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Mitchell Pham

Digital Council for Aotearoa New Zealand #weeknotes (16)

By Mitchell Pham, Chair of the Digital Council for Aotearoa New Zealand.

Last week we continued talking to stakeholders about e-commerce opportunities in New Zealand. Toi Āria, our research partners, got out into the community to talk to Kiwis about algorithms. And, our chair, Mitchell Pham, caught up with Spinoff reporter Simon Pound to talk about the work of the Council (among many other things).

Stakeholder engagement

Thanks to everyone who made it to our e-commerce and digital marketplaces stakeholder meeting last week.

Great to see such a good turnout (21 organisations tuned in via Zoom, representing retail, e-commerce, digital marketplaces, social media and government). We look forward to seeing many of you again at the next meeting on 18 August.

In the meantime, here is a snapshot of some of the issues canvassed.

  • Many New Zealand retailers are launching an online store on e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Storbie and others in response to COVID-19.
  • However, many businesses still lack the digital skills and capability they need for e-commerce, as well as a wider business strategy to make the most of e-commerce opportunities.
  • Barriers to e-commerce commonly experienced by New Zealand businesses include how to market products effectively and direct online traffic to products and services, as well as what to do to achieve sales and retain customers.
  • Consumers, on the other hand, are primarily motivated by convenience, choice and price. Although they are starting to care more about supporting New Zealand businesses online in the post-Covid environment.
  • There is interest in a successful New Zealand marketplace that helps local consumers to find and purchase New Zealand products and that markets New Zealand products to overseas markets.
  • An online New Zealand marketplace could be a key enabler of growth for many New Zealand businesses, allowing them to focus on their craft and leave the overseas marketing and digital know-how to those who specialise in it.

Research focus groups

Hot on the heels of releasing our interim findings into automated decision-making, the Toi Āria team were out-and-about last week, talking to New Zealanders about how they feel about algorithm technology.

Toi Āria is one of two research partners working with us on our main research project on automated decision-making.

Around 25 people came along to last week’s focus group session at Massey University (pictured above). Thanks to everyone who took part. We look forward to carrying out more focus groups and to sharing our research findings in December.

Mitchell Pham was interviewed last week for the Business is Boring podcast.

Media & outreach

On Thursday, chair Mitchell Pham joined Business is Boring podcaster Simon Pound to talk about his life and all things digital and tech.

In his interview lead-in Simon says: “Today, his [Mitchell Pham’s] software development company has offices across New Zealand and Vietnam.

“Mitchell is also a member of a number of national and international bodies helping to increase the quality of our digital landscape, including chair of the Digital Council of Aotearoa New Zealand and New Zealand’s representative on the Asia Society’s Global Council. He joined the podcast for a chat about his incredible journey, contributing to the industry and what’s next.”

Listen to the interview on Spotify.

Events in August

Coming up later this month, Mitchell will speak at two major events, the Future Government Summit in Wellington on Thursday 20 August, as well as the CIO Summit on Tuesday 25 August.

Both sessions will explore the topic of how New Zealand can position itself to get the best from technology so that everyone benefits; everyone is included and technology contributes to our wellbeing and resilience as a nation.

Mitchell will also talk about what the Council learned from COVID-19 and how the Council is applying those lessons to the advice it gives to Ministers.

Register to attend

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Mitchell Pham Mitchell Pham is a director of the CodeHQ in New Zealand and Vietnam, and co-founder of the Kiwi Connection Tech Hub – a platform for NZ technology businesses to accelerate presence & engagement in South East Asia