The Restaurant Association of New Zealand is getting behind a campaign to raise awareness around Covid-19 vaccination rates and encourage staff and customers to get their jabs.
The 'Take 2 for the team' campaign is the brainchild of Kāpura's chief executive Jamie Williams, who is offering staff an hour of paid time to get their jab.
He was also offering staff at its Kiwi venues food vouchers and $500 to spend on a team activity once they were 90 per cent vaccinated.
Kāpura's Bay of Plenty restaurants include Master Kong, Madame Sunset, Lattitude 37 and Roxies Red-Hot Cantina & Taco Joint.
Williams said while the hospitality industry expected longer restrictions, including limited indoor gathering numbers, he started thinking about other ways the sector could help combat the impact of Covid-19.
What immediately came to mind was increasing the vaccination rate.
Williams and the Restaurant Association are also working with District Health Boards nationwide to secure free branded T-shirts, caps and posters for hospitality businesses.
Restaurant Association NZ chief executive Marisa Bidois said the full reopening of the industry was its number one focus.
"We also want to ensure that Kiwis do feel safe when they dine out. What better way to do that than with a creative campaign aimed at increasing the update of vaccinations?
"We're pretty confident that hospo businesses and diners alike will respond to the message – take two for the team of 130,000, which is the number of people working across our industry in Aotearoa."
European Space Agency satellites used to diagnose the health of Bay of Plenty lakes
Satellite images from the European Space Agency are being used to diagnose the health
of Bay of Plenty lakes as researchers use images from space to hunt out algal blooms and help manage them.
Heading into summer, which is peak algal bloom time, the health of New Zealand
lakes is usually monitored by water samples taken at specific points from the lakes being
Now a collaborative study by New Zealand and German researchers has shown
how satellite images can be used to track algal blooms in lakes over time.
The blooms are seen from space as patches and swirls of green and brown colours.
Satellite images can support the ground management of the lakes by sending council
staff to the perfect locations for water sampling.
Dr Moritz Lehmann, from the Xerra Earth Observation Institute and the University of Waikato, said using satellite imagery we can pinpoint exactly where the blooms are and how they are spreading over time.
"This helps to ensure we get the best water samples, building a full picture of how healthy our lakes are, or not."
Moritz said New Zealand and Rotorua had some of the most pristine lakes in the
world and some of the most degraded but detailed data on the water quality of all New
Zealand's lakes was patchy at best.
A 2019 report from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment said New
Zealand was lacking in environmental monitoring data, including the water quality of most
of our lakes, he said.
"We tend to focus on our big ones, the ones people live closest to, or the ones that are most polluted, but we don't have a full picture."
With satellites flying over New Zealand constantly and access to the images from the
European Space Agency provided for free, the methods developed on the Rotorua lakes
have the potential to help manage the health of all New Zealand's lakes and lakes worldwide.
This project was started by Eike Schütt, a student enrolled at the University of Kiel in
Germany who wanted data to support his coursework.
"The Rotorua lakes boast some of the best water quality monitoring data sets in the
world, so I sent Eike a decade of data from the Bay of Plenty Regional Council," said
With the support of Dr Martin Hieronymi and Dr Hajo Krasemann (Helmholtz-Zentrum
Hereon, Germany), Eike calibrated an algorithm to detect algae in the Rotorua lakes with
better accuracy than before.
The team then wanted to demonstrate how satellites can be used in routine monitoring of lake health, so they teamed up with James Dare, an environmental scientist at the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.
Over time the satellite maps show chlorophyll concentration (chlorophyll a is an
indicator of algal biomass), and the team was able to describe these patches using
statistics, said Moritz.
"This allows lake managers to understand how algae is distributed through the lakes
without having to visit them and provides information on where the best monitoring sites
are to test water quality."
The collaborative work through this study and a recently awarded MBIE Smart Ideas
project will support further developments of the methodology.
The study was published on September 22, 2021, in the International Journal of Applied
Earth Observation and Geoinformation.
GoGenerosity raises $1.3 million towards pay-it-forward initiative
Tauranga-based software start-up GoGenerosity, which helps New Zealand consumers,
business and charities to pay-it-forward, has raised $1,300,000.
The money was raised in an oversubscribed seed funding round led by private investors, with support from Icehouse Ventures.
The recent capital raise has enabled the business to attract high-calibre people, including globally experienced software sales leader Paul Bickley, former LawVu and SwipedOn and customer success expert Rebecca Pitt - expanding the team to 10.
GoGenerosity's platform enables consumers to pay-it-forward at their favourite eateries
and stores, so those businesses can turn that generosity into food, clothing and services for local people in need.
The paid-forward goods and services are then collected and distributed by local charities to where it's most needed. The stories of that generosity are then told back to the businesses and consumers who paid it forward, encouraging the process to start all over again.
GoGenerosity founder and chief executive Rohan McCloskey said he was blown away to see everyday Kiwis willing to be generous over the last year.
"Our capital raise allows us to hire more talented, purpose-driven people and build technology that will bring many small acts of generosity together to make a big difference around the globe."
The Bay of Plenty restaurant owner was facing an uncertain future when the first Covid-19 lockdown hit in March 2020, with no revenue coming into his three venues.
As a way to keep being generous with what he had, McCloskey introduced a pay-it-forward system to his local eateries Brooklyn, Neighbourhood and Rain Bar.
