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Leading Kiwis Punt For Global Try

What do Warehouse head Stephen Tindall, software mogul Sir Gil Simpson, children's writer Margaret Mahy and Mark Vivian, head of the Kiwi Expatriates Association, have in common?

They’ve joined other New Zealanders from all walks of life who are rooting for an international Kiwi success on the world’s brightest technology stage.

An increasing number of New Zealanders are joining the Virtual Kiwi Vote campaign supporting the public vote for New Zealand’s first Web site to make the finals of the highly prestigious Sixth Annual Webby Awards. The main awards are judged by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Science, in a process which mirrors the Oscars, but an online People’s Voice vote is open to the public worldwide.

“We figured the only way we could make headway against our nearest competition – NASA! – was to see if we could get the entire country behind us,” explains SciTechDaily managing editor Vicki Hyde. “We’re not after money, just verbal support, email votes, and active spread of the idea of voting for a small Kiwi effort up against the world!”

The SciTechDaily site now boasts a special Virtual Kiwi Vote section complete with what they term a “shamelessly parochial” personal plea, the growing Supporters’ List and ideas on how New Zealanders can help. (

“We New Zealanders need all the help we can get to market ourselves to the world, showing that we are serious about being a Knowledge Economy. SciTech Daily is another great New Zealand initiative. Lets all give it all the support we can, “ says Stephen Tindall.

Hyde sees it as more than just an IT or knowledge economy success – the Webby Awards have a strong focus on showcasing the best the world has to offer in terms of innovation, creativity and originality.

“That’s why we are delighted to have support from writers like Margaret Mahy and Lynley Hood, or the Film Commission’s Ruth Harley – they can see the creative side to this.”

The cheeky Virtual Kiwi logo is spreading across Web sites as New Zealanders take up the challenge. Leading technology company JADE Software Corporation has it up on their Web site, and others have been spreading the message in company newsletters and organisational mailing lists.

“The campaign is already having an effect – in our first week we went from 11% of the vote and third place to nearly double that, with a clear hold on second place. And, in the last few days, we’ve started to peg back NASA’s commanding lead in the vote”, says Hyde. “Though we’ve only got until June 7, we know we can overtake them if everyone who hears about the campaign takes a couple of minutes to vote online, and tells at least one friend about it.”

“I had my fingers crossed for Peter Jackson on Oscars night,” says Hyde. “I just hope the country is happy to put finger to keyboard for us.”


Contact: Vicki Hyde Tel: (03) 384-5137


Print-ready Virtual Kiwi graphic available at

Various sizes of Web-ready Virtual Kiwi graphics available from

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