Kiwis starting to embrace digital identity

Andrew Weave

Andrew Weave

NZTech will launch New Zealand’s first formal digital identity organisation in Auckland on Monday. 

Digital Identity NZ, a group of organisations and government agencies, has been set up to connect everyone in New Zealand that cares about digital identity. 

NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says the organisation, which will be part of the NZ Tech Alliance, will promote the importance and potential of digital identity to Kiwis. It will work in partnership to promote open standards and policy that will allow innovation to thrive.   

Andrew Weaver, executive director of Digital Identity NZ, says that while we are using digital identity now in our everyday transactions, there is incredible potential in how it can be used in the future.  

“Whether it is signing onto a website to buy something, visiting a hospital, paying a bill or getting a tax refund there are now hundreds of times a week people need some form of digital identity and there are so many ways of providing it. 

“That complexity can be challenging for us as customers or users of that technology, and there are also questions of security, privacy and consent that are becoming increasingly important for us all to consider.  

“Some banks now allow customers to use selfie-ID, a form of facial recognition, to open accounts without having to visit a branch while other organisations use finger prints or voice recognition. 

“One example of being at the cutting-edge of digital identity is Single Source, a blockchain startup which recently partnered with Delta Insurance to provide a decentralized blockchain identity system. 

“We are the country’s newest not-for-profit organisation, bringing together private and government organisations working to make digital identity easier and more secure for everyone in New Zealand. 

“We are driven by a purpose of ensuring New Zealand is a country where everyone can fully participate in society by confidently expressing their digital identity,” Weaver says. 

Different countries are taking different approaches, many of them centralized around a single government ID number. Estonia has issued every citizen a digital ID card since 2001, Japan and India also require you to use a single government number to access government services.  

“While we have had RealMe in New Zealand for many years it is time to relook at whether a single centralised ID is the best approach in a world where people want ease of use and mobility at the same time as privacy and security.   

“It's important for all New Zealanders, companies and organisations to know exactly what digital identity is. It not only prevents fraud; it's also about asserting who we are in this society. As we do more and more online, it is necessary to adapt how we enable people to claim who they are,” he says.

-Make Lemonade


Warriors Nicholl.jpg

The Vodafone Warriors’ commitment to encouraging people with physical disabilities to get involved in rugby league has been underlined with Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad’s appointment as an ambassador for Physical Disability Rugby League New Zealand. 

The role will see Nicoll-Klokstad attend PDRLNZ team trainings to help players prepare for upcoming tournaments as well as promoting more interest in rugby league among people with physical disabilities. 

He said he was proud to be asked to be an ambassador and says encouraging people with physical disabilities to give rugby league a go is a cause that has special meaning for him. His older brother Tyson had muscular dystrophy and died from the condition in 2010 when he was only 19. 

“Because of my personal experience with supporting my brother and seeing the challenges he went through, this is something that’s really close to my heart and I guess this is my way of giving back,” said Nicoll-Klokstad. 

“I’m looking forward to encouraging people with physical disabilities that they can give anything a go, and that rugby league is such an awesome sport to be involved in. I also think I will learn so much from them, too. I just want to be able to help in whatever way I can. Physical disability doesn’t need to be something that holds you back from taking part, and I want to help spread that message across our communities.” 

PDRLNZ organiser Sandra Michelle Hickey welcomed Nicoll-Klokstad’s appointment.

“We are thrilled to bits to have Charnze join our whanau as ambassador,” she said.

“As a young man with a close relationship to disability through his brother there couldn’t be a better choice than Charnze.  

“His amazing talent and passion for the game and for the development of Physical Disability Rugby League will help us reach even more people with a physical disability and encourage them to get involved.” 

The Vodafone Warriors and Physical Disability Rugby League’s partnership began in 2017. As well as providing the organisation with the ongoing support of a player ambassador, the club has supplied kit for the national team and staged a physical disabilities match as a curtain-raiser before the Vodafone Warriors’ NRL home game against Cronulla this year. 

