2022 CIO Awards Winners

New Zealand CIO of the Year

New Zealand’s CIO of the Year will demonstrate how they have positioned the role of CIO strategically within the company. They will be able to show innovation and key successes achieved in the past 12 months and into the future and show how this fits with the company's overall business strategy.

Sponsored by:

Tū Ora Compass Health

Alistair Vickers

Alistair Vickers is the Chief Information Officer (CIO) / Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) of Tū Ora Compass Health, the largest primary health organisation in the lower North Island and, an essential part of the regional health ecosystem. Vickers has been the driving force behind Tū Ora’s major digital transformation initiative to support the organisation’s strategic vision – “empowered patients and whānau supported by great primary care in connected communities.” Vickers demonstrated that the ICT strategy acts as an enabler of the organisation’s business strategies, greater resiliency, better collaboration between Tū Ora Compass Health and its partners, and strengthening the safety of its customers’ data.

In 2019, Tū Ora Compass Health experienced a particularly challenging time, caused by the complexity of managing many legacy applications and a complex system which proved to be prone to cyberattacks. With Vickers as CIO, the company remained strong in challenging times, and pushed forward towards building a system that is safe, secure, and better aligned with company strategy.

Vickers's leadership style is described by his peers as “a whole of system thinker, who can not only think through an end-to-end ICT system, but also the impact it has on the wider business and ultimately, the communities that we serve”. His vision about empowerment became Vickers’s superpower and served well when COVID-19 arrived. The groundwork of user training and new tech delivered in the months prior to the first lockdown helped the company to move to a virtual paradigm at short notice and to keep serving the community to the highest standard.


Saba Samiei

Saba Samiei is the founder and CEO of MACSO Technologies and Comfort.AI, companies that seek to realise the potential of AI and spread information about AI ethics. Starting at a young age, Samiei has always focused on making artificial intelligence not only accessible but also a part of everyday life.

With MACSO, the goal is to create an AI capable of replicating human senses. Presently, the MACSO AI has been used to create sensors for early detection of respiratory illnesses in livestock. There are multiple projects in the pipeline, with an overarching idea of early detection allowing for preventative measures. Comfort.AI delivers workshops to non-technical audiences to improve their confidence to introduce AI into the business.

Samiei has initiated and led multiple projects throughout her career. She has worked as a transformation director at Westpac NZ, spending time establishing processing and organizing and facilitating ideation sessions and hackathon-style events! With Comfort.AI, Samiei has guided companies in leverage existing AI technology in a strategic and ethical manner. Her interest and passion in AI technology are clear through her participation in a variety of events, and her volunteering at the FLINT Auckland Leadership program with TUANZ. Samiei has been nominated and won several awards and accolades, most recently the NZ Compare Young Professional of the Year award. She actively educates the public about AI, making it “everybody’s comfort zone”.
Emerging ICT Leader of the Year

The Emerging ICT Leader Award celebrates and encourages the exceptional ICT talent of professionals under the age of 33 years (on 8 August 2022). We are looking for the future CIO’s and leaders of the ICT sector in New Zealand; people who have demonstrated outstanding ICT initiative.

Sponsored by:

Business Transformation through Digital and IT

This award honours the achievements of organisations that have successfully planned and executed a Business Transformation initiative or initiatives through the use of digital and disruptive technologies. By using technology to innovate and transform their business they have produced a range of benefits for the organisation.

Sponsored by:

ProCare Network Ltd

ProCare supplies healthcare services to consumers and to healthcare professionals across New Zealand. It has a focus on improving equitable access to healthcare services.

The organisation jointly with Southern Cross created CareHQ, a digital platform where people book virtual healthcare appointments with approved GPs if their primary GP is not available. This reduces delay and reduces the travel burden for patients seeking healthcare. The serviced launched in the early COVID-19 era, and as medical centres became overwhelmed and summer holidays loomed, medical centres took up the service to support their practices.

The company then developed UnifyHealth, a platform enabling high need whanau to access subsidised online consultations leveraging CareHQ. As a patient signs up, UnifyHealth identifies their enrolled consultation cost and applies that to virtual consultations with other GPs that the patient is not enrolled with. This removes a significant barrier to healthcare; additional cost.

ProCare took a co-design approach on both projects, including discovery workshops with a GP focus group, developing and refining user stories. ProCare celebrated its 1,000th telehealth consultancy in July 2022 and says it has improved telehealth engagement by 400% for Māori communities and 1,600% for Pasifika communities. These digital solutions are enabling integrated, and more equitable access to comprehensive primary care teams and community providers.

Tōnui Collab Charitable Trust

Tōnui Collab is a values-led kaupapa-driven charitable trust and specialist bilingual education lab dedicated to creating innovative STEMM (Science, technology, engineering, maths, mātauranga Māori) learning opportunities for tamariki and rangatahi in Tairāwhiti. To date Tōnui Collab has created STEMM learning experiences for over 20,000 young people and counting.

The organisation runs single-day and multi-day wānanga and after school clubs to provide young people with experiences in animation, virtual reality, game development, robotics, graphic design, and more. In the post-COVID era, Tōnui Collab has adopted a mobile strategy taking STEMM learning opportunities into schools, kura, marae, and community spaces, helping to address accessibility barriers.

