My window to the world

The New Zealand on-line market under the microscope

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 29-Mar-2007 13:56

Even with all complaints about the current state of affairs when it comes to New Zealand broadband services and infrastructure, it seems the kiwis love to buy on-line.

Reaserch firm Nielsen//NetRatings has just released the results of a its new "Online Retail Monitor", a continuous study of New Zealand's on-line market. The results show just strong the New Zealand market is for online shopping.

According to the press release sent out today, in a month-long period over December 2006 to January 2007, 66% of adult New Zealand internet users made a purchase online and 95% researched goods or services via the internet.

These are very high numbers when taken in comparison with a similar study conducted in Australia where 54% made a purchase online in the lead up to Christmas, and 87% researched goods or services online,.

It seems New Zealanders are also spending on-line a lot more than . The average amount spent online was NZ$774 for the measured period, whilst in Australia the December figure was NZ$649.

When asked if these dollars figures included on-line auction transactions, Tony Boyte, Senior Analyst for Nielsen//NetRatings, confirmed that yes, this activity is included.

What would be interest to see is how much of this dollar figure is generated from Trademe alone. In January 2007 the auction web site alone was responsible for attracting 26% of unique users browsing the Internet in New Zealand, while generating 62% of the number of page impressions for all sites monitored by Nielsen//NetRatings.

The study tells us the most popular single item of purchase was tickets for flights. Mr Boyte explained: “Purchasing online is being more and more encouraged by airlines and booking agencies, and the results are very evident. The popularity of online flight bookings at this time may also be a result of people starting to plan their year ahead, including of course their holidays”.

It would be interesting to see if you have numbers for comparison with other countries, not only Australia.

Geekzone moderators meeting...

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 3-Mar-2007 09:17

Today is going to be an interesting day: all Geekzone moderators (TonyHughes, cokemaster, chiefie, sbiddle, BradStewart) plus our editor Juha Saarinen are here in Wellington for a meeting to discuss all things related to the site.

We will be talking about moderation, editorial, new features, and even start planning sessions and other activities for the Geekzone 2007 event.

Thanks to Rod Drury who allowed us to use the Xero offices when I asked about office spaces for short term rent for our meeting.

The Google AdSense Roadshow

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 23-Feb-2007 20:14

This week (20th February 2007) I was in Auckland participating as a panelist in the Google AdSense Roadshow (Australia/New Zealand). I am proud to have been invited to represent the New Zealand publishers in the panel, side-by-side with Australians Tim van Brugge and Paul Greenberg. Those are two great guys and I had lots of fun with their stories - lots to learn about Internet business.

The panel was moderated by Deepak Ramanathan, Google Marketing Manager - Ad Products, and the technical session was led by Michael Gutner, Manager of AdSense Australia/New Zealand. These guys are both based in Sydney, Australia.

The networking opportunity was incredible. I met some of the Auckland-based publishers (some already running AdSense, some not) and it was very good to get fresh views of the current New Zealand publishing and advertising market.

If you have confirmed your presence but failed to attend the event... Shame on you. A great opportunity lost!

Next stop is Brisbane (27th February 2007), Sydney (1st March 2007) and Melbourne (7th March 2007). I will be in the panel in all those three cities, so come along and say hello when you see me there.

I'm arriving back from Melbourne on the 8th March (although I will be flying home between events), just to fly a couple of days later to attend the Microsoft MVP Summit in Seattle. Busy days ahead!

Kiwi Foo Camp (Baa Camp) Flickr Set

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 5-Feb-2007 00:02

I am back home after the very successful Kiwi Foo Camp (Baa Camp). Now that I have Internet access again I will post Day 2 and Day 3 impressions later, but for now I have just finished uploading my pictures to Flickr, so click through to check my Kiwi Foo set.

Search on Flickr for the Kiwi Foo tag or for Baa Camp tag for more pictures.

Working on the internet is easy...