Nicoll-Klokstad made headlines last year when, in a random act of kindness, he purchased a pair of sneakers for a young boy - Takiri Wikitera - who has cerebral palsy.

-NZ Warriors

Outstanding former St Pat’s Silverstream student one of three Rhodes Scholars

AK Uni image 1.jpg

Press Release – University of Auckland
He is one of three young New Zealanders who have been awarded the prestigious scholarship to carry out postgraduate study at the University of Oxford (UK). Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Politics, and a Bachelor of Health Sciences in Population Health, Johann is already in Oxford, England, where he is the inaugural Worcester College Provost’s Scholar (Visiting Student).

He is undertaking study and research at the intersection of philosophy, politics, and population health.

Johann is a Filipino-Chinese immigrant to New Zealand who completed his schooling at St Pat’s Silverstream (Wellington).

He was the inaugural recipient of the Worcester College Scholarship, which is funded through the University of Auckland Campaign For All Our Futures by New Zealand and US businessman Chris Liddell, who currently serves as White House Deputy Chief of Staff.

Liddell says: “I’m delighted to congratulate Johann and I am very pleased that the Worcester College Scholarship gave him a stepping stone to a Rhodes Scholarship. This certainly bodes well for future recipients.”

Johann lists his academic interests as primarily in political and moral philosophy, especially around issues of social, global and distributive justice, political liberalism, public health ethics, and normative analysis of public policy.

Outside of academia, he is active in the community and has been a St John volunteer for more than 10 years, and founded the Silverstream Elderly Outreach Group and Academic Tutoring Programme.

Johann says his overarching motivation in life is to advance the human condition socially, politically and ethically.

“To do this, I am a firm believer in combining the principles of analytic philosophy and political theory with basic human compassion,” he says.

Johann is equally enthused about increasing diversity in the humanities and at Worcester College, where he has already been the student body’s Equal Opportunities Representative and LGBT+ Officer. “I hope to one day contribute something significant to how we do political philosophy and orient it towards advancing our great challenges; not just for ‘us’ or ‘ourselves’, but for everyone.”

In his spare time, Johann is a freelance journalist and writer, writing mainly on social, political and philosophical issues for the mainstream media.

His plans are to study for a Master of Philosophy in Political Theory at Oxford’s Department of Politics and International Relations, a programme that combines philosophy with politics and political theory. “This especially appeals to me, as I am passionate about using theory to inform practice and making political philosophy relevant to the wider populace.”

Governor-General Her Excellency the Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy announced the three Scholarships on Friday 16 November. The other two recipients were Mattea Mrkusic (University of Melbourne/Harvard University) and James Ranstead from Lincoln University.

“I was impressed once again by the intelligence and poise of this year’s candidates during the interview process, and their obvious enthusiasm for their areas of study,” she said.

Rhodes Scholarship applications for 2020 close in July 2019.

News from Universities New Zealand
Three outstanding young New Zealand graduates have received prestigious Rhodes Scholarships to carry out post-graduate study at the University of Oxford, UK. The 2019 Rhodes Scholars elect are Johann Go, Mattea Mrkusic and James Ranstead.

“New Zealand’s Rhodes Scholars represent the best and the brightest of this country’s young people,” said the Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy when announcing the awards. “I was impressed once again by the intelligence and poise of this year’s candidates during the interview process and their obvious enthusiasm for their areas of study. I wish the recipients all the best for their studies at Oxford.”

Johann Go completed cojoint Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Health Sciences degrees at the University of Auckland. He is currently the Provost’s Scholar (Visiting Student), Worcester College, Oxford, studying Philosophy and Political Theory.

Johann attended St Patrick’s College, Silverstream, before starting a Health Sciences degree at the University of Auckland. “Soon, I discovered my passion lay in the philosophical and socio-political aspects behind the great issues of the day, particularly in social justice and health,” he says.

