GovTech projects

Meet the 2022 teams

Government agencies, NGOs and startups come together in the fifth GovTech Accelerator.

In 2022 we had 14 government projects, NGOs and Startups join us – all focusing on social and environmental challenges that are facing Aotearoa.

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Want to be part of GovTech 2023? Register your interest below.


14 project teams from Government agencies, NGOs and startups join the 2022 GovTech Accelerator.

Westpac NZ Government Innovation Fund

Working with Community Social Innovation | Te Kaunihera o Tāmaki Makaurau

UpSouth is a call-to-action platform that empowers the voices of rangatahi in Tāmaki Makaurau and the wider Aotearoa. It is a digital first solution solving engagement pressures through co-design with young people. Organisations provide micro-financing to rangatahi for their ideas through genuine engagement. The open invitation and fair compensation for their involvement attracts young people. Being heard, the sense of community and being a part of the future planning of our city keeps everyone engaged.

Based on a successful pilot in South Auckland, the UpSouth project aims to develop a viable social impact venture in partnership with private, public and third sector allies to transform this rangatahi (youth) engagement platform into a widely used positive social impact tool that supports an economy of mana.

Team members: Jerome Phoenix, Joel Umali, Tanya Moredo, Dhaya Haran, Rosie Anderson and Raquel Barbiellini.

Screen Futures Wellington
Massey University & Victoria University of Wellington

This project builds on the success and international achievements of Wellington’s screen and creative sectors by preparing for future trends and developments in the creative technologies sector. There is an opportunity for industry bodies, government agencies and funders to leverage the talent, facilities and resources at Wellington universities and Public Research Organisations to help achieve the sector’s ambitions and create a unique value proposition for the Wellington screen industry.

This project aims to understand the sector’s needs in relation to universities and government and what can be done to address systemic challenges to support a thriving screen industry in Wellington.

Team members: Liam Sutton, Tristan Bunn, Jon He

Connection Amplifier
Manatū Mō Te Taiao – Ministry for the Environment

Working with Jobs for Nature Secretariat, Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand and others

Aotearoa New Zealand is facing a wide range of environmental pressures and we are all working across different areas to accelerate and scale solutions to address these challenges. Some of the ongoing solutions include the Mahi mō te Taiao (Jobs for Nature) programme, as well as the Te Mana o te Taiao (Aotearoa New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy (ANZBS), and the National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity. 

The opportunity is to collaborate on the design and delivery of a pilot digital ‘connector’ platform to connect stakeholders to critical resources and partners within the environmental project ecosystem. We will work with the Manatū Mō Te Taiao (Ministry for the Environment) as the executive sponsors, Te Papa Atawhai (Department of Conservation) and others as project partners, as well as regions and councils to develop a solution that is useful, scalable, and enduring. Capturing the learnings from similar projects in the past, we are confident we can empower the environmental community of Aotearoa and enhance their capability. 

This project is an opportunity to digitally connect the vast and diverse environmental network and better leverage the knowledge, data, experience, and connections out there, providing increased accessibility. By optimising collaborative digital solutions, we can bring communities together for the benefit of the environment and maximise the use of existing resourcing to build extra capacity, capability, and work towards the shared vision of a flourishing environment for every generation to come.

Team members: Zoe Epps, Logan Anderson, Matthew Hippolite, Alice Jacobs, Ini-Isabée Gunn

Prosperous Communities
Westpac NZ Government Innovation Fund

Communities prosper when they have the autonomy and resources to tackle the challenges most relevant to them. Yet, business-as-usual approaches to investment, governance or coordination can be inefficient and hold back participation and progress. The Prosperous Communities team is a cross government team exploring how emerging technologies such as Blockchain and Web 3.0 can drive efficiencies and create more appropriate, inclusive and diverse governance practices that increase public engagement in democratic decision making.

