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ECAT Membership Announced

Information Technology Minister Paul Swain today announced the membership of the government's core E-Commerce Action Team – or ECAT.

"ECAT is one of the initiatives the government promised when we launched our E-commerce Strategy late last year," Paul Swain said.

"ECAT will be a partnership between government, business and the broader community and will provide support for the government's e-commerce strategy.

"ECAT will have two principal roles; helping to advance the government’s e-commerce strategy, and encouraging and promoting the adoption of e-commerce within the private sector.

"It will have a key role in promoting the uptake of e-commerce across sector and industry groups, and regions. So in choosing members I’ve looked for organisations which can have a multiplier effect across the economy, and individuals with a strong and practical understanding of e-commerce.

"I am delighted that we were able to attract such a high calibre of people to the core membership of ECAT.

"I want the ECAT core group to be a catalyst for the development of an ECAT network and web site.

"Such a network, powered by the Internet, will be a way for champions of e-commerce to link together to share ideas, information and resources.

"The ECAT network will be open to all groups who want to get their members on board with e-commerce. I hope to announce the make up of that network shortly.

"The E-Commerce Action Team will hold its first meeting on 6 March in Wellington," Paul Swain said.

Members of ECAT are listed overleaf, along with bios of the individual members.

Kerry Lamont – Press Sec for Paul Swain – 04 4719889/025 270 9106/

For other releases by Paul Swain go to:
ECAT members:

Sir Gil Simpson, Chair;
Previously Chair of the Government’s E-commerce summit in November 2000, and founder and CEO of Aoraki Corporation

Brian Hawkins;
NZ Bankers Association nominee, Chief Manager Special Projects, The National Bank of NZ Ltd.

Graeme Sinclair;
Institute of Chartered Accountants nominee, Partner KPMG.

Gavin Adlam
NZ Law Society nominee, Barrister & Solicitor.

John Chaffey;
Local Government New Zealand nominee, Mayor of Hurunui District Council.

Paul Winter;
Business New Zealand nominee, CE Employers & Manufacturers Assn (Central Wellington).

Tom Lambie:
Federated Farmers of NZ nominee, Vice President.

Paul Goulter;
NZ Council of Trade Unions (NZCTU) nominee, General Secretary

Jim O'Neill;
Information Technology Association of NZ (ITANZ) nominee, Executive Director.

Glenys Coughlan;
Tourism Industry Association of NZ nominee, Executive Director.

Philip Lewin, Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce nominee, Chief Executive

Mark Jeffries; Electronic Business Association of New Zealand (EBANZ) nominee, Chairman

Catherine Calarco; individual member, CEO Onezone

Dr Shirley Leitch; individual member, Associate Dean of Management, University of Waikato

Prashanta Mukherjee; individual member, Principal e-business, IBM New Zealand

Caron Taurima, individual member, CEO, Carich New Zealand Limited
Ex-officio members from Government Agencies:

Brendan Boyle, Director, e-Government Unit, SSC;

Rod MacKenzie, Director e-Business, TradeNZ;

Dr Joseph Rousseau, Strategic Industry Strategy Manager, Industry New Zealand;

Yvonne Lucas, Director, Competition and Enterprise Branch, Ministry of Economic Development.

Biographies of the five individual members are attached below:

Sir Gil Simpson KNZM, QSM

Founder and chief executive officer of Aoraki Corporation Limited, Sir Gil Simpson chaired the New Zealand e-Commerce Summit held in November 2000. He is a creator of world class technology in his own right and is recognised as one of New Zealand's leading chief executives.

Sir Gil is also the creator of LINC, New Zealand’s most successful software export, which has more than 4000 users worldwide. His company is again achieving international success with JADE, a software programming technology used to build e-commerce computer systems for medium to large businesses.

