Business Is Boring

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Business is boring: Emily Heazlewood

Business is Boring is a weekly podcast series presented by The Spinoff in association with Callaghan Innovation. Host Simon Pound speaks with innovators and commentators focused on the future of New Zealand, with the interview available as both audio and a transcribed excerpt. This week he talks to, CEO Founder of Romer, Emily Heazlewood.

You all would have been there - being in a city and wanting to do the kind of stuff the locals love, not the places you’ll find the tourist lines. But how do you cut past the dubious wisdom of a crowd and get those personal recommendations. Well perhaps you could do it with an app that had been described as the tinder for things to do - -Romer. Although quite new this app has been accepted into Vodafone One, picked up tens of thousands of users, some impressive partnerships with the likes of AA travel, and just announced funding from some big names in NZ tech, like Ben Kepes and our past guest Hadleigh Ford. To chat the journey, the future and connecting people and experiences, CEO Founder Emily Heazlewood joins us now.

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Business is boring: Hikurangi Cannabis Company

Business is Boring is a weekly podcast series presented by The Spinoff in association with Callaghan Innovation. Host Simon Pound speaks with innovators and commentators focused on the future of New Zealand, with the interview available as both audio and a transcribed excerpt. 

Last year a medicinal cannabis producer called Hikurangi Cannabis Company came out of seemingly nowhere and broke the internet, crashing
PledgeMe’s servers as it became the fastest local company to crowdfund into the millions - doing 2 million odd in less than ten minutes.

But as with most overnight successes it was on the back of years of work. It’s a long journey to change an illegal activity well connected with an area to a legal one. Locals from the Ruatoria area and around Ngati Porou and the East Coast, of which Hikurangi is a significant Maunga to local Iwi, were given first dibs, and invested ahead of the public raise. And the company, that inked deals overseas that could stretch into the hundreds of millions has gained first low THC and very recently higher THC trial and growth rights.

And this is while not compromising on trying to create access and jobs for people that have fallen foul of the prohibition laws. While other companies have gone out with a very medical company type branded approach, Hikurangi proudly showed their dreadlocked and rasta hatted workers. This is about honesty, integrity and most importantly actually following through, the 20 plus local jobs and big milestones hit have Hikurangi as a leader in the industry, a founding member of the industry council and a beacon to many companies looking to take a community-led approach to the legal cannabis industry,

To talk the journey, where we are and where we go from here, founder CEO Manu Caddie joins us now.

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Business is boring: Mahmood Hikmet

Business is Boring is a weekly podcast series presented by The Spinoff in association with Callaghan Innovation. Host Simon Pound speaks with innovators and commentators focused on the future of New Zealand, with the interview available as both audio and a transcribed excerpt. This week he talks to Mahmood Hikmet, research and development coordinator for Ohmio.

When you think about the companies bringing autonomous vehicles to the roads, you probably think of some of the world’s biggest names - Apple, Google, Tesla, Uber, but what if I was to tell you there was a kiwi start up that grew from repairing computers and making intelligent signage to inking multi-million dollar international deals for its autonomous shuttles. Ohmio, is the maker of 20-person shuttle that can be extended to carry up to 40-people their breakthrough is to operate on pre-determined routes without the need for a driver. It’s kind of like a tram, but with virtual rails, guided by a range of electronic systems.

They are working with bus operators, new cities built for the autonomous future and have got manufacturing happening in their own facility in China - with a new focus on expanding the AI capabilities and research. To chat the journey, where they are and where they go next, research and development coordinator Mahmood Hikmet joins us now.

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Mark Kneebone creating safer spaces within festivals

Business is Boring is a weekly podcast series presented by The Spinoff in association with Callaghan Innovation. Host Simon Pound speaks with innovators and commentators focused on the future of New Zealand, with the interview available as both audio and a transcribed excerpt. This week he talks to Mark Kneebone, Head of Promotions at Live Nation and the Co-promoter at Laneway.

