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Finalists Named For 2021 CIO Awards

July 29, 2021 – IDC and Conferenz tonight announced this year’s finalists in the CIO Awards which recognise individuals and teams who have shown leadership, innovation and foresight in their contribution to the digital transformation of both ICT and business functions.

Finalists were selected based on the judging review of their written submissions. Judging focuses on the intersection of business and technology for both individuals and teams that have significantly contributed to driving outstanding digital transformation initiatives for the companies they work for.

All finalists are interviewed by the independent judging panel representing the top echelon of New Zealand’s ICT and business community, from former award winners to leading executives and educators. They include experienced entrepreneur and company director, John Holt; Kaye Maree Dunn, Managing Director, Ahau NZ and CDO at NZTE, Richard Kay.

The winners will be announced at the CIO Awards Night on 31st August at Shed 10, Auckland. The Awards are supported by ServiceNow, ClearPoint, RWA Technology People, Juniper Networks, Sharp, CompTIA, Younity and 2Degrees.

IDC New Zealand Country Manager, and awards judge, Louise Francis extended her personal congratulations to all finalists, saying they epitomise the innovative and collaborative spirit of New Zealand organisations. “As New Zealand organisations emerged from the turbulence of 2020, many took the lessons they learnt to create innovative business models and accelerate business transformation programmes. The 2021 CIO Award finalists demonstrated not only leadership excellence their peers can aspire to, but also a commitment to contributing to the wellbeing of their employees, customers and communities. The tech community of New Zealand can be very proud of the outstanding talent represented in this year’s awards and what it represents for the opportunities for the local industry to shine on the world stage. We congratulate each finalist and look forward to celebrating the achievements amongst the industry on 31st August, 2021.”

The 2021 finalists, in six categories, are:

‘CIO of the Year’, for demonstrating innovation and success in the past 12 months that reinforces the transformational role of the CIO in supporting their company's overall business strategy.

Sponsor: CompTIA


  • Phil Coster, CIO , Mitre10
  • Andrew Haddad, CIO , Vodafone
  • Robert Lockerd, Chief Information Officer, New Zealand Parliament

‘Emerging ICT Leader’ recognises and encourages exceptional ICT talent by professionals under 33 years of age.

Sponsor: 2degrees


  • Avinash de Silva, Technology and Platforms Manager, Fresh Direct NZ
  • Bob Kombora, IT Operations Manager, Overland Footwear Group
  • Taryn Olsen, Product Owner - Fulfilment, Countdown
  • Alex Stewart, CEO and Founder, WombatNET

‘Community Tech Champions’ showcases outstanding initiatives with the goal of educating, exposing and engaging New Zealanders that have been previously underrepresented in the ICT sector.

Sponsor: Juniper Networks


  • Greater Christchurch Schools' Network
  • IT Professionals
  • RoboPā - Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi
  • She Sharp
  • Te Awa Kairangi Access Trust (TAKA Trust)

‘Best ICT Team Culture’ recognises outstanding team culture within an organisation’s ICT team where fostering team culture, retaining and nurturing a diverse IT staff has created a competitive advantage for the entire organisation.

Sponsor: RWA Technology People


  • Greater Wellington Regional Council
  • healthAlliance
  • Vocus

‘Business Transformation through Digital and ICT’ honours the achievements of organisations that have successfully planned and executed a Business Transformation initiative or initiatives through the use of digital and disruptive technologies. By using technology to innovate and transform their business they have produced a range of benefits for the organisation.

Sponsor: Clearpoint


  • Auckland Airport
  • Auckland Council
  • Contact Energy
  • Earthquake Commission
  • Tu Ora, Compass Health

‘Sustainability through Technology’ honours the achievements of organisations that have successfully planned and executed a sustainability initiative through the use of technology. Using technology and innovation to drive a sustainable initiative within an organisation that has produced a range of benefits for the organisation and/ or communities. The initiative or project could address any/or all of the three pillars of sustainability: economic, environmental, and social (profits, planet and people).

SPONSOR: Younity


  • Future Fit (Auckland Council)
  • Recycle A Device
  • Westpac

The recipient of the ‘Outstanding Contribution to ICT in New Zealand’ award, sponsored by Sharp, will also be named at the Awards night.

This award is given to a high-profile businessperson from a public or private company whose contribution has significantly and uniquely impacted the greater New Zealand or global business community in an information technology sense over the course of his or her career.

The CIO Summit is New Zealand’s premier professional development forum for senior ICT executives. See the full programme More about the judges can be found at

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