Massey forms sustainable fashion partnership with Indian university

Source: Massey University

Professor Robinson and Shri Shantmanu of NIFT signing the memorandum.

Massey University’s College of Creative Arts has entered a partnership with the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) in India, currently ranked the 15th best fashion school in the world.

The memorandum of understanding between the universities was signed by College of Creative Arts Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Claire Robinson at the New Zealand High Commission in New Delhi and will facilitate closer research connections and strengthen education ties between the two countries.

Professor Robinson was in India with head of the School of Design, Brian Lucid, international manager Tim Croft and senior design lecturer Sue Prescott, who is currently travelling in India with eight Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Asia students.

Massey textile design and fashion design students have been collaborating with NIFT students as part of the collaborative Make Fashion Circular: A New Sustainability Paradigm course. The students presented their work at the High Commission, including one group who sought to use waste stubble, a cause of current Delhi pollution, as a new textile material rather than burn it as Indian farmers currently do.

The creative media production students are filming the trip and will make a documentary on the collaborations and the challenges India faces due to the fast-fashion system.  

The team from Massey also visited Pearl Academy, a private multi-campus art and design school, and met with Education New Zealand staff in India to discuss how best to position the College in India, from a research, mobility and student recruitment perspective.

Fashion design, textile design and creative media production students in India on the Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Asia.

Professor Robinson says, “over the last few years we have seen significant interest, matched by enrolments, in our programmes from India, and this is only likely to increase over the next decade.

“So, in the next year, we plan to create more opportunities to collaborate with Indian counterparts and, hopefully, have more teaching and research faculty visit and engage with India, as India emerges as a key student market and a new developing research destination for the College.”

The students have also visited Rajasthan and the Indian Institute of Crafts and Design in Jaipur.  In between these collaborative projects with other universities, students are visiting designers, industry, artisan communities and participating in dyeing & printing workshops.

The scholarship programme is funded by the New Zealand government and administered by Education New Zealand.

NZ finance sector primed for AI – research report


Wellington – The New Zealand financial sector is primed for AI (artificial intelligence), a new national research report says.

The AI Forum of New Zealand’s research study says the financial and insurance sectors are probably better prepared to incorporate and reap rewards from AI implementation than other industries. The AI forum is part of the NZTech ecosystem.

Emma Naji, the new AI forum executor director, says the report identifies New Zealand urgently needs to increase its focus on the core foundations needed to operate in an AI enabled future.

“This is especially important relating to investment, skills and talent, research, trusted data, ethics and regulation,” she says.

“The report shows how AI-driven solutions can be used to improve New Zealand’s wellbeing, productivity and sustainability.

“Unsurprisingly, financial institutions have been quick to capitalise on the opportunities and new techniques that AI offers. Outside the tech industry, the financial service sectors are a leading early adopter of AI in terms of spending.

“Financial insurance services and retail were among the first industries worldwide to adopt AI systems. Industry analyst IDC expects these industries to continue representing more than a quarter of AI spending.”

The report says banks and insurance providers are using AI to enable next-generation customer experience. These systems’ ability to extract information and insight from enterprise documents is maturing. Banks pair this insight with recommendation systems to match products and services.

There is a substantial opportunity for New Zealand companies to develop and export AI-driven financial services products, with markets like the UK having big potential for sales. Tech is the fastest growing and third largest export sector in New Zealand.

The financial services industry is a major employer and economic driver in New Zealand.  With an estimated 70,900 people employed in the sector in 2017, but with an expected increase to 76,000 by 2020.

As of April 2018, there were 26 registered banks in New Zealand, the report says. The overall Kiwi financial services sector, including insurance, contributed $13.4 billion to GDP in the year ending March 2017.

The World Bank has said New Zealand had relatively high uptake of digital banking, with 83 percent of Kiwi adults using electronic payment methods, making New Zealand the fourth most intensive electronic payment user out of 164 countries.

For further information contact Emma Naji on 021 1460662 or Make Lemonade news director Kip Brook on 0275 030188

Photo: Emma Naji

Creativity takes over Lower Hutt street with “Pop-up campus”

Source: Massey University

Third year design students on location at Andrews Avenue for their Social Interventions Through Design course.

A group of students from the Wellington School of Design have turned a quiet Lower Hutt street into a creative and vibrant space, through their third-year design course.

In partnership with Hutt City Council, students have taken over an empty shop front in Andrews Avenue and activated the space and Centre City Plaza with their “Living Lab: A Pop-up Campus”.  

The summer school course explores places and spaces within cities to re-imagine them to better connect with and engage the public. Students will spend the summer making the space at Andrews Avenue, which is closed to traffic until March, more functional and fun for people to use.

