CIO Awards winners driving sustainability, data and future champions

Published on the 15/08/2023 | Written by Heather Wright

CIO Awards winners driving sustainability, data and future champions

NZRC’s Angela Nash takes top honours… 

Angela Nash has taken out the title of New Zealand CIO of the Year at the 2023 CIO Awards, which saw both Auckland and Christchurch City council’s claiming awards, alongside Te Aka Toitu Trust and Southern Cross Travel Insurance. 

Seven awards were presented at last night’s gala dinner, as the CIO Summit, of which the awards are part, returned to Auckland for the first time in four years.   

Nash, who is the chief information and technology officer for New Zealand Rugby Commercial, took the hotly contested top award, beating out finalists Michael Oulsnam from the University of Canterbury, Real Estate Institute of NZ’s Miles Fordyce and Sean Bishop from Chapman Tripp.

“Each one has thrived through disruption, creating meaningful and impactful outcomes.” 

Under Nash’s leadership, NZ Rugby Commercial launched a Data Centre of Excellence and Data Governance Committee with representation from all business units and key stakeholders, and a re-architecting and rebuilding of the data warehouse and SSO solution to scale rapidly.  

The work has enabled NZRC to move technology forward within the wider organisation, which, as the name suggests, looks after the commercial revenue interests of the All Blacks, Black Ferns (pictured) and other teams under NZ Rugby, negotiating such things as the Altrad sponsorship and the Silver Lake private equity deal. Nash says she’s set a goal for NZRC to be the leaders in utilising technology inside rugby in ways not seen before, creating back-end systems that deliver world-class capability to commercial and rugby teams both on and off the field.  

The award for Outstanding Contribution to Technology and Business in New Zealand went to Vaughan Fergusson, founder of high-growth company Vend and co-founder for the Pam Fergusson Charitable Trust, which runs learning workships for children, youth mentorships, tech programs for Maori communities volunteering programs. Fergusson, who received the award for his outstanding contribution to not just business and technology but the next generation of Aotearoa’s tech talent, is also co-founder of the Karioi eco-lodge and enviro-tech education centre, Institute of Awesome, a charitable initiative of the Pam Fergusson trust. 

The evening’s third individual award went to Datacom’s Alex Corkin, who was named Emerging ICT Leader of the Year.  

Louise Francis, IDC New Zealand country manager, says the winners and finalists in this year’s awards demonstrated ‘the truly transformative role technology can have across organisations and communities’. 

“Instead of accepting the status quo that change is too hard or complicated, each one has thrived through disruption, creating meaningful and impactful outcomes beyond the virtual walls of the organisation,” Francis says. 

Auckland Council won the Business Transformation through Digital and ICT for its work developing a low cost, high impact solution using a data telemetry network, open source and real-time data reporting technologies which enables efficiency, planning and decision making. The solution delivers a triple bottom line of business value, environmental impact and community empowerment and has created a foundation for future innovations such as water resource monitoring, waste processing and building energy/carbon impact reporting. 

Te Aka Toitu Trust, which enables low decile students in Whakatane and Kawerau to access affordable devices, quality connectivity and digital learning, took out the award for 2023 Community Tech Champions.  

Southern Cross Travel Insurance bet out Fisher & Paykel Appliances and Corys Electrical to win Best ICT Team Culture and Inclusion. The organisation created a digital, data and infrastructure team, bringing all digital roles together with a devops model and one team approach embraced. 

Christchurch City Council claimed the award for Sustainability through Technology for its Smart Christchurch program which co-creates and trials innovative solutions and approaches for the city, including water quality monitoring, earthquake sensing, rubbish bin contents sensing and an early fire detection network.  

“With the extraordinary talent and aspirations of these digital leaders we have celebrated tonight, the path to equitable digital excellence in Aotearoa is well lit for those who follow in their footsteps,” Francis says.  


The full list of winners and finalists is:  


New Zealand CIO of the Year 2023 – Sponsored by CompTIAWinner: Angela Nash, Chief Information and Technology Officer, New Zealand Rugby Commercial.  


Sean Bishop, Chief Digital Officer, Chapman Tripp 

Miles Fordyce, Chief Digital Officer, Real Estate Institute of NZ (REINZ) 

Michael Oulsnam, Chief Digital Officer, University of Canterbury 


2022 Outstanding Contribution to Technology and Business in New Zealand – Sponsored by Sharp 

Recipient – Vaughan Fergusson  


Emerging ICT Leader of the Year – Sponsored by 2degrees WINNER: Alex Corkin, Datacom 


Farhein Akmal, Ministry of Health 

Tom Caunce, University of Canterbury 


Business Transformation through Digital and IT – Sponsored by ClearPoint  

Winner:Auckland CouncilFinalists: 

Fisher & Paykel Appliances 

ProCare Network Limited 

The Real Estate Institute of NZ (REINZ)  


Community Tech Champions – Sponsored by Workday  

Winner:Te Aka Toitū TrustFinalists: 

Manaiakalani Education Trust 

Te Kei o Te Waka Tainui 

University of Canterbury  


Best ICT Team Culture and Inclusion – Sponsored by Juniper Networks  

Winner:Southern Cross Travel InsuranceFinalists: 

Corys Electrical 

Fisher & Paykel Appliances 


Sustainability through Technology – Sponsored by Younity  

Winner: Christchurch City CouncilFinalists: 

ONE New Zealand  


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