Story image

NZ’s West Coast could become a major tech hub

The nature of New Zealand manufacturing and industry has been evolving since the 1980’s with traditional manufacturing centres and market focuses. 

While popular opinion is that industry has disappeared overseas, the Maintenance Engineering Society of NZ (MESNZ) has for some time been reporting that it has in fact relocated to the regions with a new focus on niche markets and necessity drove lean manufacturing. 

While a big driver of change late last century was the fashionable focus on labour rates, another new factor is emerging that may yet reshape our local industry, connective technology. 

Nowhere is this no more evident than at Vertigo Technologies in Westport, where a small band of young innovators are carving out a whole new micro machine centre industry.

Vertigo founder Brett Cottle discovered a niche and a knack for desktop light spec CNC controlled machine centres. 

The kind of machine that is not too big or expensive to fit into a healthy man-cave yet retains the technology and capacity to create sophisticated accurate and repeatable low volume componentry. 

Fast forward to 2018 and Vertigo have built 167 machines in 15 months and are now preparing to step up from the local market test bed to the global market.

Technology is available and embraced in the region and the low cost of living reduces the risk for start-up companies. 

With similar local success in gaming technology in the region, the concept of the West Coast becoming the next globally competitive connected technology centre of the country is poised to become a reality, a potential that has not escaped the region, with a Think Tank recently hosted in Greymouth.​

Think Tank evenings are constantly being planned, with the current schedule showing Auckland, Napier, Christchurch and Masterton. 

MESNZ’s whistle-stop visit to the West Coast has unearthed a fantastic depth of local industry and engineering and armed with the improved local knowledge, the society is vowing to return to the region to foster further development and growth of the engineering network.

GirlBoss wins 2018 YES Emerging Alumni of the Year Award
The people have spoken – GirlBoss CEO and founder Alexia Hilbertidou has been crowned this year’s Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) Emerging Alumni of the Year.
IDC: Standalone VR headset shipments grow 428.6% in 3Q18
The VR headset market returned to growth in 3Q18 after four consecutive quarters of decline and now makes up 97% of the combined market.
Meet Rentbot, the chatbot that can help with tenancy law
If you find yourself in a tricky situation  - or if you just want to understand your rights as a landlord or tenant, you can now turn to a chatbot for help.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) finally releases on PS4
PUBG on PS4 feels like it’s still in Early Access as the graphics look horribly outdated and the game runs poorly too. 
How AI can fundamentally change the business landscape
“This is an extremely interesting if not pivotal time to discuss how AI is being deployed and leveraged, both in business and at home.”
CERT NZ highlights rise of unauthorised access incidents
“In one case, the attacker gained access and tracked the business’s emails for at least six months. They gathered extensive knowledge of the business’s billing cycles."
Report finds GCSB in compliance with NZ rights
The Inspector-General has given the GCSB its compliance tick of approval for the fourth year in a row.
Game review: Just Cause 4 on PC
Rico Rodriguez returns to wreak over-the-top havoc for a fourth time. This time the island nation of Solís is our hero’s sandbox, ripe for destruction.