Senior lecturer Euan Robertson says the course was being held at the location to give students the opportunity to better connect with the council, local businesses and communities and, “learn how they felt about the street and how we could reconfigure it.”

“Through this process, the students have got hands-on experience with a real project and consulted with many stakeholders in coming up with concepts for implementation on the street, and to create ideas/spaces for local groups and communities to use the space in 2020.

“Because the brief involves a specific space the students have been applied their broad design thinking skills to reimagine the area. We expect them to push themselves past what they think they can achieve, and the ’new’ working environment is an experiment to see what this produces. I am very excited about what they will achieve with the course this year.”

Hutt City Council’s central business district development manager Cyndi Christensen says the opportunity to work with students at Massey’s Wellington School of Design is exciting and one that is supported by the Southend Business Group – a group of businesses located at the south-end of High Street in Lower Hutt.

“The project has business support from the Southend Business Group and the wider business community, and we’re working to check in with business owners to explain the project. So far everyone has been incredibly supportive. As the project rolls out we’ll continue to involve businesses.

“The success of the project will be in raising the profile of this area of the Southend of High Street, its connection to the community and the city,” she says.

AI a revolutionary force for the NZ insurance trade  


Wellington – AI is one of the most revolutionary forces for the insurance trade in New Zealand today, a major landmark national AI report just released says.

The recent intense interest in AI is a result of factors such as increasing computing power, increased accessibility to mass data, and burgeoning interest in conversational based digital interfaces.

The AI Forum of New Zealand report just released recommends government accelerate and broaden its industry transformation plans and consider a specific government-supported focus on the future of the financial services sector, including the role that AI has to play.

AI forum executive director Emma Naji says there is a fast-paced evolution towards autonomous vehicles, connected vehicles and homes, shared and on-demand economies, and peer-to-peer insurance models.

These changes are adding a new dimension to the competitive landscape. “Insurers need to reinvent and redefine their business to respond to the changing marketplace. Insurers face pressure to cut costs and become more customer centric to remain competitive and relevant,” she says.

“The industry must transform from a product-centric mindset to a customer-centric mindset. Companies should look to deliver contextual and personalised sales and service through customers’ channels of choice.

“The insurance industry is using AI to automate claims processing and recommend products. By leveraging machine learning, insurers are finding they can gain a competitive edge over their competitors by developing real-time actions on behavioural and demographic data.”

The AI Forum Zealand report says NZ fintech companies must focus on developing and exporting AI-driven financial services products, to markets like the UK, with big potential for sales.

Large banks and insurers should seek to partner with local fintech and insurtech communities to foster AI innovation and collaboration is vital, it says.

The report calls for the financial sector organisations to seize the opportunity and work together across the ecosystem on collective solutions to shared problems, such as anti-money laundering controls and fraud prevention, Naji says.

“An increase in New Zealand investment in AI research for financial and insurance use cases is needed. Financial organisations should focus on talent development, including technical and AI savvy management.

“With increased levels of investment and effective regulation, AI-driven innovation can help make the New Zealand financial and insurance services sectors become nimbler, customer driven, and effective.

“AI can automate the claims process. This same technology can assist insurers to identify claims fraud. Cross-industry use cases play well into the insurance sector.

“There is growing interest in how AI can solve some long-standing business problems. Insurers are focussing on the customers digital experience, she says.”

For further information contact Make Lemonade news director Kip Brook on 0275 030188

$6.4billion in AI efficiencies to be made in NZ’s economy


Wellington – New Zealand urgently needs to increase its focus on an AI-enabled future, particularly investment, skills and talent, research, trusted data, ethics and regulation, a major new national artificial intelligent research report says.

The AI Forum of New Zealand report has investigated the potential AI impact on New Zealand’s economy and society.

The report just released shows how AI can be used to improve New Zealand’s wellbeing, productivity and sustainability, for the benefit of the public.

AI Forum of NZ executive director Emma Naji says the rapid development of AI technologies presents major opportunities and challenges for Kiwis.

“New Zealand needs to actively consider benefits from creating world leading AI strategy, innovation and business; research suggests that the financial and insurance sectors are a viable quick win for New Zealand,” Naji says.

Investing and supporting the growth of AI across agriculture, government, health, environment and conservation is one of the best ways New Zealand can trade in the global AI market.

The New Zealand financial services and insurance sectors are undergoing a period of significant change. Customer and partner expectations are changing, opting for open, streamlined and integrated solutions.

There are technology innovations, regulatory demands, and socio-political and economic disruptions emerging. Open-banking is a real opportunity to explore and transform traditional banking, she says.

Challengers, offering new services, are pushing into the already competitive scene forcing the financial and insurance sectors to address their offerings.