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Native Rituals

Business is Boring is a weekly podcast series presented by The Spinoff in association with Callaghan Innovation. Host Simon Pound speaks with innovators and commentators focused on the future of New Zealand, with the interview available as both audio and a transcribed excerpt. This week he talks to Rebekah and Tamati Norman.

Business at its best can be a tool for bringing countries and peoples together - and things like fair trade and conscious consumerism hold part of the solution to helping traditional communities enter the global economy. One country that is really quite close, and big, and populated and but not widely known visited or understood is Papau New Guinea, more than 8 million people, living mainly rural and farming lives, with some of the most amazing geographical and cultural diversity and oldest cultures in the world.

Colonialism, mining exploitation, civil war and international neglect have meant that PNG faces many challenges today - with the exploitation and unrest still forces to contend with, But perhaps the biggest issue is isolation - with such a small, amount of travel, trade and understanding meaning unethical mining and practices continue. One of the coolest things about business is the way it can help lift and connect, and today’s guests are working to do just that. Tamati and Rebekah Norman turned family connections into PNG direct, a company connecting organic and naturally produced oils, spices and essential oils with international customers. Tamati is the former chair of the NZ Papau New Guinea business council, working to make more links. Traditional and respectful natural production is a big feature for the couple, who are are behind Native Rituals, a modern Aotearoa apothecary company, making balms and fragrances that incorporate ingredients traditionally used in Māori preparations across time. 

To talk honouring the past and ancient knowledge and arming people for the future, Tamati and Rebekah join us now.

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The entrepreneur empowering Māori and pacific business

Business is Boring is a weekly podcast series presented by The Spinoff in association with Callaghan Innovation. Host Simon Pound speaks with innovators and commentators focused on the future of New Zealand, with the interview available as both audio and a transcribed excerpt. This week he talks to Warner Cowin.

A big theme in the world of business and economics this year, that I struggle to understand, yet is proven over and over again, is that in the middle of a construction boom companies in the sector are going bust left right and centre and no-one is said to be making any money. Which, when you look at supply and demand, and also things like the cost of materials, and the highly concentrated set-up for supply, seems a bit bananas.

Well, one figure in the industry, who is founder-CEO of procurement and bidding consultancy, Height, and so knows the business from both the pitch for and commission project sides of the fence, has a few idea that he has been sharing as to what might be off in this particular soup. His name is Warner Cowin, an ex RNZAF engineering officer, who’s taken many of the disciplines and skills from military life, a place so influential on business team structure accountability, culture, and systemisation, and used those to help build his successful 15 person consultancy.

To talk construction, things learnt in the services, and empowering Māori and pacific business through clever delivery of big projects, Warner joins the podcast

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The team getting kiwis to invest

Until very recently, if you were wanting to buy shares in American companies like Apple, Facebook, Google or Tesla it is quite amazing how hard it could be.
You needed either to be buying an awful lot, so to make sense of the massive fees of using a local bank share-trading service as a broker, or you needed to navigate a confusing and bewildering process to get access to an international broking platform, and then all the tax and hassle around that. It is not recommended.

And now, an innovative new platform has started up to solve the problem, offering access to US shares and exchange traded funds with brokerage fees at an order of magnitude under the existing big bank status quo. Which may make it surprising that this start up has come from the same holding company as …a big bank! It’s called Hatch, and is from Kiwi Wealth, the sister company to Kiwi Bank, and is a product of their focus on innovation.

Because the big banking sector is ripe for disruption, and big change is coming with open banking already changing the fee and service landscape around the world. It’s very cool to see that coming from inside a bank. The general manager of Hatch, Kristen Lunman, and the head of experience Natalie Ferguson have made it their business to do just that. Working first with the Kiwibank Fintech accelerator, and then in the Kiwi Wealth Innovation Lab resulting in this game changer.
A disclaimer is that I am a user, but only out of wanting and finding the service and then asking them on once seeing how interesting the background was.

