New Zealand Embassy Beijing, China

Technology

  • The Lord of The Rings trilogy was filmed and post-production completed in New Zealand, with special effects by Weta Workshop and Weta Digital. More than 10,000 prosthetic faces, 1800 pairs of hobbit feet and thousands of digital characters were made or mastered.
  • The Lord of the Rings special effects wizards Oktobor, Massive, Right Hemisphere, Applied Research and Oscar winners Weta Digital were among 11 Kiwi companies who starred at Siggraph in the US in 2003, the major computer graphics industry conference and exhibition in San Diego.
  • Since The Lord of the Rings, New Zealand 3D animation and design company Oktobor has created the visual effects for horror movie Boogeyman, the latest work from Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi of Pacific Renaissance Pictures, producer of the Xena and Hercules cult TV series.
  • Another animation company making waves is Dunedin’s Virtual Spectator, which animates sports coverage in real time on the internet and television. Virtual Spectator has been used in yachting, motor racing, golf and adventure sport around the world.
  • Information technology (software, electronics and telecommunications) is one of the fastest growing export areas for New Zealand, totalling an estimated $NZ1.5 billion last year.
  • The software sector has grown 66% in the last four years to almost $NZ400 million, while the electronics sector has increased by one third in three years to reach $NZ800 million in 2001.
  • New Zealand is among the most wired countries in the world. Several leading multinational companies are established here, taking advantage of robust networks including five international submarine cable systems.
  • The Southern Cross cable provides a 240 gigabit connection with the United States and the rest of the world – supporting a sophisticated telecommunications and highly advanced internet structure.
  • In 2001- 02, internet commerce doubled to 0.8 percent of New Zealand’s total commerce – putting the country in third place behind Canada (at 1%) and Sweden (at 0.86%), and directly in front of the United States.
  • New Zealand has one of the highest rates of personal computer ownership per capita in the world, reinforcing the country’s reputation for avidly adopting new technology. The number of PCs in New Zealand has grown to 1.7 million.
  • New Zealand’s expenditure on information and communication technologies as a percentage of GDP is the highest in the world – at 14.4%, ahead of the United States at 9%. Its rate of increase in patent applications in 2000 was second only to Finland.
  • Regarded among the most sophisticated in the world, New Zealand’s telecommunications infrastructure is providing test-bed conditions and call centre facilities for a host of large overseas-based multinationals.
  • New Zealand was one of the first countries to deregulate its telecommunications sectors in the early 1980s, and excels in niche network and mobile products.
  • New Zealand has since become well recognised as a prime Research and Development test ground - and is home to the world’s first trial in General Packet Radio Switch (GPRS) networks by giant Vodafone’s New Zealand arm. GPRS is a faster and more reliable way of sending data by mobile phone.
  • Vodafone is spending hundreds of millions of dollars building a third generation mobile network in New Zealand. 3G provides higher access speeds for services like videoconferencing, multimedia and other business applications.
  • Other locally-bred companies are also excelling in this area. A world leader in long-distance, low-capacity telecommunications links, Exicom Technologies is working on a two-year contract with the United Nations, potentially worth more than $US11 million. The New Zealand Trade Enterprise Export Award winner is providing specialist radios to UN peacekeeping missions worldwide.
  • New Zealand’s leading health IT industry has improved communication between hospitals and patient care. Examples include the National Health Index, dental software which is sweeping Britain, clinical messaging systems and nationwide health data networks.
  • New Zealand also leads the world in another emerging technology-enhanced area - biotechnology. More than 70% of New Zealand’s total export earnings are biology-based.
  • Discoveries of new health therapies by local firms are expected to generate more than NZ$1 billion in the next three years. Treatments for psoriasis, asthma, diabetes and viral diseases, now being proven in the clinic by New Zealand companies.
  • The world’s first vaccine to control clostridial diseases in animals was developed in New Zealand. Kiwis also developed a programme to eradicate bovine brucellosis.
  • Ag Vax, a subsidiary of AgResearch, is a leading international supplier of a range of animal vaccines. Control measures and disease management techniques developed in New Zealand have been adopted worldwide.

Of interest

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