New Zealand’s most prestigious celebration of individual achievement, the Kea World Class New Zealand (WCNZ) Awards, has today announced six of its 2018 award recipients.
In addition to Pham, this year’s winners include innovator and engineer, Peter Beck; AI trailblazer Mark Sagar; award-winning actor and producer Cliff Curtis; prominent Earth scientist Dr Delwyn Moller; and art world powerhouse Jennifer Flay.
The Supreme Award (won last year by Sir Peter Jackson and Lady Fran Walsh), and Friend of New Zealand Award (won last year by Pippa Lady Blake), will be announced at a Gala Dinner at Auckland’s Viaduct Events Centre on Thursday 21st June.
The evenings’ discussions focussed on a hot topic for the financial sector: the regulation and tax implications of Blockchain and cryptocurrencies in the New Zealand market.
New Zealand fintech businesses are working toward an inclusive society despite some experts saying the gap between the have and have nots is getting wider, FintechNZ general manager James Brown says.
Smart new tech innovation companies such as Sharesies is seeking greater support and involvement from people in the middle to lower income areas, Brown says.
FinTechNZ leadership recently met with Minister Faafoi to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the financial sector in New Zealand. We’re please to have received the following letter of support from the Minister:
“As Minister for Commerce and Consumer Affairs I acknowledge the opportunity fintech creates for New Zealand businesses which in turn offers better outcomes for consumers. Ensuring our business and regulatory settings are supporting innovation and growth for New Zealand’s fintech sector is therefore an important part of my portfolio.
I want our financial markets to be fair, efficient and transparent, and to support honest business. At the same time, I want innovation, competition and empowerment to ensure all consumers achieve the best financial outcomes possible.
New Zealand’s fast-growing fintech sector is vital if we are to do this, and it’s a credit to the sector that it has quickly organised itself through FinTechNZ. Already, there is a great range of fintech activity, with the Government-supported Kiwibank fintech accelerator and Payments NZ’s API pilot examples of the fintech sector’s willingness to work constructively together and with government.
I look forward to continuing this engagement and to achieving the outcomes I know are possible – for business and for all New Zealanders.”
Mitchell Pham shares his perspective on the applications of Blockchain beyond cryptocurrencies:
Many Blockchain conversations seem to focus on crypto finance – the issuance of currency or tokens to raise capital for projects or businesses. Very quickly, these conversations move into listing the tokens on crypto exchanges, and then token value and trading volume, and so on, with seemingly little attention on the true problem-solving potential of both Blockchain technology and crypto tokens.
This year’s week long festival promises to be the biggest and best ever, with nearly 480 events around the country. Techweek’18 runs from Saturday 19 to Sunday 27 May and showcases all things tech and industry specific applications. Major headline events include Good for the World Open Days in Auckland, 10 Billion Mouths in Tauranga, Creative Realities in Wellington and The Fourth Revolution in Christchurch.
The diverse range of events highlights how technology innovation impacts businesses and industry sectors across our economy, as well as how New Zealand increasingly impacts the world with our ability to solve global problems.
New Zealand is the least corrupt country in the world, but it needs to learn from larger fintech markets like Australia, Singapore and London and more rapidly adapt to technologies such as blockchain and crypto-currencies, a Kiwi fintech expert says.