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Techweek eclipses other Kiwi ICT events

Techweek eclipses other Kiwi ICT events

All over the land, Kiwis are gathering to explore and discuss technology.

Virtual reality and augmented reality will be explored at Techweek NZ.

Virtual reality and augmented reality will be explored at Techweek NZ.

With national spread and a huge number of events Techweek, which kicked off on Saturday, is the biggest technology festival New Zealand has ever seen.

But what is it and how did it come about?

Firstly, not all of Techweek is new - it used to be a single-city event and has rolled up some other existing events into its schedule, such as the HiTech Awards, which reach their conclusion on Friday night.

But the scale and ambition is impressive.

Organised by NZTech, events will be held in 27 towns from Whangarei to Hokitika through to 14 May. 258 events cover the ICT spectrum, from emerging transfomations such as Blockchain and virtual reality and a Future Realities conference exploring how technology will change New Zealand to a Code Club for kids.

NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller said the purpose of Techweek is to promote the fastest growing and third biggest industry in New Zealand. The tech sector makes up 8% of the country’s GDP and contributes over $6.3 billion in exports.

"It has two goals: to build New Zealand’s reputation as a tech and innovation hub in the Asia Pacific region and to build national pride and interest in tech among all Kiwis," he said.

Techweek has some heavyweight government backing as well, from Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), and a trio of central government agencies, MBIE, the Ministry of Education and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise as well as other private and public sector sponsors.

The action this weekend included virtual cricket at an AR/VR Garage, an OMGTech! workshop at MOTAT, a founders mashup in Tauranga and Aerospace, a hardware meetup focusing Kiwi on aerospace technology.

An event in Christchurch focused on digitising Maori stories.

The schedule for the next seven days of Techweek can be found here.



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