Archive for September, 2013

New Zealand tech company makes jump to USA, ready to crack American market

Monday, September 30th, 2013
Photo credit; Jeff Gunn on Flickr

Photo credit; Jeff Gunn on Flickr

New Zealand company Mako Networks, which helps businesses protect themselves from cybercrime, has opened an office in San Francisco and is ready to take a run at the American market.

The international expansion for the Auckland-headquartered company is largely due to research and development grants from the government, as well as the government-sponsored Kiwi Landing Pad in San Francisco, which helps Kiwi tech companies get a foothold in the USA.

“The Kiwi Landing Pad has served as a great base to help us get established here in North America,” said Simon Gamble, Mako’s co-founder and president for North America, adding that in its 18 months at the site, the firm had managed to secure US clients during that time and was now ‘graduating’ into its own office.

“We have significant plans for the US market and this new office is a pleasing milestone for us.”

Mako, which was started out in 2000 as YellowTuna Networks, offers cloud-based network management and security systems for companies that process credit cards.

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Serial spammer gets hit with huge fine

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

In a bit of news that will make anyone with an email inbox smile just a little, an Australian man who spammed New Zealand businesses has been fined $95,000 for doing so.

Photo credit; epSos .de on Flickr

Photo credit; epSos .de on Flickr

Wayne Robert Mansfield of Perth, Western Australia, sent hundreds of thousands of unsolicited emails to individuals ans organisations in New Zealand in 2010. The emails were promoting his company, Business Seminars NZ.

After more than 50 complaints from recipients who said they had no business contact with Mansfield’s company and had continued receiving messages even after unsubscribing from them, the Department of Internal Affairs decided to take legal action against Mansfield under the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act.

High Court Justice Edwin Wylie imposed a fine of $95,000 and awarded costs of more than $8000 against Mansfield in August 2013.

This wasn’t the first time Mansfield has been fined for spamming.

In 2006, Mansfield and his Perth-based company Clarity1 Pty Ltd were fined a total of A$5.5 million in the Australian Federal Court for sending 70 million spam emails to about 5 million recipients between 2004 and 2006.

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Dearly Beloved marries marriage and online business

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

New Zealand-based Dearly Beloved came into existence the same way so many online businesses do; the founder discovered a niche to fill when she herself was searching for something online that she couldn’t find.

Photo credit; Larry Lamsa on Flickr

Photo credit; Larry Lamsa on Flickr

In this case, that something was a comprehensive online wedding directory in New Zealand.

Dearly Beloved owner Juliet Blair was on a sabbatical in Germany with her soon-to-be-husband and the couple were planning to do some planning for their New Zealand wedding while they were in Europe, but they found a frustrating lack of available services to do that.

Blair shared her frustrations with a couple of German friends who happened to be software developers and three months later, in February of this year, she had her own online business up and running, which aims to help brides-to-be find what they need for their dream wedding quickly and efficiently.

While the business is just getting its feet under it now, Blair eventually plans to expand the business to Australia, Asia and the rest of the world for people interested in marrying in New Zealand.

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New Zealand carpet company horrified at online advertising gaff

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

A New Zealand carpet company was appalled that its online advertisements had been running on a social media site associate with a rash of teen suicides.

The site,, is aimed at insecure teenagers, who are encouraged to ask anonymous questions. But, showing social media’s dark potential, the site has attracted trolls who post spiteful comments on the site in response to the questions.

Ads from New Zealand’s Cavalier Bremworth were running on the site, prompting the company to request that Google cease running their ads on it.

Company spokeswoman Desiree Keown says the company’s media agency briefed Google on where to place its ads, but it was obviously ignored.

“I was alerted late yesterday afternoon and we asked immediately, our media agency contacted Google immediately to ask them to take it down.”

She says: “We were not happy at all to be associated with a website like this.

“It’s not a good look and obviously we were very concerned to have it removed immediately.”

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Supposed Google directory has no link to Google, investigated for fraud

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013
A New Zealand company calling itself GoogleDirectory and charging people thousands of dollars to be listed is now being investigated for fraud because it has no actual link to Google.
The company launched in July of this year but has been signing up companies since May, promoting itself as a new way for companies to market themselves online.

Fraud police are investigating a New Zealand company calling itself GoogleDirectory – set up with no links to the internet giant but which has listed thousands of businesses and state agencies.

The company launched last month, but had been signing on companies since at least May, promoting itself as a new online marketing tool.

Detective Senior Sergeant Aaron Pascoe, of the Auckland central police financial crime unit, said police had received several fraud complaints from businesses.

“The financial crime unit has received information about GoogleDirectory and we’re aware of allegations which has prompted us to look into it. We have spoken with a representative of the company,” he said.

Google, the search engine giant, has also launched its own investigation.

GoogleDirectory offered New Zealand businesses special internet advertisement packages ranging from $200 to $15,000.

The packages – which cost between $200 and $15,000 – promise to get a business advertised on its site, several other international websites and links to social media pages.

Business people who had been duped by GoogleDirectory said the company told them it was associated with Google and that the services they were purchasing would lead to a bonanza of online activity, none of which turned out to be true.

GoogleDirectory director Simon McLeod could not be tracked down by the New Zealand Herald for comment.

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Kickstarter expanding to New Zealand and Australia

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

Online crowd sourcing site Kickstarter has announced that it will open up to New Zealand and Australian projects in the near future.

Kickstarter is hosting sessions in Sydney and Melbourne this month for people who have project ideas.

Founded in 2009, Kickstarter allows people to pitch their ideas to the general public to solicit funding for their ideas to get made. Movies, video games, gadgets and music has all been funded through the U.S.-based site.

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