New Zealand Charities Technology Awards Finalists

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Auckland, February 27, 2018

Inspiring volunteers and social media campaigns to free New Zealand from plastic and protect Kiwi birds are among the finalists for this year’s New Zealand Charities Technology Awards.

The annual awards, to be presented at the TechSoup New Zealand Conference to be held in Auckland on March 22 and 23, 2018, recognise the best people and initiatives using technology for good in the New Zealand charitable sector in the past year.

Duenas and Law

Among this year’s Volunteer of the Year finalists is ImpactNPO volunteer Luis Duenas Garcia, who harnessed the skills and know-how of more than 200 IT professional volunteers to help the communities served by his organisation; and United Seafarers’ Mission volunteer Jeff Law, who single-handedly developed a suite of applications to bring the Mission roaring into the 21st Century.

Mr Law improved the support services available to 16,000 visiting crew members every year by developing dynamic displays of the comings and goings of visiting ships, a visitors’ book app, and QR coded visitors passes that eliminated the lengthy registration process previously required for each visit.

Lifetime Service

Shortlisted for the Lifetime Service category, is RemarkIT Solutions’ Di Daniels, who during 16 years’ volunteering grew a digital inclusion project from four pilot programs in 2003 to a thriving digital inclusion programme serving over 1600 families a year across 22 regions. Also shortlisted in that category is One Double Five Whare Awhina Community House’s volunteer filmmaker Alexander Mason, who for the past 18 years has provided critical technical, IT and film making skills to support the House’s work.

Best Social Media Campaign

‘Best Social Media Campaign of the Year’ category finalists include Our Seas Our Future Charitable Trust’s “Plastic Free New Zealand” campaign, which engaged more than 32,000 people online during a virtual event against single-use plastic bags, with an associated online petition gaining 16,000 signatures. Also in that category is Forest and Bird’s “Bird of the Year” campaign, which raised awareness of the plight of under threat native New Zealand birds.

Bird of the Year

This year’s “Bird of the Year” campaign drew more than 40,000 voters, added 9,000 people to the organisation’s mailing list and raised thousands of dollars to protect native birds in NZ.

Other categories up for grabs at the TechSoup NZ-hosted awards in Auckland include “Technology Innovator of the Year”; and “Using Technology to Connect to the Community – Best Small to Medium Enterprise”.

The awards are a part of two days’ of TechSoup NZ Conference activity that includes digital marketing, fundraising and sponsorship masterclasses and a day of plenary sessions with high profile speakers including award winning Kiwi businesswoman, Yvette Adams, who is flying home to NZ to present.

Canadian Fundraiser

Top Canadian fundraiser Mike Farrell, who has raised tens of millions of dollars during his career, will deliver a masterclass and plenary session at the conference, where he will share his experience and hands-on skills with the NZ sector.

The conference is a yearly event for TechSoup NZ, which through its donated and discounted technology programs and low cost training, provides critical support for NZ’s charitable sector.

TechSoup NZ Chief Executive Anne Gawen said the event was a key part of her organisation’s work to support a sector that often struggled to keep up with technology.

“As a not-for-profit ourselves, TechSoup NZ understands the needs of the sector, and our expertise and partnerships with leading technology organisations enables us to provide much-needed support for the sector,” she said.

“The TechSoup NZ Conference and Technology Awards recognise and highlight the very best applications of technology within the sector, and we look forward to providing the same high quality of support in 2018.”

For more information on this year’s TechSoup NZ “Digital Flightpaths” Conference and New Zealand Charities Technology Awards, please visit

The full New Zealand Charities Technology Awards Shortlist

Category: Technology Volunteer of the Year (Individual)
This award recognises a volunteer who, through the use of technology, has made an exemplary voluntary contribution to the NZ charitable sector and who has positively impacted the lives of others through their volunteering activities.

Name: Luis Duenas Garcia
Organisation: ImpactIT
Title of Entry: Organizing more than 200 IT professionals together to give back to communities in need

Name: Jeff Law
Organisation: United Seafarers’ Mission Tauranga
Job title: Assistant Manager (Volunteer)
Title of Entry: Our Technology Leader!

Category: Technology Service in the Charitable Sector – Lifetime Service Award (Individual)
This award recognises and celebrates the outstanding commitment and service by an individual working in a technology-related role in the charitable sector over a significant period of time.
Name: Di Daniels
Organisation: RemarkIT Solutions
Job title: Social Responsibility Manager
Title of Entry: Taking Technology for Digital Inclusion to Under-served Communities

Name: Alexander Mason
Organisation: One Double Five Whare Awhina Community House
Job title: Film maker and technical support
Title of Entry: Film and technology support and training

Category: Best Social Media Campaign of the Year
This award recognises the most effective and innovative use of social media by a charitable organisation to promote its’ products and/or services.

Organisation: Our Seas Our Future Charitable Trust
Title of Entry: Plastic Free New Zealand™(PFNZ)
Organisation: Forest & Bird
Title of Entry: Forest & Bird’s Bird of the Year
Organisation: Presbyterian Support Otago
Title of Entry: Family Works Christmas Appeal 2017

Category: Technology Innovator of the Year
This award recognises a charitable organisation which has best showcased innovation through the use of technology – i.e. technology planning, effective website, apps, projects, devices) to effectively deliver programs and/or services that positively impact the community.
Organisation: Access Community Radio Ak Inc
Title of Entry:
Organisation: Safe Surfer
Title of Entry: Safe Surfer
Organisation: Volunteering New Zealand
Title of Entry: InvolveMe – Maximising Volunteer Efforts in Aotearoa
Category: Using Technology to Connect to the Community – Best Small to Medium Enterprise
This award recognises the small to medium enterprise (SME) that has made a highly-valued contribution and best supported charitable organisations through the use of technology.
Organisation: Tuhi Tuhi Communications
Title of Entry: TAKOA Te Aka Kumara o Aotearoa
Organisation: RemarkIT Solutions
Title of Entry: RemarkIT Solutions Supporting Digital Inclusion in Aotearoa and the Pacific

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