The pilot groups have been announced, read more here.
The Digital Cluster Initiative Pilot has now concluded. Thank you for your interest and support.
The pilot groups have been announced, read more here.
  • Helping Kiwi business groups digitally transform, collaborate and succeed, together.

A joint initiative brought to you by

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About the Initiative

The Digital Cluster Initiative is a new visionary model to achieve greater regional economic development through digital transformation, in New Zealand. A joint initiative between BNZ and Zeald, it aims to help Kiwi businesses and communities to prosper, and to thrive online.

Starting with a pilot, the Digital Cluster Initiative will partner with three business groups to build them into digitally-advanced "clusters" to show what's possible when state-of-the-art ecommerce and digital collaboration tools are put at the heart of Kiwi business communities. Groups will be supported to lift performance and to grow, with dedicated digital support.

Using a "cluster" framework, each pilot group will be set up with ecommerce, a centralised digital marketplace, and wraparound support. They will be helped to establish their brand and position in the market, unlock and leverage digital benefits, and overcome common obstacles that many Kiwi businesses often face...

Read More

Paul Conway, Chief Economist of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (formerly BNZ) and David Kelly (Zeald) share their vision for Kiwi businesses and communities.
Brandon Jackson (BNZ) and Jarra Borman (Zeald), explain what pilot clusters will receive.

Benefits & Partnership

The Digital Cluster Initiative aims to digitally transform existing Kiwi business groups using ecommerce and collaboration. Wraparound digital and marketing support will help groups to grow and succeed, together.
For the pilot, the Digital Cluster team will work with three Kiwi business networks or groups, to show what digital transformation can achieve for New Zealand businesses.
Each group will become a case study showing how "digital clustering" is done, and contribute to refining the initiative blueprint that will be rolled out across the regions, beyond the pilot.
The three selected business clusters will benefit from wraparound support that sets them up for digitally-driven success domestically, and ultimately for export markets, too. We want to show how digital transformation can achieve greater economic development and success in New Zealand.
Join us, and be part of the journey.

  • Download our What To Expect document This document outlines what successful pilot business groups will get, what's required of them, and what the two-year process will look like.
  • Download Now

How to apply in 3 easy steps


Identify your cluster type.
Click here to read more about cluster types.


Have a look at the application questions to make sure you have all the information you need.


When you are ready to start the application process, fill out the application form.

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The three types of Digital Clusters

Traditional Cluster

A cluster of businesses based around a geographical area and with an area of specialisation.

Virtual Cluster

A cluster of businesses with an area of specialisation but not based around a specific geographical area.

Local Cluster

A cluster of businesses that is very localised or regionalised but that doesn't have any one area of specialisation.

What are Clusters?

What are Clusters?

Clusters are essentially groups of businesses working together to solve common problems and to build inclusive growth, through collaboration and scale. Strong clusters shape a region's economic future. The cluster economics model is nuanced. When applied, it is specific to a group of businesses and based on their individual strengths, and needs. This nuanced approach highlights that different regions have got different opportunities.

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What is a cluster?

Clusters are groups of interconnected businesses, suppliers and associated institutions. As trust develops, successful clusters engage to address joint opportunities and problems, and to benefit from scale.

A digital cluster is what we will create through this initiative, by putting digital tools - in the form of ecommerce, a centralised digital marketplace, and digital marketing - at the heart of an existing business group. Our aim is to enable digital transformation for the group as a whole, and to propel the cluster into new and bigger markets.

What is digital transformation?

Digital transformation is the process of adopting digital tools to improve your business processes and increase revenue.

Through this initiative, we will place digital tools - in the form of ecommerce, a centralised digital marketplace, and digital marketing - at the heart of an existing business group. Our aim is to enable digital transformation for the group as a whole, and to propel the clusters and business networks into new and bigger markets.

Where did this initiative come from - how did BNZ and Zeald connect?

The Digital Cluster Initiative comes from a true 'meeting of the minds'. When Paul Conway (then BNZ) and David Kelly (Zeald) were connected through the Digital Boost Alliance, they quickly realised the potential to create something transformative, practical, and productive for New Zealand, together. Read more about the origins of the initiative here.

Formally, the initiative is a joint Commitment made by BNZ and Zeald as members of the Digital Boost Alliance, and aligns with the Alliance's vision to help small businesses and communities to lift their use of digital technologies in Aotearoa.

Who is Zeald?

Zeald is New Zealand's most established website design and digital transformation agency for Kiwi small to medium businesses. For 20 years, Zeald has worked at the forefront of digital technology in New Zealand, specialising in ecommerce and web development. Since 2001, Zeald has worked with more than 15,000 small to medium businesses to digitally transform, processed more than $2billion in ecommerce transactions locally, and upskilled more than 50,000 people through its education programmes including seminars, webinars, workshops, digital skills training and internships. Find out more about Zeald here.

What is the Digital Boost Alliance?

Digital Boost Alliance is a group of key players in our digital economy who want Aotearoa to become a high-performing digital nation, faster. Members include organisations, companies, corporates and businesses, who are committed to helping accelerate the use of digital technologies across New Zealand. BNZ and Zeald are two founding members of the Digital Boost Alliance. Visit for more information.

  • Download our Commitment Document This document is our formal Commitment to the Digital Boost Alliance, and outlines the Digital Cluster Initiative.
  • Download Now