Māori artists, New Zealand baby products and wine get digital boost

BNZ and Zeald announce winners of digital pilot

 A Digital Cluster Initiative from Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) and Zeald means consumers will soon have direct, online access to Māori art from the Bay of Plenty, iconic Kiwi baby products and wine from Central Otago.

Part of a digital pilot to bring New Zealand business closer to local and global consumers, BNZ and Zeald will work with groups of businesses to transform their digital operations, grow revenue streams and strengthen SME performance in the regions.

The successful Pilot groups are:

  • Ngā Kaitoi o Mataatua i Tauranga Moana – TMT Māori artists (includes multi-disciplinary artist Tracey Tawhiao and master carver Craig Fugill among other artists)
  • Baby Product Manufacturers New Zealand (led by Babu and Lamington – full list below)
  • Central Otago Wine (more than 30 wineries involved)

Each business will be equipped with state-of-the-art ecommerce and a centralised digital marketplace developed for each cluster. Digital tools and support will help increase scale, productivity, and coopetition within each group and help access new online markets.

BNZ General Manager Growth and Performance, Brandon Jackson, says, “This is a huge milestone and we’re pleased to get the pilot underway. We couldn’t be more pleased with the high quality, product range and energy of the businesses taking part.”

“By working in clusters and harnessing new digital tools, our SMEs will be able to reach beyond smaller local markets, ramp up their growth and take their products global,” says Mr Jackson.

“Ultimately, we want to help businesses to lift performance and returns, and increase productivity,” he said.

Zeald Head of Strategy, Jarra Borman, says the initiative aims to help businesses thrive online.

“The impact of Covid has put the squeeze on normal trading channels across the board. This Pilot will help these businesses and artists build their online brands, open up new channels, and access new markets online, both in New Zealand and overseas,” says Mr Borman.

“Delivering a stronger direct-to-consumer offer will be better for businesses and consumers alike,” he said.

The Pilot groups say digital has the potential to unlock new opportunities for them.

Ngā Kaitoi o Mataatua i Tauranga Moana – TMT Māori artists. Julie Paama-Pengelly, Chairperson of Te Tuhi Mareikura Charitable Trust, says: “Our five-year goal as a Trust is to create a Mataatua Māori Arts exhibition centre as a focal point for our artists, and this project helps us achieve that goal, digitally.”

Baby Product Manufacturers New Zealand. Alison Hui, Founder of Babu, says: “We are all super excited about the sheer potential of the project. We hope to achieve increased group and brand awareness locally, as well as increased sales and exposure in export markets.” Full list of brands include: Babu, Lamington, Pretty Brave, Cry Wolf, Made4Baby, Wishbone, Little Belle, and Edwards and Co.

Central Otago Wine. Jake Tipler, General Manager of Central Otago Winegrowers Association, says: “After a rocky couple of years the Digital Cluster Initiative brings some much-needed good news to our wine region. The marketplace has excellent potential to boost direct-to-customer sales nationally and internationally.”

The Digital Cluster Initiative is a $500,000 initiative from BNZ and Zeald and forms part of their work as founding members of the Digital Boost Alliance.


Click here for full bios, goals, and quotes for each of the three Pilot groups.

For more information visit www.digitalclusters.nz or download the Digital Boost Alliance Commitment Document, which details the scope of the initiative here.