Achieving 15 First in Course Awards during his time at Auckland was not his only achievement. Johann volunteered over 16,000 hours across 10 years with St John Ambulance, founding and working with the Silverstream Elderly Outreach Group and Academic Tutoring Programme, and receiving several prestigious community service awards for his volunteer work, including the Minister of Health runner-up Youth Volunteer of the Year Award, the St John Grand Prior’s Award, and a Mayoral Commendation Award.

Johann says his overarching motivation in life is to advance the human condition socially, politically and ethically. “To do this, I am a firm believer in combining the principles of analytic philosophy and political theory with basic human compassion.”

He plans to study for a Master of Philosophy in Political Theory at Oxford’s Department of Politics and International Relations, a programme that combines philosophy with politics and political theory. “This especially appeals to me, as I am passionate about using theory to inform practice and making political philosophy relevant to the wider populace.”

He is passionate about increasing diversity in the humanities and at Worcester College has already been the student body’s Equal Opportunities Representative and LGBT+ Officer, helped with access schemes around Worcester, been a volunteer tutor with Schools Plus, an outreach organisation for disadvantaged communities, and continued his work with St John Ambulance.

To further his desire to make philosophy and political theory more accessible and useful, Johann writes for mainstream media on a wide range of subjects, “always keeping in mind that philosophy and political theory should be interesting, relevant to our world’s great challenges, and accessible and useful for everyone.

“I hope to one day contribute something significant to how we do political philosophy and orient it towards advancing our great challenges; not just for ‘us’ or ‘ourselves’, but for everyone.”

Mattea Mrkusic completed her secondary schooling at Takapuna Grammar, then moved to the University of Melbourne, where, after one year, she was accepted as a transfer student to Harvard University where she completed a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) in Environmental Studies and Human Rights. In 2017, Mattea won Harvard’s prestigious thesis prize, the 2017 Thomas T. Hoopes Prize, for outstanding scholarly work and research for her thesis: Collapse the Distance: Climate Change Migration and Frontline Storytelling in the Republic of Kiribati.

Mattea’s family background—her mother, a journalist, interviewing asylum seeker detainees in Australia, and father, a keen tramper—helped set her on her course as an environmentalist, passionate about human rights.

“If you were to ask me for my personal lodestar, what binds me to my work, it would be this: render systemic violence visible to the public, and empower communities to become stewards of human rights,” she says. “As a scholar, investigative reporter, grassroots organizer, policy wonk, and founder of a national climate migration project, I’ve fought my damnedest to do this.”

Mattea’s Harvard supervisor described her thesis as ‘a masterpiece’: in-depth research on climate-related displacement in Kiribati, creatively presented in podcasts, photographic exhibition and an academic essay. While at Harvard, Mattea founded Collapse the Distance, a non-profit organization that aims to educate citizens of high-emitting countries about climate migration and developed her thesis into an exhibit that has toured the US and will next year collaborate with Pacific Climate Warriors, touring libraries and schools across Aotearoa and Australia.

While in the US, Mattea has also been working with Refugees International, an independent, non-profit organisation that conducts research and advocacy to improve assistance and protection for refugees and internally displaced persons, and writer for the UN Development Program.

At Oxford, Mattea plans to undertake an MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies, to be followed by a Master of Public Policy, and then to work for the UN Platform on Disaster Displacement, returning to Aotearoa to co-design internationally respected climate displacement policy.

A graduate of Lincoln University, James Ranstead plans to study for an MPhil in International Relations at Oxford, specialising in environmental justice and political ecology, with an emphasis on climate change policy.

James maintained an exceptional academic performance throughout his undergraduate degree, majoring in conservation and ecology, while taking on positions of leadership within and outside the university community, culminating in his election as President of Lincoln University Student’s Association for 2018. His academic ability is demonstrated by the numerous academic awards and scholarships he has received, alongside his considerable achievements in sport and community work.

