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Digital Council for Aotearoa New Zealand #weeknotes (17)

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

Last week was a difficult one for everyone as the government announced extended COVID-19 alert levels for Auckland and the rest of the country.

We would like to take the opportunity to again encourage people to get behind contact tracing and mask wearing.

  • Use the New Zealand COVID Tracer app to keep a digital diary of the places you have been and to support contact tracing. We acknowledge there are still accessibility issues with the app. Other options are out there too.
  • If you choose to wear a face mask — one you purchase or make yourself — please learn how to put it on, wear it, take it off and handle it safely after use to avoid the risk of infection. We recommend referring to the Ministry of Health’s advice on using masks safely.

Accessible information on COVID-19

We would also like to highlight the range of accessible resources available from the Ministry of Health’s website providing information on important topics such as COVID-19 symptoms and New Zealand’s alert-level system.

Information is available in New Zealand Sign Language and Easy Format and Large Print and Audio formats. Go to:

Stakeholder engagement

Last week we met with Kea New Zealand, an organisation that connects New Zealand to global opportunities through its worldwide community network of New Zealanders.

With the current COVID-19 pandemic causing unprecedented challenges worldwide, Kea New Zealand is exploring ways to work with Kiwi expats to support New Zealand’s post-Covid recovery.

Recently, Kea New Zealand published a global survey to learn more about what Kiwis, based overseas, need to thrive and their plans to invest in and give back to New Zealand.

We also met with Tohatoha, a non-government organisation focused on creating a just and equitable digital world.

Using tools such as their own Creative Commons Poker game, reading groups and workshops, Tohatoha help people understand the legal, ethical, and practical challenges of digital transformation and support community engagement with the government.

Future Government Summit is now virtual

On Thursday, Digital Council chair Mitchell is speaking at the Future Government Summit, exploring the topic of ‘how New Zealand can position itself to get the best from technology so that everyone benefits.’

In light of the new COVID-19 alert levels, the summit is now a virtual event.

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

Register to attend at:Future Government Summit.

See you at the New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards 2020

The Digital Council is excited to support this year’s New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards by joining the online gala dinner starting at 7pm on Friday.

We look forward to seeing everyone there — and would like to endorse the organiser’s decision to put everyone’s health and safety first and take the event online.

Congratulations to the finalists across all 14 categories, including our own Digital Council chair Mitchell Pham who is in the line up for Most Inspiring Individual Award.

Mitchell joins Jenene Crossan (CEO and co-founder of Powered by Flossie); Michelle Dickinson (nanotechnology engineer and creator of Nanogirl); Bruce Gordon (board director and banking executive); and Serge van Dam (early-stage technology investor) in this category.

The award recognises individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to a New Zealand hi-tech company, have leadership qualities and have achieved above and beyond his or her day job.

Good luck to all this year’s finalists — we look forward to seeing everyone on Friday.

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NZTech We connect, promote and advance the New Zealand Technology ecosystem to help the tech sector and the economy grow.