“Regulators have a role to play in supporting AI adoption and helping to remove some of the current barriers, Naji says.

The AI Forum’s 2019 report, Towards Our Intelligent Future: An AI Roadmap For New Zealand, says there are barriers and challenges to broad adoption such as regulatory challenges, a lack of skills and talent, the need for increased industry investment, organisational challenges, workplace concerns and evolving social licence all needed.

Up to $6.4billion of economic benefits are predicted for New Zealand by 2035 from AI-driven labour efficiencies, Naji says.

“Despite regulatory hurdles and challenges around hiring and industry maturity, AI-enabled improvements at legacy banks and fintech startups alike are already proving valuable and creating relatively rapid returns on investment.”

“There are many opportunities for AI to change the face of financial services in the future. Many companies are already experimenting with the possibilities all across banking operations. This is an exciting and uncertain moment for the financial services sector, with technological shifts creating new opportunities and new challenges, especially for incumbent banks.

“These include:

  • “automated customer service agents that aid in understanding customers’ needs, reducing time and resources spent in resolution.
  • “robo-advisors that provide automated, often AI-driven financial planning services and individualised investment plans for customers with little to no human interaction.
  • “AI fraud detection that uses deep learning techniques to more quickly and accurately detect fraud.
  • “robotic process automation for automating ledger reconciliations and other processes.”

For further information contact Emma Naji on 021 1460662 or Make Lemonade news director Kip Brook on 0275 030188

Photo: Emma Naji

Pacific artists gather for symposium in Wellington

Source: Massey University

Pacific arts practitioners at last year’s fono, photo by Raymond Sagapolutele.

Massey University hosted a gathering of Pacific arts practitioners at the Pacific Heritage Arts Fono in Wellington yesterday. 

A three-day event to support the development of Pacific arts in Aotearoa, the fono is held in partnership with Massey’s College of Creative Arts, Te Papa Tongarewa, and Wellington Museum under the stewardship of Pacifica Arts Centre.

It brings together guest speakers, knowledge holders and artists from around Aotearoa and the wider Pacific region, including the Pacifica Mamas, who recently ended their Matairangi Mahi Toi Pasifika artist residency at Government House.

College of Creative Arts creative director Pacific Herbert Bartley worked with a Wellington-based committee to decide on this year’s theme – E lē falala fua le niu, ‘ae falala ona o le matagi – the coconut tree does not sway on its own but is swayed by the wind.

“This theme is apt for Wellington, but is also relevant across all of the Pacific,” Mr Bartley says. “Ancestral knowledge of the winds and its transformative nature fits nicely with the direction we are taking the fono this year.”

Artists spent the day in the Museum Building yesterday in workshops, panels and knowledge-sharing sessions and the fono runs until tomorrow afternoon at Te Papa.

Professor Claire Robinson and fono attendee Grace.


Design students top craft and design awards

Source: Massey University

Industrial design graduate Sian Hosking Berge, winner of the ECC Furniture and Product Design Award for BOU bike.

Excellence in student design was celebrated at the ECC New Zealand Student Craft/Design Awards at the Dowse Museum in Lower Hutt last Tuesday evening, with Massey University students receiving awards and commendations for fashion, textile, furniture, lighting and product design.

Bachelor of Design industrial design graduate Sian Hosking Berge won the ECC Furniture and Product Design Award with BOU, a clever kitset balance bike and scooter for 2-5-year olds, that enables children to experience creating their own ride-on toy. 

It added to a successful year for Ms Hosking Berge, who in July was awarded a Red Dot “Best of the Best” award, a gold Best Award last month and in September was named a national runner-up in the James Dyson awards for BOU.

Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts student Tessa Williams’ Te Whare Wananga design was highly commended in the Lighting category. The whare wānanga is designed to raise confidence to speak te Reo Māori, live by Māori values and discuss Māori issues.

Industrial design students Caprece Trail, Brianna Conelly, Anna-Maria Nilsson and Austin Martin were highly commended in the ECC Furniture and Product Design Award for their chair 5th degree,a dynamic geometric design with angles that make the chair more comfortable.

Design students Solomon Meredith and Hamish Maunsell were also highly commended in the ECC Furniture and Product Design Award, for Tulum Riser, a sustainable dining chair with a flat pack design combining raw nature with geometric forms.

Fashion student Johani Louw was highly commended in the Friends of The Dowse Fashion and Textiles Award for her Salient collection, a fashion collection subverting patriarchal ideals of the feminine.