James has put into practice his passion for the environment, working as a park ranger and parks volunteer in Auckland, along with extensive volunteering, including as an Environmental Limits’ Task Member with Environment Canterbury, and an Environmental Education Guest Speaker at Lincoln High School.

James hopes to use his interdisciplinary background in physical and social sciences to work at the International Panel for Climate Change, with his eventual ambition being to return to New Zealand as the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment. “Leadership positions excite me as they allow me to draw on my history and speak for those that need it, and I hope to use my future positions to break the barriers of injustice that some face.”

The Rhodes Scholarship provides transformative opportunities for exceptional all-round students to carry out postgraduate study at the University of Oxford. Today, 95 scholars are selected from 64 countries and go on to become part of the wider Rhodes scholarship community while at university and throughout their lives.

Sir Cecil Rhodes had a keen understanding of the importance of tertiary education. His vision in founding the Scholarship was to develop outstanding leaders who would be motivated to “fight the world’s fight”, “esteem the performance of public duties as their highest aim” and promote international understanding and peace.

The Scholarship covers the students’ fees, accommodation and living costs for up to three years at Oxford, which is one of the oldest and top-ranked universities in the world.

Today the Rhodes Scholarships for New Zealand is a partnership between the Rhodes Trust and the Robertson Foundation, with the application and selection process managed by Universities New Zealand long with about 40 other scholarships worth over $2 million.

New Zealand can lead the world in financial technology

Nicole Buisson

Nicole Buisson

New Zealand can lead the world in financial technology, or fintech, which will totally transform the financial services industry economy, Xero small business director Nicole Buisson says.

Buisson is a key speaker at a major fintech summit in Auckland on November 29 which will bring Kiwi fintech innovators together to strengthen the whole sector which will in turn accelerate growth of our national economy.

She says New Zealand’s fintech market is small globally and needs to band together to get to scale. 

“The world of fintech at the moment is all about collaboration. The world and technology development are moving at an acceleratingly faster pace and we can’t focus on everything. 

“By partnering, we can make new technology available to customers without having to build everything ourselves. Another business might fill an important part of the jigsaw puzzle and partnering provides an excellent way to access that niche capability. 

“We are stronger and better together. I am incredibly excited to see the range of fintech businesses attending the summit and also pitching in the competition. Fintech is an area New Zealand can lead the world in.

“We are increasingly connected, and customers expect financial services to be delivered digitally and quickly. With increased connectivity comes lots of new innovation also, and new ways of doing things. 

“We focus on small businesses at Xero, and for them, this means being able to have an accurate view of their financials digitally, making payments easily, and also the ability to access capital quickly. 

“There is a saying - the future is already here, it's just not evenly distributed - and this applies to Fintech - we see a lot happening around the world right now, particularly driven out of the UK with new open banking regulation, and bank and fintech partnerships offering new services to customers.

“We have the benefit in New Zealand of being able to look to what's going on in the UK and Australia and picking the best bits to implement into the Kiwi market, particularly as regards open banking. 

“The next three to five years will see an increased focus on the customer, understanding their needs, and providing digital services. 

“We will see an increasing number of uber moments meaning customers that are willing to get into the car with someone they don't know if they can save them time. What small businesses want most is their time back, and any tools that can give them this will be valued.

“And while we face the tyranny of distance in New Zealand, it doesn't stop us from having a wonderful weightless economy from a few rocks at the bottom of the world,” Buisson says. 

FintechNZ general manager James Brown says New Zealand has a diverse financial services industry and a thriving ecosystem for innovation and the summit next week is crucial for New Zealand future growth. 

“Our biggest and smartest financial businesses have joined forces to become key contributors in shaping and driving the fintech revolution.

“Fintech is the fastest growing segment of the New Zealand tech sector with growth of over 33 percent last year bringing an additional $220 million of exports into the New Zealand economy.” 

The growing number of firms engaged in the fintech sector was recently captured in a new infographic showing the vibrancy of the New Zealand fintech sector, Brown says.



