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Movers and shakers: Manukau Institute of Technology's 'smart campus'

Movers and shakers: Manukau Institute of Technology's 'smart campus'

Plus: New CIO and ICT executive appointments and NZ's Talent Unleashed Awards winners

Para Ganesan is now the CIO of IHC, an organisation providing services to the special needs sector. Ganesan was most recently CIO at the Tertiary Education commission and CTO at the NZ Transport Agency.

MIT’s ‘smart campus’

Manukau Institute of Technology has opened its ‘smart’ campus.

Minister of Tertiary Education, Steven Joyce and Auckland Mayor, Len Brown officially opened the facility, which includes the $100 million building for the Faculty of Business and IT and School of Logistics.

MIT head of ICTS Peter Gardner has cited the "smart campus" as among the top projects of his team in this year’s CIO100.

The environmentally friendly building is fitted out with fast wireless technology and a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) system. The new Manukau campus has been purpose-built for wireless access across a full range of learning spaces, and fully embraces BYOD, said Gardner. MIT is number 54 in the list, which profiles the biggest ICT using organisations in New Zealand.

“IT will be used to provide a more flexible learning environment with the BYOD strategy and allowing for more mobility of staff with laptop rollouts,” he said. Students will be able to access the internet, as well as MIT’s online platforms, software applications, course materials and collaborative tools from their own laptops, tablets or smartphones.

The facility at the Manukau campus is a mix of closed, open and social study spaces to support individual and group work. Among its features are specialist spaces like computer labs, media, hardware and network labs.

Talent Unleashed Awards winners

The following winners of the New Zealand's top technology talent in the 2014 Talent Unleashed Awards will move through the global finals which will be be judged by Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group and Steve Wozniak, Apple cofounder.

Rising Star Award: Tom Wallace, Founder of Re-Leased

Best Start-Up Award: Frances Valintine, Chairperson of the Board and Director of The Mind Lab

Community Impact Award: David Hillier, Founder of Little Lot

Digital Content Award: Chris South, Head of Dynamic Services, Network 4 Learning platform

Inspirational Leadership Award: Neeraj Lala, General Manager, Marketing, and Product Planning & Used Vehicles at Toyota, New Zealand.

The regional judges include Candace Kinser, CEO of The New Zealand Technology Industry Association, and Kalman Bekes, CTO of Auckland based movie marketing company, Movio.

Adrian Jones is now senior vice president for its Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) region at Symantec. Jones has held senior leadership roles with technology companies across multiple geographies. Most recently he was the general manager and senior vice president of Oracle Asia Pacific.

“The need for protecting and managing information has never been more important. Symantec’s tremendous assets and scale position it uniquely to capture an increasing share of this market,” said Jones.

Lindsay Renwick is appointed business development executive at Wellington-based software company Syl Semantics.

Read more: How ‘Shadow IT’ can encourage young women into tech careers

Renwick held sales and management roles at major IT organisations including IBM, Telecom, and Fronde over the past 10 years.

The company also recently announced the appointments of John Holt as chairman, and returned ex-pat New Zealander Andrew Hull as chief operating officer.

New Zealand's first private neighbourhood website

Casey Eden launches the first private neighbourhood website neighbourly.co.nz after a pilot in five suburbs in Auckland.

Read more: ‘Shadowing’ encourages female students to consider IT careers

By creating an easy way for neighbours to talk and share online, Eden hopes the website will create more connections in the “real world”. Members, for instance, can create free and private websites for their suburbs to exchange advice, find and make recommendations for local services, discuss local crime, locate and locate lost pets.

All neighbourhoods are private and members must be address verified, she says, and information shared on Neighbourly does not appear when using search engines. The site is backed by Shane Bradley, founder of GrabeOne and Finda.

Send news tips and comments to divina_paredes@idg.co.nz

Follow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinap

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