Story image

NZ’s West Coast could become a major tech hub

The nature of New Zealand manufacturing and industry has been evolving since the 1980’s with traditional manufacturing centres and market focuses. 

While popular opinion is that industry has disappeared overseas, the Maintenance Engineering Society of NZ (MESNZ) has for some time been reporting that it has in fact relocated to the regions with a new focus on niche markets and necessity drove lean manufacturing. 

While a big driver of change late last century was the fashionable focus on labour rates, another new factor is emerging that may yet reshape our local industry, connective technology. 

Nowhere is this no more evident than at Vertigo Technologies in Westport, where a small band of young innovators are carving out a whole new micro machine centre industry.

Vertigo founder Brett Cottle discovered a niche and a knack for desktop light spec CNC controlled machine centres. 

The kind of machine that is not too big or expensive to fit into a healthy man-cave yet retains the technology and capacity to create sophisticated accurate and repeatable low volume componentry. 

Fast forward to 2018 and Vertigo have built 167 machines in 15 months and are now preparing to step up from the local market test bed to the global market.

Technology is available and embraced in the region and the low cost of living reduces the risk for start-up companies. 

With similar local success in gaming technology in the region, the concept of the West Coast becoming the next globally competitive connected technology centre of the country is poised to become a reality, a potential that has not escaped the region, with a Think Tank recently hosted in Greymouth.​

Think Tank evenings are constantly being planned, with the current schedule showing Auckland, Napier, Christchurch and Masterton. 

MESNZ’s whistle-stop visit to the West Coast has unearthed a fantastic depth of local industry and engineering and armed with the improved local knowledge, the society is vowing to return to the region to foster further development and growth of the engineering network.

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.
Robots to the fore – Key insights for New Zealand Business into RPA in 2019
From making artificial intelligence a business reality to closer ties to human colleagues, robotic process automation is gearing up for a strong 2019.
50 million tonnes of e-waste: IT faces sustainability challenges
“Through This is IT, we want to help people better understand the problem of today’s linear “take, make, dispose” thinking around IT products and its effects like e-waste, pollution and climate change."
Vocus & Vodafone unbundle NZ's fibre network
“Unbundling fibre will provide retail service providers with a flexible future-proofed platform regardless of what tomorrow brings."
IDC: A/NZ second highest APAC IoT spenders per capita
New IDC forecast expects the Internet of Things spending in Asia/Pacific excluding Japan to reach US$381.8 Billion by 2022.