- Make Lemonade

Meet Julie Buckley


Health & Nutrition Coach & Chef helping people reverse Type2 Diabetes.

-Written by Tony Cutting

Julie (nee Middlemiss) Buckley was born in Dunedin.  Her dad Grant Middlemiss (a retired Police Inspector) and mum Sheryl Love (a retired National Bank employee) had two children Julie the oldest and her younger brother Peter Middlemiss - a Police Sergeant.

As a child her family moved around the country a bit due to her das occupation.  Living in Dunedin, Wairoa, Auckland (where she started school), Ashburton, Christchurch, Oamaru (where Julie started Intermediate then high school) and then Wellington.

Julie loved gymnastics when she was a kid and belonged to a competitive club.
She also enjoyed athletics – “I represented the school in long jump and high jump.”
She also played netball.

“I was very shy as a child and found it hard to make friends.  I liked reading and being outside climbing trees and being in nature and with animals.  I would just start settling in somewhere and we would move. “ 

Secondary School

Julie started secondary school at Waitaki Girls High School in Oamaru where she escaped to the gym with every given opportunity.

“I could get to escape the bullying I received due to my father being the head cop in town.”  

Julie then moved to Wellington ahead of her family (due to the bullying) and lived with her Aunt and Uncle for a while.

Julie started at Tawa College where she claims she was an average student?

“I really liked home economics (no surprises there) and I really enjoyed science as well - I was hopeless at maths - I think I missed some crucial bits due to moving and it never quite made sense to me.”

“I played cricket at secondary school and kept going with gymnastics until I was about 15 but I was too tall really. “

Julie made some good friends when we moved to Wellington, some of whom she still keeps in touch with.   

“Tawa College was a good school, so I was happy for both my sons to go there even though we are out of the school zone”.

Julie went on the Spirit of New Zealand when she was 15 years old.  

“I took the overnight train to Auckland and learnt how to sail as part of a team of young people.  We had to jump overboard each morning for a swim and learnt great team building.  I had to give a speech when I got back to the school on my experience which was terrifying! “

“I was really only at Tawa College for about 2 years when I was given the opportunity to go to CIT (Central Institute of Technology) in Trentham and train to be a chef at age 16”. 

At CIT Julie says she was a good student all down to the fact she was now learning something she was really interested in.

“I came out of my shell while training in Trentham, a group of us travelled in a beat-up old car with the bonnet tied down with string.  Travelling from Tawa over the Haywards to Trentham each day.  We trained together for about a year in the New Zealand curriculum for Cookery. 

I came second in my class behind the only adult student. We then had some classes at Wellington Polytechnic once we had completed our hours.  I also completed the Certificate in Wine training.” 

Welcome to working life

Julies first job after graduating was at La Spaghetata Restaurant in Wellington in 1987 where she was worked for about 3 months before being selected to work at the Plaza International hotel.  

“The Plaza International was really was like Lenny Henrys Chef program or something out of kitchen nightmares with Gordon Ramsey where I was petrified of the head chef who was a small guy who screamed at everybody all the time.  I was petrified!”

“A vivid memory of that time was in my first week on a split shift where I was told everyone was off to the ‘hairdressers’ where they escorted me to the pub across the road and shouted me multiple beers trying to get me drunk.”

Julie was put on night shift and for about 3 months, she caught the last train into Wellington and started work about 11pm and cooked the room service orders and prepared the breakfast buffet for the next morning.  

“I went on a two-month youth exchange through the Lions club at the end of 1989 and beginning of 1990 to Canada and the States which was the first time I had travelled outside of New Zealand.  I turned 18 years old while I was over there.

I was then given the opportunity to work in the Governors Kitchen at the Reserve bank.  I cooked and served morning teas, lunches and corporate dinners for the Governor and deputy governors as well as board lunches for visiting dignitaries.  We had an amazing wine cellar and I clearly remember the whispers as one of the board members bought her new baby to the meeting and was breastfeeding during the meeting. 