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 27-Jan-2007 20:52

This is a personal note on some of the e-mails I receive every day. While I find some of them amusing, this one set me off:

Hi, can you teach me how to set up site like this and how to write news and draw traffic to the site? I would like to earn a living via internet so that i can go out and help more people.

Current job consume a lot of my time.

Of course I have removed personal information, and kept the spelling and grammar used by the sender.

This person believes that creating a website will attract fame and money, allowing him/her to live of high profits such an enterprise will provide. At the same time this person says the "current job is too time consuming".

Oh, yeah? I have the impression I work longer hours now than I used to when working for a corporation nine to five, plus extra time.

Some people are really funny.

Magnetic yellow cards for cyclists

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 7-Dec-2006 08:39

What a great idea: magnetic yellow cards for cyclists... A unique way to convey a message. Visit the site and download the pdf to print your own magnetic cards.

Magnetic yellow cards for cyclist

I wonder though if the police won't be confused when checking the information about a blue car registration and actually find it's completely yellow.

FooBar poster and web 2.0

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 3-Dec-2006 09:01

That's very cool. These guys at eBoy develop pixel art and sell posters based on their creations. There are posters picturing cities, scenes, but this one out, called FooBar is too interesting:

Try to find all the web technology-based companies you know...

They also make other types of art, including some sexy scenes (look for the girls tag) but the pixel art stuff is really amasing...

Thrive Wellington 2006 - the report

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 24-Nov-2006 19:49

As posted before, I spent most of the day attending the Thrive Wellington 2006 sessions. Interesting programme, some notable speakers and food for thought.

First of all, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the MC Paul Holmes (pictured). Very different from the TV character, more likeable and enjoyable. Even funny. If I had something like this on Geekzone 2007 (or further), he could be the one (but I guess he charges too much for our small event).

I was late for the first few sessions, because of the late invite and my morning routine. So I missed the Welcome with Paul Winter (EMA Central), followed by John Heng (Click Clack) and Michael Hill (Michael Hill Jeweler).

Noticed something? Yes, it's all about manufacture and retail. The event was organised by the Employers' and Manufacturers' Association (Central), so you won't see anything about services listed here. And no Internet businesses either. And not a mention of web 2.0, although I met Peter Torr Smith ( there. And he noticed the same.

Back to the event. It looked like a TV talk show, with Paul Holmes interviewing the guests (and sometimes the guest going through a presentation). The stage was really well done, and the organisation was great. They also had 20 exhibitors (including Telecom New Zealand - Orb) showing their services and products geared towards business owners.

I did catch the Ralph Waters (Fletcher Building) chat with Paul Holmes, which was really good. He compared New Zealand production with a similarly sized country in population (Ireland, approximately 4 million people) and questioned how the cement consumption here is much smaller than there. He also questioned the media role in always pointing out the bad stuff instead of showing a "can do" attitude (something I agree with).  I just think it was strange that his definition of "media" doesn't include the Internet, only newspapers and TV.

Next up was Richard Tweedie (Todd Energy), with a brief history of the Todd group, where they work, and other stuff related to energy generation, including an interesting video about gas exploration in high sea.

I missed the next sessions because of a lunch meeting on the other side of the Wellington CBD, but was back in the afternoon to roam the stalls and attend Neville Findlay (Zambesi)'s session on starting a business - and what a story from being an engineer to owning a fashion design company.
Tony Kerridge (Cafe L'affare) has got to get the award for being the funniest guest speaker. He told the audience about Cafe L'affare business, selling it out to the Japanese food group Cerebos Gregg's, how they had to introduce the "cafe culture" in Wellington to create the business around it. Very entertaining.

Gareth Morgan's session on retirement, planning and KiwiSaver was very entertainment, albeit painting a daunting prospect of insurance companies as "sharks" feeding on the money kiwis will save for their retirement. What a character, I say. And he had the best presentation in terms of multimedia, starting with some cool shots from his motorbike travels on screen before he entered the stage.