The system gave diners the opportunity to pay-it-forward towards meals for local people in need.
After a successful trial, a chance conversation in the hallway of a shared office
space led to McCloskey getting together with local software marketer Aidan Lett - and GoGenerosity was born.
The GoGenerosity team have been building and testing their platform in selected Bay businesses over the last 12 months.
Thanks to generous locals adding small amounts to their bills at their favourite restaurant, retailer or beauty salon, the GoGenerosity team have already seen more than $40,000 of food, clothing and pampering paid forward to local people in need.
That has led to more generosity, including Kids Store and its customers paying
forward more than $900 worth of kids clothing to Tauranga Women's
Tauranga based Features Inc customers has also paid forward facial and brow treatments
to Under the Stars and several local restaurants, including Cleaver and Co and Pizza Library paying forward 2,000-plus meals to various charities such as The Salvation Army.
Trimax celebrates 40 years in business
Tauranga-based Trimax Mowing Systems is marking its 40th anniversary of operation in 2021 with the release of a new brand video, sharing the story of the company's past and looking into the future.
Trimax was founded in 1981 by Bob Sievwright, a New Zealand engineer and salesperson with family roots in agriculture and a passion for high-performance machinery.
While working as a salesperson, Sievwright developed the Gamma Flail, an innovative aerodynamic mower flail to help simplify manufacturing processes and increase operational efficiency.
Sievwright gained his first customer after six weeks of development: Southern Engineering in Tauranga.
Unfortunately, the arrangement only lasted a month before Southern Engineering
burnt to the ground.
In a bold effort to keep the Gamma Flail on the market, Sievwright bought out the
remains of the business and made a deal with another local flail mower manufacturer, Gamman Engineering, combining them to form the beginning of Trimax Mowing Systems.
Trimax Mowers were originally developed for the booming New Zealand Kiwifruit industry but demand soon grew from groundsmen and turf managers.
Today Trimax has manufacturing, assembly, and warehousing facilities in New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Trimax CEO Michael Sievwright said investment in customer relationships has
supported the growth of the business and it has had to learn to adapt to each
of its different markets.
"We learned that we needed to design products to suit market-specific needs and preferences, relying on our technical foundations and pillars of culture to guide our
connections to our customers."
Looking to the future, Sievwright said the company will continue to advance into
the digital age, making smarter and more responsive systems and investigating the opportunities offered by emerging technologies such as automation and electrification.
"We've had 40 years of innovation, which challenges the status quo..."
Bay of Plenty cleaning stalwart weighs in on 25 years of changes to the industry
Overseeing 400 staff members across the Bay of Plenty, OCS New Zealand area manager
Peter McDonald is no stranger to facing challenges in the workplace.
But after 25 years in the cleaning industry, McDonald's biggest challenge has been navigating the Covid-19 pandemic.
"We had a scare with bird flu, but it doesn't even compare to the impact Covid has had on
the way our cleaners do their job, the customer's expectations of us, and the shift in culture around health and safety."
Thank Your Cleaner Day, on October 20, will give a chance for New Zealanders to thank the Kiwis who provided the essential service during the pandemic.
Now in its sixth year, Thank Your Cleaner Day is a global initiative celebrating the more
than 40,000 Kiwis who dedicate their working hours to keeping our work, recreation and
learning environments clean, safe, productive and hygienic.
McDonald said when he started in the cleaning industry more than two decades ago,
customers had more appreciation for cleaners.
"There was a different culture back then, people would stop and talk to their cleaners. Now our society has become so accustomed to virtual interactions and are working in such fast-paced environments that, in many cases, they've lost that human touch."
But he said among the positive changes to the sector in recent times has been a shift in
focus on training, health & safety and compliance.
"When I started, health and safety was almost unheard of. Now, alongside customer
satisfaction, our health and safety practices are driving the business."
Rotorua Citizens Advice Bureau reflects on 2021 so far
Employment rights, redundancy, work conditions and working out employment issues have been the biggest inquiries to the Rotorua Citizens Advice Bureau post-Covid-19 lockdown.
At Rotorua CAB's 43rd annual general meeting, outgoing chairperson Pauline Lambess reported the bureau had assisted more than 13,000 clients.
Lambess said some clients have had simple inquiries, like how to find a Justice of the Peace or contact numbers for community organisations.
But she said the time spent on other inquiries demonstrated a post-lockdown trend of clients often facing extremely complex cases requiring "considerable unravelling, research, and at times, advocacy by the volunteers".
More than 1500 hours have been spent by volunteers on such cases, she said.
The Rotorua Citizens Advice Bureau is primarily funded by grants from the Rotorua Lakes Council, Rotorua Trust and COGs, in addition to a contract with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to provide settlement information to migrants.
The bureau was also successful in obtaining funding from the council's Te Rakau Tu Pakari Fund to undertake a digital project.
"We continue to assist a large number of clients who struggle to deal with government and other organisations who are moving to online systems of communication...," Lambess said.
"This became very evident during last year's Covid-19 lockdown, and from the statistics we collect about people who are digitally challenged."
Lambess said the funding allowed them to train volunteers to become more familiar and confident with creating RealMe, MyIRD and My MSD accounts, setting up internet banking and using online shopping to help their clients.
Robin Uncles was also welcomed as the new chairperson.