Sir Gil first became involved with the computer industry in 1967, working on the computerisation of the National Bank of New Zealand. He subsequently pursued a career in computer programming throughout New Zealand, a highlight being his appointment as Senior Programmer for Comalco New Zealand at the age of 22, and as Data Processing Manager of Whitcoulls in 1974, three years later.

He is a regular speaker in New Zealand and overseas on business and information technology, particularly in the area of electronic commerce. Recent speaking engagements include addresses on electronic commerce in June 2000 to an APEC conference in Brunei and to an OECD summit in Bologna, Italy.

Sir Gil was made a Knight Companion (KNZM) in January 2000 for his services to information technology, commerce and the community.

Sir Gil is a fellow of the New Zealand Computer Society, the New Zealand Institute of Management and the New Zealand Institute of Directors. He is also a non-Executive Director of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, President of the Royal Society of New Zealand, and a member of the New Zealand Business Roundtable. Amongst a number of other community roles, Sir Gil is Chairman of the Christchurch City Mission Foundation.

In October 2000, Sir Gil won the New Zealand Computer Society's supreme award for the most outstanding contribution to computing in New Zealand over the last century.

Shirley Leitch

As Associate Dean of Waikato University’s Management School, Shirley Leitch has established a strong record as an academic innovator - designing the University’s Bachelor of Communications Studies degree, public relations and media studies programmes, and designing and managing the doctoral research programme for managers; and co-designing the University’s Masters of Food Industry Management, and the MBA branding programme.

Most recently Dr Leitch has taken that record into the field of e-commerce. She co-developed and launched New Zealand’s first e-commerce degree, established the Management School’s e-commerce advisory board and negotiated the School’s e-commerce and e-learning alliance with Gartner Group and six USA business schools (Harvard, Wharton, Darden, MIT, University of Texas at Austin, and Kellog).

Dr Leitch also negotiated and managed Waikato University’s sponsorship of the Government’s e-Commerce Summit and staged the Summit’s e-Ideas workshop on international branding.

Working with the Dean, she has also designed the Management School’s first e-delivery strategy.

Dr Leitch is a member and former president of the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association, an associate member of the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand and judge of the annual PRINZ awards.

Dr Leitch holds degrees in political studies from the University of Auckland and in 1986 was awarded a PhD in Political Communications. Her publications include News Talk, a1990 book on the New Zealand news media and a range of articles, book chapters and conference papers on political and business communications.

She has also taught at Auckland, Victoria and Massey Universities, worked as a public relations consultant, and from 1985 to 1987 worked as assistant to the Minister of Women’s Affairs, Social Welfare and Police. In the last role, Dr Leitch designed and implemented communication strategies for major government policy initiatives, including the establishment of the new Ministry for Women’s Affairs.

Catherine Calarco

Prior to her current role as CEO for Onezone, Ms Calarco was General Manager for Biolab Scientific Limited and was instrumental in the development of Biolab's leading e-commerce site Biolab.Direct. Recent work has focused on the change management required to move customers and suppliers to online ordering and information management. Prior to her CEO role, Catherine was General Manager for New Zealand at Biolab Scientific Ltd having been project manager for their electronic commerce and extranet development.

Catherine Calarco is a highly qualified leader with more than 15 years in sales and marketing, science and software product development, change management, and innovation within companies in the USA, Caribbean, South Pacific and New Zealand.
Away from work Catherine is a qualified diving instructor with a longheld interest in marine biology.

Her industrial experience is similarly broad, ranging across biotechnology, scientific instrumentation, computer database and applications, electronic commerce, distribution, partnerships, team development and general management.

Ms Calarco is a member of the Medical Industry Association. She has also been a judge for the Innovation category of the Enterprise North Shore Business Excellence Awards and conducted training courses for government organisations through NZCM, Massey University and ICM.

Ms Calarco has held senior roles with Molecular Designs Limited, a company making computer information management systems for scientific applications; PE ABI Inc. a scientific instrumentation corporation; Bionovus, an instrumentation and consumable products start up; and SABRE Pacific, the travel industry’s leading computer reservation system.