Gareth was followed with some music by Boh Runga, a panel discussion between Paul Holmes and some of the guest, and finally by a chat between Paul Holmes and Rugby Union star Jonah Lomu.

Jonah Lomu (pictured) was the "motivational speaker" for this event. He told us about receiving the All Blacks jersey from the hands of Colin Meads before his first test, his kidney transplant in 2004, and how he's working now in coming back to the sport.

As I said, no one talked about Internet technologies, or even IT for that matter. Naturally, as this was mainly a manufacturers' event, and most of Internet technologies are in the services area, I wouldn't expect Rod Drury to show up there. But still it seemed like IT and Internet didn't exist at all.

I was interested to find out how technology support their success, how it can be used to increase our presence in the international markets and other stuff related.

I wonder if anyone else will blog about Thrive Wellington...

Thrive Wellington 2006

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 24-Nov-2006 08:57

I had no idea about Thrive Wellington 2006 happening today - until a wake call early this morning telling me I had my name in the list and I could stop by and attend the sessions.

Check the list of guest speakers:

- Paul Holmes (MC)
- Paul Winter, CEO, EMA Central
- John Heng, CEO, Click Clack
- Michael Hill, Entrepreneur and Founder, Michael Hill Jewelery
- Ralph Waters, Fletcher, NZ business leader of year (2004)
- Richard Tweedie, Managing Director, Todd Energy
- Mathew Gilligan, Director, Gilligan Rowe & Associates
- Lezlie Mearns, Founder and Managing Director, Maxim Group
- Neville Findlay, Entrepreneur & Founder, Zambesi
- Peter Maire, Entrepreneur and Navman Founder
- Gareth Morgan, Founder, Infometrics
- Jonah Lomu, Rugby’s first global superstar
- Paul Winter, CEO, EMA Central

A business event like no other, Thrive Wellington is everything you ever wanted to know about ambition, growth and all-round business success. On the 24th of November, 2006 Thrive Wellington is back, bigger and better than ever, with a revitalised brand and an action-packed programme of practical advice from world class entrepreneurs, sporting greats and our best creative talent.

Thrive Wellington is the big day out for business people like you, staged in a unique theatrical setting, with a full buffet lunch, trade show and post-event networking function. If you haven’t experienced Thrive Wellington, brace yourself, this is no normal business event - it’s a business show!

  • Learn from the best about business strategy, branding, commercial creativity and innovation
  • Find out what makes other successful people tick
  • Get practical advice and strategies you can take back to the workplace
  • Be motivated and inspired to go for growth in your enterprise
  • Recharge your ambition to succeed
  • Network with 1000+ other motivated business owners and executives

  • Ok, because I have some stuff to do this morning I will be in for the late morning sessions and do a bit of networking.

    Thanks to Anthony at Todd Energy for the tip!

    Viva Silicon Welly

    By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 14-Nov-2006 12:05

    Some time ago I posted about Silicon Welly, a catchy name coined by the guys at Decisive Flow to put together what's going on in the city, in terms of business development, creativity, etc.

    Well, put together seems to be the point, because Silicon Welly is live now... If you visit the site there's a welcome page, but if you click the link you are then redirected to this page with posts and links.

    Silicon Welly

    Interesting concept. Tim Norton, behind this work is also the guy driving the PlanHQ, Rod Drury's latest investment.

    freitasm's profile

    Mauricio Freitas
    New Zealand

    I live in New Zealand and my interests include mobile devices, good books, movies and food of course! 

    I'm the Geekzone admin. On Geekzone we publish news, reviews and articles on technology topics. The site also has some busy forums. Also worth visiting is TravelTalk NZ, a community for travelers!

    Subscribe now to my blog RSS feed or the Geekzone RSS feed.

    If you want to contact me, please use this page or email me Note this email is not for technical support. I don't give technical support. You can use our Geekzone Forums for community discussions on technical issues.

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