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Lower Hutt looks to bring global creative tech hub to NZ

17 Feb 16

Lower Hutt may be home to New Zealand’s first TechShop, as the Hutt City Council is currently assessing how viable it is to bring the chain of member-based workshops to the region.

TechShop was founded in the US and is an open access hub for creativity, bringing together the hardware, software and people anyone might need to turn an idea or invention into reality.

A membership to TechShop typically provides access to more than $1 million worth of professional equipment and software with expert staff on hand to help people create in a safe and collaborative environment.

Kim Kelly, Hutt City Council strategic services general manager, says bringing New Zealand’s first TechShop to Lower Hutt is exciting for the region and builds on Council’s commitment to foster economic growth in science and technology by supporting innovation and creativity.

She says, “Lower Hutt has a proud creative and manufacturing history and Council is evaluating whether bringing a TechShop to the region could be viable to support not only our local makers but anyone regionally, even nationally, who has a bright idea they want to make happen.”

“Council also wants to explore TechShop as a way to provide a focal point for new product creation and collaboration among research and tertiary institutes and established business. It works in a similar way to a gym membership but instead of access to fitness equipment and personal trainers, members get everything they need to turn a sketch, a dream, a model, into something real,” she says.

To finalise the decision of whether to bring TechShop to Lower Hutt, Kelly says the Council is undertaking a thorough market assessment, according to Kelly.

“Part of that process means inviting anyone interested in the TechShop concept to one of two information events next month to find out more,” she says.

Kelly says Paul Duggan, TechShop Global CEO, will present at the events and it will be an opportunity for attendees to ask questions and find out more about how TechShop could work for them.

Registrations are open now to attend at www.huttcity.govt.nz/TechShop:

  • Tuesday 8 March, 5.30pm at 125 High Street, Lower Hutt or,
  • Wednesday 9 March, 5.30pm at Mac’s Function Centre, Te Aro Room, 4 Taranaki Street, Wellington
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