Team members: Benjamin Alder, Mark Pascall, Gregor Neumayr

Modern Regulatory Practice
Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga – Ministry of Education

Te Mahau is committed to being a modern regulator. This project will give Te Mahau a collective view of our current regulatory practice, enable a shared vision of modern regulatory practice, and produce a tangible plan for collaboratively achieving the desired future state.

Team: Lisa Ng, Lisa Collins, Terina Tairea, Cherreen Exeter, Stacey Lean, Tara Campbell


He Kete Taiao O Ngāpuhi
NGO – Te Runānga-Ā-Iwi O Ngāpuhi

Hapu and iwi authorities often have limited capacity and capability to respond to time bound requests from government for consultation. Participation and governance opportunities are lost, and relationships can become strained. We aim to develop a communications system to better inform our people of process requirements, participation opportunities, progress and milestones, and outcomes. We are focusing on te taiao space (environmental resource consents etc), but understand that this is likely to have crossover benefits with regards to all government requests.

Team members: Tania Pene, Caroline Wells

Wesley Community Action

Te Waka Kotahi, Wesley’s foster care service, has been operating for 25+ years, funded by Oranga Tamariki. It provides ‘a place to call home’ and a dedicated support team for rangatahi with high and complex needs.  It is a national contract. It has become increasingly obvious that the delivery model prescribed under this contract is no longer fit for purpose.  Positive outcomes are very hard to achieve, and it is challenging to maintain the service requirements.  The reasons for this are linked to those identified by  Kahu Aroha (first report of the Ministerial Inquiry into Oranga Tamariki). Our project will develop a new approach, with mana whenua, that works for all rangatahi and their whānau – that weaves matauranga Māori and international knowledge.

Team members: Sarah Scott, Kena Duignan, Andrea McKenzie


Over the last two decades Netsafe has produced a huge back catalogue of educational content that is used by schools, parents and the wider community. However, busy people may not have time to work through it.  Netsafe also has knowledge of the challenges schools, kura and parents face through its helpline, which receives hundreds of calls from schools each year. 

The proposed solution is to develop interactive, online, micro learning moments from existing educational content, that is more likely to be picked up and used by teachers, parents and others in the community.  The material will be housed on the Netsafe’s new online Learning Management System, available 24/7, where data analytics can inform further iteration.

Co-design and user experience processes are key to ensuring the micro learning moments resonate with end users, ultimately making Netsafe’s educational offering more accessible and equitable.

Team members: Shelley Hirst, Leanne Ross


Migrant exploitation is pervasive in Aoteroa NZ and a modern form of slavery.  Vulnerable migrants are stripped of their dignity, face severe financial hardship and risk deportation if they leave their sponsoring employer.  It is currently too easy for exploiting employers to underpay and ill-treat migrant workers and then evade accountability.

VERI will raise awareness of exploitation and allow consumers to make informed choices about which restaurant, takeaway shop, liquor store, superette or other business they visit.  A robust verification process will assure consumers that employers are complying with minimum employment standards for all their staff.   Verified employers will receive a certification they can use in marketing and signage.  A smartphone app and website will provide verification details in different languages and also information about migrants’ stories and their journeys to Aotearoa as well as information on minimum employment rights and where to find employment and immigration advice.

VERI is a tool that will help to combat migrant exploitation, create a more level playing field for businesses and ensure manuhiri in Aotearoa are treated fairly and with respect and manaakitanga. VERI will help to ensure a more just and inclusive society for all, where everyone, regardless of ethnicity and immigration status is able to thrive and achieve their aspirations.

Team members: Dhilum Nightingale

GovTech Accelerator facilitator in Creative HQ office
GovTech Accelerator participant at Creative HQ office



The clothing and textile industry is one of the largest and most impactful industries in the world currently contributing about 10% of global emissions (about 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2e annually). By 2050 it is forecasted to consume >26% of the carbon budget associated with a 2°C pathway. UsedFULLY’s mission is to support the planet and all beings through systemic change and the circular design and decarbonisation of clothing and textiles. We aim to achieve this through the Usedfully® Resource Management Platform and the development of second-generation products.  This supports organisations and government to decarbonise operations by placing environmental data at the heart of procurement – tracking material flows, identifying and connecting to end-of-use circular pathways.  Generating metrics on environmental and financial impacts incentivising optimal resource management – valuing textile resources by maximising their use to minimise their impacts.