To talk the service, opening up investment opportunities and innovating in a bank environment, Natalie Ferguson and Kristen Lunman join us n

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The kiwi leading the digital move of law firms

Business is Boring is a weekly podcast series presented by The Spinoff in association with Callaghan Innovation. Host Simon Pound speaks with innovators and commentators focused on the future of New Zealand, with the interview available as both audio and a transcribed excerpt. This week he talks to Nick Whitehouse.

How many times might a board member have asked, what are we doing to innovate? And how many times did anything happen? Well, at MinterEllisonRuddWatts that question was answered by the start of an innovation lab, that has led to a company joint venture spun out with VC backing to use AI to change how the law works.

The fantastically named McCarthy Finch are using NLP, machine learning and human inputs to help analyse mountains of legal documents in a fraction of the time, augmenting humans to make decisions faster and cut out the leg work while looking out for the fishhooks. The company has jumped onto the world stage, winning awards like Sir Richard Branson judged Global Talent Unleashed gongs, and becoming the first local company to make the finals of the TechCrunch Start-up battlefield, pitching in front of an audience of up to 6 million.

With partners and clients including some of the biggest professional services and law firms, the idea is finding amazing traction and the CEO, co-founder, and winner of Most Disruptive Leader at the Talent Unleashed Awards, Nick Whitehouse joins me now

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The genius behind the kiwi films we have all heard of

Business is Boring is a weekly podcast series presented by The Spinoff in association with Callaghan Innovation. Host Simon Pound speaks with innovators and commentators focused on the future of New Zealand, with the interview available as both audio and a transcribed excerpt. This week he talks to John Barnett.

Outrageous Fortune, Sione’s wedding Shortland Street, Whale Rider. These enormous hits that are part of the cultural fabric of Aotearoa, can all trace back to today’s guest on the show. They came about in large part thanks to the work, organisation, connections made and championing from a man named John Barnett.

Over a career that’s taken him from having an independent production company before there was much of independent industry to speak of, through to managing Fred Dagg and creating best selling albums, to bringing us the Footrot Flats movies, then moving into South Pacific Pictures which were State owned by TVNZ where he led a management buyout. And South Pacific pictures has played an amazing role in building our creative industries. Long running hits like Shortland street, Outrageous Fortune Almighty Johnsons and Westside have created a base for the industry of professionalism, ability to gain experience, and great pay while living in the arts. John Barnett stepped back from South Pacific Pictures a few years ago but is still involved in helping bring stories to screens. To talk on his career, on telling some of New Zealand’s most important and loved stories and on the entrepreneurs journey, John Barnett joins us now

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The Business Chat: The nature of reality and other weighty matters

Business is Boring is a weekly podcast series presented by The Spinoff in association with Callaghan Innovation. In our regular Business Chat special, Simon Pound speaks with Fleur Francois, director at New Zealand’s national metrology institute and Karyn Scherer, senior copywriter at Callaghan Innovation.

It's been a big year in international measurement. A number of the big measures we rely on every day, and for the accurate use of more things in our lives than you might imagine, have swapped out, or are in the process of doing so. The kilo is a famous measure, kept under glass and lock and key in France,
that’s changing from an actual lump of metal to being kept by quantum measurements based off fundamental laws of physics so as not to change.
It turns out that up to now every now and again the kilo mass shifted and so would all measurements, kind of bananas to think of it.

It's also been a big anniversary for another standard, standard time. Did you know, and I'm not trying to catch you out if you didn't, that NZ was the first place in the world to adopt standard time, adopting Greenwich mean time as our base measure, before England even did. It's a great story of parochialism and vision all at once, and we were a staggering 15 years ahead of anywhere else. The 150th anniversary of that also passed this year. So to chat time, measure and the nature of reality, we're joined on the pod by Fleur Francois, director at New Zealand’s national metrology institute, Measurement Standards Laboratory (MSL), and Karyn Scherer of Callaghan Innovation.

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