Professional affiliations include the American Chemical Society,
Professional Business Woman's Conference (Vice President, Board of
Directors), Professional Association of Dive Instructors (PADI), Underwater
Photographers Association, Oceanz Underwater Photographic Competition
Committee, NZ Women in Science, and the American Club International.

Catherine holds a BSc from CSUC, California, and attended the Marine Option Program at the University of Hawaii. Continuing education has included the Santa Clara University Masters Business Administration and the Engineering & Management Program, UCLA extension.

Prashanta Mukherjee

Prashanta Mukherjee has been involved in e-commerce advocacy, strategy formulation and projects since 1996. In 1997 while at Ernst & Young he conceived and produced the first survey on eCommerce in New Zealand. ( This was carried out through a dialogue with the business community through the New Zealand Institute of Management.

He has worked with government departments, large businesses, state owned enterprises, and small and medium businesses in New Zealand over the last 11 years and is an active participant in the national e-business and information economy public debate.

He is currently employed as principal, e-Business with IBM in New Zealand. He has also worked with Ernst & Young, Oracle Corporation and CMC Ltd (state owned enterprise in India), in a range of roles.

Prashanta has contributed to the development of the e-Commerce Strategy, made a direct contribution to the Government’s guide on e-commerce for SMEs, and served as a member of the advisory group for the Government e-Commerce Summit.

His 17 years in the industry have given him direct personal expertise and experience with e-business in banking, transport, injury insurance, retail, distribution, telecommunications, government and utilities. He has personal expertise in e-business strategy, e-business governance, e-commerce, e-procurement and e-marketplaces.

Prashanta has been a speaker for such varied organisations as the New Zealand Institute of Management, Fiji-NZ Business Council and the SmartNet Forum. He has also occasionally lectured at Victoria University as guest to the Faculty of Commerce and Administration.

In 1999 he was a member of the steering group which oversaw the development of the New Zealand Knowledge Economy Report. ( for the then Minister for Information Technology’s IT Advisory Group (ITAG).

Prashanta has an active network in the information industries of New Zealand. He has also served on the Internet Society of New Zealand as an elected councilor.

He has a degree in Science from University of Delhi, India and is formally trained in marketing and management.

Caron Taurima

As a liaison officer with Databank Systems, the electronic clearing house for New Zealand financial transactions, Caron Taurima dealt first hand with customers and their software and hardware problems. At 21, she started her own computer training business. Today, as chief executive of Carich New Zealand Ltd, she runs a company that trains over 4000 people a year in a broad range of software applications.

Established in 1988, Carich is now recognised by NZQA as a private training provider and is also an Authorised Microsoft Training Centre with a staff of 125. With six offices around the country, the company makes full use of intranet and e-commerce capabilities.

Caron Taurima’s other business interests include her directorship of the National College of Multimedia and Technology Ltd and the establishment, development and eventual sale of Looking Good Fashion Accessories – a Christchurch chain of five fashion accessory stores.

Caron Taurima is studying for an MBA from England’s Henley Management College.

Caron Taurima’s energy and business success have been recognised by her peers in business and the wider community. She has twice won Maori Women’s Development Fund awards – in 1995 for Best Small Business and in 1999 for Overall Business excellence. 1995 also saw her named as southern regional winner of NZIM’s Young Executive of the Year and as winner of an NZIM Young Executive Scholarship Award.

Caron’s tribal affiliations are Ngati Kuia - Rangitane. Much of her volunteer effort has gone into mentoring other Maori business women. She is currently an adviser to Wahine Tu Kuha and a member of Te Puni Kokiri’s Maori Business Start Up board. She has also served on the management board of Wise Women’s network Otautahi Women’s Labour Pool and as a board member of the Canterbury Development Corporation, Healthlink South and Career Services Rapuara.

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