Story image

Brothers behind Kiwi Connect scoop Kea Friends of New Zealand Award

25 Jun 2018

Brothers Brian and Matthew Monahan are business leaders and champions for Kiwi innovation – and they took home the World Class New Zealand Awards’ 2018 Kea Friends of New Zealand award last week.

The Monahan brothers were celebrated for their contributions to the local innovation and entrepreneurial landscape.

They have been behind a number of initiatives, including Wellington-based Kiwi Connect, ongoing work with the Edmund Hillary Fellowship, and involvement in the world’s first Global Impact Visa designed to attract global talent to the country’s startup sector.

Kea Global CEO Craig Donaldson says the Monahan brothers have dedicated their lives to fostering Kiwi innovation and entrepreneurial endeavours for almost a decade.

“The various initiatives and organisations they’ve founded have helped connect Kiwi innovators with the rest of the world, as well as attract some of the best international talent to our shores. They’re the epitome of what it means to be a Friend of New Zealand and it’s our pleasure to honour their work in this manner,” Donaldson comments.

Brian Monahan adds that innovation is about solving problems – and our world has plenty of challenges ahead. These include environmental, social, and economic challenges.

“Aotearoa has a very creative society and we are happy to do our bit to help connect Kiwi innovators with global networks. With luck, our nation can help lead the way, by example, through the challenges of today into a beautiful tomorrow,” he says.

The World Class New Zealand Awards are now in their 15th year and recognised a number of other Kiwis who have been defining New Zealand’s reputation on the world stage.

Neal and Annette Plowman scooped the Supreme Award. They were recognised for their charitable contributions to New Zealand, most recently to the NEXT Foundation.

The Awards also recognised innovator and engineer Peter Beck; AI trailblazer Dr. Mark Sagar; award-winning actor and producer Cliff Curtis; prominent Earth scientist Dr. Delwyn Moller; technology business leader Mitchell Pham; and art world powerhouse Jennifer Flay.

Each World Class New Zealand Award winner received a Kea Tall Poppy statuette, designed by Weta Workshop co-founder and 2009 Supreme winner, Sir Richard Taylor.

The Full list of winners is as follows:

  • Supreme Award: Neal and Annette Plowman
  • Friend of New Zealand Award: Brian & Matthew Monahan
  • Kea Award: Peter Beck, founder and CEO of RocketLab
  • Kea Award: Mark Sagar, founder and CEO of Soul Machines
  • Kea Award: Cliff Curtis, actor
  • Kea Award: Dr Delwyn Moller, director of research at the Centre for Space Science Technology
  • Kea Award: Mitchell Pham, director of Augen Software Group and cofounder of Kiwi Connection Tech Hub
  • Kea Award: Jennifer Flay, general director of FIAC
Need the perfect flatmate? AI can help
A Kiwi entrepreneur has developed a flatmate-finding service called Mogeo, which is an algorithm that matches people to the perfect flatmates.
GoCardless to double A/NZ team by end of year
With a successful E round of investment and continuing organic growth globally, the debit network platform company aims to expand its local presence.
NZ’s Maori innovators are on the rise
“More iwi investors need to recognise that these sectors will provide the high-value jobs our children need."
Phone ringing? This biohack wants you to bite down and ChewIt
So your phone’s ringing, but instead of swiping right or pushing a Bluetooth button you bite down on a tiny piece of tech that sits in your mouth.
How big data can revolutionise NZ’s hospitals
Miya Precision is being used across 17 wards and the emergency department at Palmerston North Hospital.
Time's up, tax dodgers: Multinational tech firms may soon pay their dues
Multinational tech and digital services firms may no longer have a free tax pass to operate in New Zealand. 
Spark’s new IoT network reaches 98% of New Zealand
Spark is the first company to confirm the nationwide completion of a Cat-M1 network in New Zealand.
WhatsApp users warned to change voicemail PINs
Attackers are allegedly gaining access to users’ WhatsApp accounts by using the default voicemail PIN to access voice authentication codes.