These experiences help make STEMM career pathways more visible for young people and their whānau. Insights from the past two years of operation have identified the important role whānau play in supporting and influencing rangatahi to pursue STEMM education and Tōnui Collab invites whānau to join in the learning, highlighting to whānau the successes of Māori and Pasifika role models in STEMM, and sharing with whānau the steps rangatahi can take to align their education into a STEMM career.

Tōnui Collab partners with others interested in supporting rangatahi to thrive in STEMM including schools, iwi, Matai Research, and Ministry of Education. Tōnui Collab has a mixed sustainability model including community funding and revenue generating activities.
Community Tech Champions

The Community Tech Champions Award honours and showcases outstanding initiatives promoting digital inclusion with the goal of educating, exposing and engaging New Zealanders previously underrepresented in the ICT sector. Programmes should address diversity issues and encourage or develop New Zealand’s digital capabilities.

Sponsored by:

Best ICT Team Culture & Inclusion

The Best ICT Team Culture & Inclusion Award recognises outstanding ICT team culture, recruitment, inclusion, and diversity practices that contributes to the team's success. The ICT industry is challenged by skills shortages, and today has a strong focus on Diversity & Inclusion at board and executive levels. Practices, policies, and strategies that foster a modern, inclusive, and open workforce and team culture lead to excellence in retention and nurturing of a diverse IT staff and drive a competitive advantage for the entire organisation. The aim of this award is to celebrate organisations that recognise how culture and inclusion enables business success and that see recruitment, retention, and training future talent as a key part of the integral recipe for high performing IT teams.

Sponsored by:

Bank of New Zealand

The ICT team at Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) makes it crystal clear that customers always come first. The BNZ ICT team strives to provide high quality and efficient banking services to support its customers and strengthen partnerships. BNZ's Technology team’s dedication and a strong focus on providing New Zealanders with digital services that are simple and easy to use, plays a paramount part in company’s delivery on its purpose. BNZ's technology vision is to be the ‘Tech Shop of choice, powering BNZ’s digital future’. To support its digital-first ambition, the team made a strategic decision to merge its Technology and Digital teams together. This change enabled BNZ to deliver the best possible technology solutions for customers and colleagues, in a more effective way. The team became stronger and evolved as a unit, having a clear vision for the future and feeling highly motivated.

Strong team culture allowed the BNZ ICT team to get through challenging times, caused by COVID-19 disruption, together. An initiative called Heartbeat, gives all BNZ employees a chance to submit anonymous feedback and express their feelings about working for the Bank. This initiative helped strengthen team culture, as people feel heard, included, respected, and valued. To support its employees, especially those who joined the team during the pandemic, the Bank kicked off a #TogetherAgain campaign, encouraging all BNZers to reunite and enjoy being together again as a team. Their Tech teams are actively involved in, support and champion, company-wide ‘live chats’ with the Executive and Tech leadership, celebrate ‘Wins of the Week’, proudly wear ‘Tech T-Shirts’, and are all encouraged to acknowledge and engage in in regular diversity and inclusion focused events such as Samoan Language Week, Matariki and Diwali. These initiatives bring the ICT Team at BNZ together in a meaningful, inclusive and authentic way, allowing them to give the best to their customers and the community.

Auckland Council

The ICT Innovation team at Auckland Council is a small team supporting the Auckland region. Its mission is to develop innovative IoT solutions that provide data-driven sustainability outcomes in the Auckland region. With little budget available, the small team took a design thinking approach. This let them be innovative and flexible in delivery and capability, but also low-cost and effective with experimental solutions.

The team has a range of solutions already live in place including monitoring stream pollution levels, helping reduce Kauri dieback, and predator trap activation notifications. They experiment to find the right device endpoints for real world situations, use a variety of network connectivity options, have a self-healing network, and much of the code is open source.

The positive feedback the team is receiving means the team now has dozens of projects in the pipeline, while also working with community groups to create a bigger change. They say educating communities around what the technology can do in terms of outcomes is key to generating demand. The team looks forward to using data collected for predictive analytics and helping councils, communities and private organizations make better decisions for the environment. 
Sustainability Through Technology

The Sustainability through Technology Award, sponsored by Younity, honours the achievements of organisations that have successfully planned and executed a sustainability initiative(s) through the use of technology. Using technology and innovation to drive a sustainable initiative within an organisation that has produced a range of benefits for the organisation and/ or communities. The initiative or project could address any/or all of the three pillars of sustainability: economic, environmental, and social (profits, planet and people).

Sponsored by:

Outstanding Contribution to Technology and 
​Business in New Zealand

This award is given to a high profile business person from a public or private company whose contribution has significantly and uniquely impacted the greater New Zealand or global business community in an information technology sense over the course of his or her career. The award recognises people at the intersection of business and technology. That could be someone who has had a long and successful career in IT, who has contributed significantly to the effectiveness of business through technology, or someone who has had great success in a technology company. The recipient is selected by the judging panel. However, if you believe you know a worthy candidate please drop us a line and let us know why you think they should be considered.

Sponsored by:

Tū Ora Compass Health

Peter Beck


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