The pilot groups have been announced, read more here.

Pilot Groups

We are delighted to introduce the groups we're currently working with for the Digital Cluster Initiative two-year Pilot. Both groups have a strong vision to digitally transform. Through digital, we will support these groups to collaborate and grow, to lift productivity, enhance discoverability, and explore new direct-to-consumer markets online. Together, we will show what's possible when you set digital at the heart of Kiwi business groups. Join us in welcoming these groups, and follow along for an exciting and innovative journey.

Te Tauranga Toi

Leading Māori artists and creatives who whakapapa to the Tauranga Moana region form a new Pilot cluster, led by an experienced iwi arts development team at Te Tuhi Mareikura Charitable Trust. The cluster includes internationally-renowned multi-disciplinary artist Tracey Tawhiao and esteemed master carver Clive Fugill, alongside many other equally diverse and celebrated Māori artists from the area. Trust chairperson Julie Paama-Pengelly, a tā moko artist, painter, and curator herself, and the project lead, knows ecommerce and digital capability can support artists to cross the digital divide and, more importantly, gain exposure. This Pilot will effectively create a regional, online art gallery space for authentic Māori art, where Tauranga Moana Māori artists can present their story and connections to Tauranga, and sell their work. It's a significant opportunity for the artist community, and for the wider regional area in terms of growth and development. Taking a partnership approach, the Trust will provide philosophical leadership and curatorial expertise to support the artists and help them navigate the art market and economics, as they embark on this digital journey.
Te Tauranga Toi
Together, the Trust and the Digital Cluster Initiative team are committed to ensuring the sovereignty and integrity of artists and their work, and strong representation of their stories. The digital platform will enable Tauranga Moana Māori artists to reach far beyond local, and into new markets online.

"This Pilot will help us fulfil our aspirations as Tauranga regional Māori artists, tangata whenua, and is part of a larger legacy project to cement Māori arts in the region. We hope to share the breadth of Māori artistic abilities with wider networks via digital, to uphold the legacy of art by Tauranga iwi into the future.

"Our five-year goal as a Trust is to create a Tauranga Moana Māori arts exhibition centre as a focal point for our artists, and this project helps us achieve that in the broader digital space." 

Julie Paama-Pengelly

Chairperson of Te Tuhi Mareikura Trust
Central Otago Wine

Central Otago Wine

World-renowned for its Pinot Noir and premium, boutique wines, this cluster will be built around more than 30 wineries and wine brands in Central Otago. Using digital capability and tools, the group aims to open up new markets and grow existing ones, encouraging greater discoverability of their wine brands both domestically and internationally. The impact of Covid has put the squeeze on usual industry channels but has also created opportunities, especially in the digital space. The Central Otago Wine cluster is keen to explore new, innovative ways to connect with consumers in a digital environment, in particular direct-to-consumer sales. The Digital Cluster Initiative will support these often small, family-owned businesses to unlock digital opportunities and channels, together. In a competitive market, brand is everything.

The cluster’s goal is not only to grow its brand awareness, but also to increase equity for the region and its members. Digital has the ability to connect winegrowers at the bottom of the globe with consumers worldwide. Beyond New Zealand they hope to expand opportunities abroad in key markets such as Australia, Asia, and beyond.

"After a rocky couple of years the Digital Cluster Initiative brings some much-needed good news to our wine region. The marketplace has excellent potential to boost direct-to-customer sales nationally and internationally, which can help grow brand recognition as well as profit margins. This Pilot gives our members an opportunity to use ecommerce to ensure the long-term viability of their businesses.

"We want to see our great region and all of our members digitally upskill and succeed."

Jake Tipler General Manager of Central Otago Winemakers Association

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