And textile students Guinevere Cherrill and Tallulah Farrar were both highly commended in the Friends of The Dowse Fashion and Textiles Award for their designs Contrast of Saturation and GLOW respectively. Contrast of Saturation showcases weaving, dyeing and embroidery, and GLOW is a knitted safety apparel solution, using light reflecting, generating and enhancing materials to increase visibility of cyclist commuters.

The ECC NZ Student Craft/Design Awards is in its 30th year, and was judged by ECC design consultant Anita Dykes, Urbis magazine editor Federico Monsalve,  Ian Douglas of jewellery designers The Village Goldsmith), Dowse Art Museum director Karl Chitham and guest judge Marilou Dadat, the head designer for Kowtow.

The winning entries are on display at the Dowse Art Museum until November 16.

Sian Hosking Berge’s BOU Bike design.

Full list of Massey University winners and finalists:

ECC Furniture and Product Design Award – winner

Sian Hosking Berge 

BOU bike

Bachelor of Design Industrial Design graduate 2019

ECC Furniture and Product Design Award – highly commended

Caprece Trail, Brianna Conelly, Anna-Maria Nilsson and Austin Martin

5th degree chair

Bachelor of Design Industrial Design

ECC Furniture and Product Design Award – highly commended

Solomon Meredith, Hamish Maunsell

Tulum Riser chair

Graduate Diploma in Design

Bachelor of Design

ECC Lighting Award – highly commended

Tessa Williams

Te Whare Wānanga

Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts

Friends of The Dowse Fashion and Textiles Award – highly commended

Johani Louw

Salient Collection

Bachelor of Design Fashion Design Graduate 2019

Friends of The Dowse Fashion and Textiles Award – highly commended

Guinevere Cherrill

Contrast of Saturation

Bachelor of Design Textile Design

Friends of The Dowse Fashion and Textiles Award – highly commended

Tallulah Farrar


Bachelor of Design Textile Design

Create1World – an antidote to climate grief

Source: Massey University

Climate grief and climate anxiety are real for this generation, say organisers of a Massey University event bringing together youth to share creative ideas and solutions to the climate crisis.

Hundreds of secondary school pupils will converge at Create1World conferences at Massey’s Auckland and Wellington campuses this month to take part in workshops, online and live panel discussions as well as view performances by poets, film-makers and musicians. The aim of the event, now in its fourth year, is to inspire and foster hope among young people in the face of daunting global issues confronting humanity, from climate change impacts to poverty, deforestation, plastic pollution and social inequality.

Create1World is hosted by Massey’s School of English and Media Studies and the New Zealand Centre for Global Studies. Co-organisers Dr Hannah August and Associate Professor Elspeth Tilley say many young people they have spoken to during the year are feeling angry and frustrated.

“Climate grief is real and it has many of them in the grip of fear and anxiety,” Dr Tilley says. Taking action “is a logical and healthy response to feeling frustrated and disempowered, which is just one of the many reasons why the school strikes are so important,” she says.

“Creative action is also an important form of response. It can be accessible to more people – not everybody is able to participate in a protest march – and it can help process emotional responses through catharsis or inspiration. 

Winners of the Create1World Activism and Global Citizenship competition will be announced at each of the conferences (Wellington on November 14 and Auckland on November 21). Finalists’ work includes slam poetry, music, theatre, a poem in te reo Māori, and speeches on topics ranging from refugees and climate change to sexual consent.

Professor Chris Gallavin (left) with Fatimah Khan, from Newlands College, reading her creative writing in 2018. She is a finalist this year too.

Art to displace fear

Dr August says using creativity to channel fear and concern about pressing global issues helps by bringing a human focus and increasing awareness. “Art and creativity can make a difference both to the person doing the creative work and to the audience they share it with.”

Wellington highlights include creative activist Waylon Edwards, of Whakatōhea, Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāi Tai and Ngāti Hine, and Diane Wong, who will beam in live from New York via an interactive video feed to talk about her work with Chinatown Art Brigade, an intergenerational cultural collective that uses the power of art to advance social justice. 

Wellington-based actor, musician, writer and director Moana Ete, of Ngai Tahu and Samoan descent, and Abhishek Majumdar, an environmental and human rights playwright who will participate via a live feed from the United Arab Emirates, will also be on panel discussions.

Highlights for Auckland are Robbie Nicol, aka White Man Behind a Desk, who makes videos for social media to raise political awareness and engagement, and Alice Canton, an award-winning theatre director known for her work using theatre to tell the stories of Auckland’s Chinese community. Workshops by Massey’s award-winning creative writers and theatre practitioners, including Professor Bryan Walpert, Dr Jack Ross, Dr Rand Hazou and Stuart Hoar, are also on the agenda.

Secondary school pupils or teachers interested in attending Create1World are invited to register now, on:

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