Getting headhunted at 19 years old

I was then “poached” to work at AMP Insurance to cater for the board meetings and dinners and management functions later in 1990.  Not long after the catering manager retired after being in the role for 30 years.  I took over from him at the ripe age of 19 years old and managed a catering operation for 600 people a day as well as the corporate catering, board lunches, the 40-year club (which is a club of all men who had been at the company for 40 years or more!)  I managed the bar and did the buying of the wine for the wine cellar. 

Fast forward 16 years

Julie is now married with two children.  She also has over 18 years’ experience as a chef working in very senior positions for large organisations.

In 2006 Julie decides that instead of working hard for other people she would work hard for herself and open her very own cafe.  

“We bought a cafe on the Terrace called ‘Pasta Pasta’.  I didn’t intend to run a pasta cafe, but it was very popular, so I kept it going alongside my other cafe food and started catering for corporates including various Government Ministries.  I also made pasta for restaurants around town including spinach fettuccini for Molly Malones restaurant, The Redhead and squid ink pasta for a launch of a new Restaurant in town at the time.  I started adding to my range of gluten free and various other meals for people with special dietary requirements.

I had three full time staff and about six others mostly students who would come in for the busy lunch times and to help with catering.”

The cost of leasing a Café on the Terrace took it’s toll quickly within a year Julie decided to close it down. 

A new ‘Healthy’ start…

Late 2007 Julie started working close to home in the Ngaio Gorge at the Organic Grocer Organic Cafe as a baker/chef.  With the Grocery downstairs and the cafe upstairs, I was loving working with the Organic produce and principles and in my element with the type of food I was making.

In 2009 the manager from the Organic Grocer and I went into partnership and opened the ‘Eat right Café.  

A child with a brain Tumour

Early in 2011 my middle child was diagnosed with a Pituitary tumour and I realised I would have to give up work to concentrate on him and my family and getting through this time.  I had just started one of my many weight loss attempts with a new business a pilot group.

The venture was a resounding success and I lost 32kg within the time we were going through one of the worst times of our lives.  I was so excited about this process I wanted to be part of it.

In May 2011 I became one of the first health coaches for the company.  I focused on the food and nutrition side and used my experience with catering for people with special dietary requirements and built on my knowledge of natural health which I had been studying in my own time for a few years previously.

I absolutely love working with my clients to regain their health with daily coaching while learning about fuelling their bodies using whole real food.  During this time, I have seen many clients regain their health, reverse their diabetes diagnosis and come off insulin and other medications such as blood pressure medication, statins and take the weight off painful joints causing relief from symptoms amongst many other health issues that go with high weight. 

2018 and beyond

“Coming up this February I have been married to Pat Buckley for 25 years.  We have 3 children they are now 19, 20 and 22 and our 22-year-old daughter has recently become engaged.

I have now left the previous health business to concentrate on ‘The Diabetes Clinic’.  Using my knowledge of healing the body using whole real foods I am joining a great team in this exciting new project.

Our challenge is to help people to reverse pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes with Low Carb Healthy Fat eating and intermittent fasting.  My focus is the food and nutrition side with fabulous healthy recipes and meal ideas along with coaching people through the changes and challenges of fasting which I also use myself for staying healthy. 

I am very excited and passionate about this process and am ready to help people live the best lives without a bleak future the progression of Diabetes holds.”

To find out more about the Diabetes Clinic please feel free to check out what we are doing on our Facebook page


The Future

“I see the future, and I am so exciting I am really enjoying working with this project where we are going to help heal the world of the epidemic of Type 2 diabetes.  

People can start eating real food as their medicine.  My work doesn’t seem like a job, it is so exciting watching it all come together and the healthy choices people can quickly make to change their lives for the better.

Our next family project is to buy a piece of land to have a lifestyle block, so I can have gardens and fruit trees and animals to feed our family and community.  To live self sustainably off the land.”