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NZ finalists to tackle World Summit Awards

New Zealand finalists to tackle World Summit Awards in Turin

The New Zealand finalists for the World Summit Awards were announced this evening by Hon David Cunliffe, the Minister of Communications and Minister for Information Technology, at a gala event at the National Library of New Zealand. The evening also marked the official launch of the New Zealand World Summit Awards website (www.wsa-awards.org.nz) by the Minister Responsible for the National Library, Hon Marian Hobbs.

Running in association with the second World Summit on the Information Society (www.wsis.org) to be held in Tunis in November, the World Summit Awards (www.wsis-award.org) will be a global showcase of 40 outstanding information, communication and technology (ICT) projects from around the world, in eight categories. There is a special emphasis on those projects that show the benefits of information and communication technology for the development of communities and society at large. Impressively, against entries from 136 other countries, New Zealand won two awards at the last summit held in Geneva in 2003.

‘Innovative technology has an important role to play in New Zealand’s digital future,’ says David Cunliffe. ‘The winners of these awards represent the talent which will take this country into the forefront of the ICT global market in line with this government’s Digital Strategy: creating our digital future.’

The Hon Marian Hobbs, says the Library fitted naturally as a WSA sponsor.

‘Our winning two of the awards at the last World Summit Awards event in Geneva in 2003 reflects well on the world-leading work being done in New Zealand by our ICT professionals,’ Marian Hobbs says. ‘And the calibre of this year’s New Zealand finalists is a good omen for our chances in Tunis in November.’

The international finalists will be evaluated with entrants from 196 other countries by the WSA 2005 Grand Jury in August in Bahrain. The winners will be announced at the WSA Gala in Tunis on 16 November 2005.

The New Zealand WSA is sponsored by the National Library, the Ministry of Economic Development and Internet New Zealand with the close cooperation of the 2020 Communication Trust.

Finalists in the World Summit Awards 2005 who will represent New Zealand in Turin are:

e-Inclusion: Chris Mulcare from Lomak International for
Lomak - A Computer Keyboard that will transform the lives of the disabled
Lomak has developed a revolutionary new computer keyboard for people with physical disabilities to access computers and the digital world with the same ease as non-disabled people. Lomak is bringing the disabled user into the e-community and the community at large, providing affordable flexible computer access to information and opportunity.

e-Business: Dave McPherson and Barry Harris of Fontera for
Fencepost supports and optimises business practices for the farming and rural sector right across New Zealand. The creation of new business models, based on a set of interactive tools, is developing the ability to spread best practice among farmers nationwide.

e-Learning Simon Wi Rutene of Hana Limited for He Puia, he Iwi
This resource (in Mâori, Hawaiian and English) is based on traditional knowledge and its approach to scientific understanding, to increase people’s understanding of the world around them. It demonstrates the relationships between the Tangata Whenua of New Zealand and the culture and language of other Pacific people, connected through common ancestry.

e-Science Denis Sullivan from Victoria University and his team for
Stellar shape measurement by a gravitational lens
New Zealand is a participant in the multinational Moa group which uses stars as naturally occurring lenses, and achieves results with greater precision than is possible using the best man-made telescopes such as the Hubble Space Telescope.

e-Government the Treaty of Waitangi Information Unit at State Services Commission for
The Treaty of Waitangi site
The Treaty of Waitangi is the founding document of New Zealand, and part of the living history of the nation. This website, launched in 2003, is not an attempt to change public attitudes, nor to promote a particular view of the Treaty’s significance, but rather to provide information and resources for an informed understanding.

e-Health: Mike Harrison and Alan Merry for
SaferSleep employs sophisticated software to assist anaesthetists in administering drugs safely and creating an integrated and accurate patient record. It promotes greater accuracy in drug administration and physical records of anaesthesia by integrating the drug information with physiological data collected in real time from multiple patient monitors.

e-Entertainment: Gavin Bishop in partnership with HIT Lab for
The eyeMagic project at the University of Canterbury’s HIT Lab New Zealand is exploring the application of augmented-reality technology to children’s literature. Augmented Reality is a new computer interface technology that allows computer graphics to be overlaid on the real world, so that both the virtual images and the real objects can be seen at the same time. Gavin Bishop is a noted New Zealand children’s book author and illustrator. In this project, one of his stories, “Giant Jimmy Jones”, was transformed from a normal printed book into one where three-dimensional animated virtual images appear to pop up from the real pages.

e-Learning: Simon Wi Rutene with his project He Puia, he Iwi – a tri-lingual educational resource

He Puia (in Maori, Hawaiian and English) is based on traditional knowledge and its approach to scientific understanding, to increase people’s understanding of the world around them. It demonstrates the relationships between the Tangata Whenua of New Zealand and the culture and language of other Pacific people, connected through common ancestry.


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