Sir Gil Simpson of Aoraki (Jade) Corporation, Dennis Chapman of Enatel and Ian Taylor of Virtual Spectator are the latest 'Flying Kiwis' to be included in the PricewaterhouseCoopers NZ Hi-Tech Hall of Fame. They now belong to a group of ICT luminaries who have received the award: Sir Angus Tait, Neville Jordan, Sir Woolf Fisher, Maurice Paykel, Peter Maire, Bill Gallagher and Trevor Eagle.
“It is the highest honour our hi-tech industry bestows upon an individual,” says NZ Hi-Tech Association chair Wayne Norrie. “You need to have shown inspiration, innovation and leadership over a sustained period of time to be considered.”
He adds, “ICT is largely a silent asset that can contribute to New Zealand Incorporated enormously. We need to stand out and be counted.”
More than 100 industry leaders were asked to put forward their nominations for the NZX Flying Kiwi award, resulting in some 35 nominations of whom the three recipients were considered to be the most deserving.
PricewaterhouseCoopers Partner and principal sponsor spokesperson, Scott Kerse, says it is incredibly important for New Zealand’s hi-tech industry to recognise its pioneers and the successes they are achieving. “We often fail to acknowledge the brilliance and inspiration that sits on our doorstep. We are fortunate to have so many of our Hi-Tech Hall of Fame members actively contributing to business today and being accessible to future generations of Flying Kiwis.”
Simpson developed a new programming language — LINC — that remains one of New Zealand’s most successful software exports.He was knighted in 2000 for his service to the computer industry and broader community, holds an honorary doctorate from Canterbury University and was recognised by the NZ Computer Society as having made the most outstanding contribution to computing in New Zealand in the 20th Century.
“You don’t have failure, it is just, from time to time, you have to postpone success,” says Simpson on how to manage success and failure.
Chapman established Swichtec Power Systems that he sold in 1998 for a $100 million. In 2005 Dennis Chapman established Enatel, which specialises in the design and manufacture of standby power solutions for telcommunications, wireless and industrial markets.
Ian Taylor is one of New Zealand’s leading Maori innovators and his company Virtual Spectator brought the America’s Cup into households around the world. He is also a share holder and director of Terralink International, a mapping and graphical information company. He has worked on landmark Maori graphic developments, including the award winning Moka Toa series and Whalewatch Kaikoura’s groundbreaking World of the Whales animated virtual tour.
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