Team members: Bernadette Casey, Deborah Crowe, Peter Thompson

Girls who Grow

Girls who Grow wants to re-capture millions of tonnes of carbon from the air through New Zealand agri-businesses by unlocking the mindsets of the next generation of diverse New Zealanders woven with indigenous wisdom to reimagine the systems of agriculture. Girls who Grow hope to do this by building a Decentralised Autonomous Organisation (DAO) enabled by Web 3.0 where all stakeholders win – indigenous communities, people, planet and especially the environment. Curating an education hub on farm for young people to live, work and be educated bridging the divide between urban and rural, implementing commercially viable farm operations with a sustainable approach, and adopting indigenous knowledge and land use to capture carbon and implement regenerative land practices.

Team members: Catherine van der Meulen, Te Miringa Parkes, Aimee Blake, Ellen Varoy, Eli Pohio


CommonKind works at the cross-section of multiple problems; people are living in cold damp homes, safe wool products are inaccessible, community organisations lack resources and textile knowledge to manage textile design and procurement projects, wool farmers are unable to obtain viable prices, and stakeholders and changemakers in these sectors are siloed. We are a social enterprise that began by selling bespoke blankets that cover the cost of a second blanket to be gifted to a child in Aotearoa. We quickly realised another market would maximise impact for communities – producing fit-for-purpose wool solutions directly for community organisations.

CommonKind seeks to collaborate with iwi and governments, supporting stakeholders to pool resources and create efficiencies in procurement of durable goods that reduce material hardship. CommonKind facilitates fit-for-purpose solutions, builds innovative supply chains and manages projects that increase efficiency and deliver maximum impact, with the ultimate goal of sharing joy and warmth.

Team members: Kelly Olatunji, Olive Riley

Awhi Analytics

“What gets measured gets improved.” Measuring experienced wellbeing over the long-term is difficult, but it is an essential piece for evaluating social impact. Awhi Analytics is building a tool for measuring experienced wellbeing over time that offers youth development organisations a dual benefit: 1) real-time data that helps to decrease internal evaluation cycles allowing programme development to become more responsive and agile, and 2) an additional social impact indicator of experienced wellbeing so that organisations can better measure and demonstrate their positive social impact, secure more resources and grow their impact.

Team members: Debs Hancock, Adel Salmanzadeh

Ngā Mihi
Datacom, Take2 and Mr & Mrs Crawford

Ngā Mihi is a social enterprise that facilitates the purchase and delivery of preapproved goods to individuals within New Zealand Corrections Facilities (“NZCF”).  This service was developed by Take2 graduates who have experienced the struggle first-hand of not having easy access to their basic needs, such as socks, shoes, or underwear. Faced with this problem, Ngā Mihi has been on a mission to make things easier for both New Zealand prisoners and their whānaus by implementing a hassle-free and secure marketplace that allows the whānau and friends of prisoners to purchase prison-approved items. Ngā Mihi will help prisoners by restoring their sense of identity and well-being. This will be done by allowing prisoners to choose specific items for themselves and providing a stress-free process that prevents them from feeling guilty due to the sacrifices their whānau would previously have to make. Also, Ngā Mihi will increase job satisfaction for prison staff by reducing excessive communication with prisoners whānau when packages would get declined and decreases stress in whānau members due to saving them time and money. Understanding the problem from the inside, Ngā Mihi’s founders have ignited an idea that seeks not only to deliver products but to deliver understanding, dignity, and hope.

Team members: Valeria Osorio, Zoe Matthews, Jessica Parkes,
Nati Gebremichael, Kafolau Tila, Maria Perriton, Siosaia Maka, Jacob Gallagher,
Livinisitone Taufao