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Building New Zealand On-line

Tue, 13 July 2004

Building New Zealand On-line

After nearly ten years , Paul Reynolds, long time internet commentator for National Radio Nine 'till Noon show is switching off his microphone to concentrate on developing internet projects, instead of talking about them.

Reynolds, whose strong Scottish accent is one of the most recognised voices on National Radio plays his last session with Linda Clark on Friday. "It has been a brilliant experience" says Reynolds. "For nearly ten years I have had double privilege of being part of a brand new medium appear out of the ether as well as having the space to talk about how it might be changing our lives"

Though primarily known as a commentator, Reynolds has also build a solid reputation in the on-line industry as a strategist, especially in the creative, cultural and education sector. He and his company, mcgovern on-line, are currently developing three export lead web products.

The Kittle, an e-learning studio which delivers curriculum matched lessons and learning objects directly to the teacher/student/school intranet. CityBox , in partnership with Hamish Keith, developing and building the on-line culturally mapping product CityBox. CityBox was a finalist in the recent Cube competition . . Gallery 2.0 - a web based fine art inventory and virtual exhibition space for artists and art galleries.

A big part of his move away from the commentator role comes from his belief that it is time New Zealand started taking the on-line world more seriously. "We need to be building first class web sources. We need to showing the world we are truly excellent at this stuff."

"Right now, its all a bit thin", he claims. "Sure there are some success stories- but we need much more focus - and a lot more clarity on what digital markets we want to conquer"

Says Reynolds, " Despite my, on occasion, breathless enthusiasm for some of our local initiatives - the truth is there are very few digital examples of where NZ needs to be - both economically and culturally. If we want to see the digital age as a crucial part of our long term future, then we have to lift our game both creatively and economically.

As examples, he claims, New Zealand can be world leaders in e-learning studios- cultural tourism, web based heritage collections, and digital preservation, and e-democracy.

He also claims New Zealand could be the first genuinely 'digital nation'

"We are a country of four million people, says Reynolds". In network terms that is a trivial number. We could build a national network which gave every New Zealand resident automatic access to "New Zealand On-Line" - a big national portal which would act as our digital home - as well as our gateway to the world" No other country has done this - we can.

That's going to be my focus for the next ten years - creating the pieces of the on-line world - instead of talking about it.


About Paul Reynolds

Joint Managing Director McGovern & Associates Paul has a BA and an MA in Social and Political Thought. Middlesex/Sussex UK. As well as his on-line production skill sets , Paul has an active public profile both as a commentator and analyst of the trends of new media, especially in the education, creative and cultural sectors.

He was recently appointed to the Library and Information Advisory Group to Marian Hobbs, Minister to the National Library. He is an invited member of the global International Academy of Digital Arts and Science. He is also co-author of Internet, A New Zealand Users Guide, Penguin 1996.

About Mcgovern & Associates McGovern and Associates New Zealand is a full service web development company. Since 1995 they have provided strategic advice design and development in the field of new media and the internet to New Zealand business, government and crown entities, the education sector and community and professional organizations. As well as servicing the New Zealand market they have clients in the Pacific region and in the UK.

One of the original web development agencies in New Zealand, they have developed very strong skills in design and information architecture, employ a fulltime design and development team as well as having an extensive network of developers in all areas of new media including interactive digital objects and streaming media.


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