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Great ideas start in Gisborne with hackathon event back for another round

Posted on 7-Apr-2019 08:42 | Filed under: News

One of New Zealand’s most innovative and dynamic tech events - Hack Tairāwhiti – is back, to be held in Gisborne in May.


Last year the event created New Zealand’s first ever national Māori hackathon, bringing together eight Māori tech exporters and the country’s top talent - designers, developers, creatives, entrepreneurs and business leaders – to tackle complex and difficult challenges.


The hackathon – a 48-hour competition between teams to develop a commercial solution to a business problem, and one that can be taken to the world – demonstrates that innovation can be found anywhere, even beside a beautiful beach on the east coast of New Zealand.


The event will be held on May 17-19, 2019, and registrations are now open for participants.


Hack Tairāwhiti had a demonstrable impact on the companies involved. See the Straker Translations and Dacreed examples at the end of the release.


In 2019, the event’s focus will be on a broad range of exporters in Tairāwhiti (the Māori name for the Gisborne region, meaning the “coast of the rising sun”) to build on the momentum from the past year and deepen its impact on the regional economy.


The hackathon will feature eight businesses and more than 100 business leaders, technologists, creatives, designers, entrepreneurs and investors. For the businesses, it’s an opportunity to pull collective brain power together in a condensed timeframe, addressing their greatest imaginable challenge and accelerating international growth.


Digital disruption is part of everyone’s lives, and Hack Tairāwhiti helps the Gisborne region embrace its opportunities and be a key player in regional economic development.


The event also includes a powerful cultural element, with a powhiri to open the hackathon, and one of the most inspirational working environments in New Zealand – the Waikanae Surf Living Saving Club on Gisborne’s main beach.


A highlights video can be viewed on the event’s website. Hack Tairāwhiti 2018 was also a finalist in the CIO50 Awards, which celebrate organisations that are harnessing business technologies to help solve social and community issues.


Hack Tairāwhiti is being organized by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) and Datacom, along with their supporting regional and technology partners.


Suzie Marsden, NZTE’s General Manager of Services, said the event was a remarkable experience. “I joined one of the teams last year and it was amazing to be part of the energy, the invention and the determination to help our company develop a practical solution to their problem.


“The hackathon has a very strong spirit of collaboration, where everyone brings their expertise and openly shares it. It doesn’t matter if you write code, create graphics, have a marketing or business background, all of those qualities are valuable.


“And we get to spend a weekend by the beach in Gisborne, inspired by this part of the world and its powerful culture.”


Kerry Topp, Datacom’s Associate Director of Transformation & Innovation, said:


“Hackathons have the potential to provide genuinely transformational change for businesses, but the key is keeping people at the heart. Over 48 hours not only are people contributing their skills but also deepening their knowledge of innovative behaviours – and this is what helps to accelerate organisations into effective digital transformation.”


“Hackathons are not only great for businesses to solve thorny problems, but they help people experience what the future of work looks like - kaupapa or purpose-orientated, mission-based, diverse individuals forming creative teams working together to achieve outcomes within a set timeframe.


“Last year we saw some real regional economic growth coming out of Hack Tairāwhiti, so I’m hugely looking forward to what the 2019 event will create.”


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