joint venture between the spatial profession, business and government to recognise the industry’s top achievers.

The awards are open to all New Zealand spatial professionals and spatial organisations and are divided into two sections – organisational and individual.

Entries close on 29 August 2014 and all entrants will be notified of the outcome of their submission in October. The event ceremony will be held on 27th November.

For information on how to enter and to keep up with the latest NZSEA news, please For regular updates join: Twitter: @nzseawards or LinkedIn: New Zealand Spatial Excellence Awards.

Christchurch Tech Events

Christchurch has an active tech community with a range of user groups holding regular events around the city. For a monthly overview of upcoming events visit:

Join Canterbury Software Inc.

CSi provides a great opportunity to get involved in the local software scene. We have monthly catch-up drinks and nibbles at EPIC, where industry experts come along and share their knowledge of particular topics. These events provide excellent networking opportunities and membership is tremendous value for money. If you would like to join CSi please go to the Join Us page on our website. If you have any questions email

We hope to see you at our next event!

The Canterbury Software Committee


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