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Our B:TEAM love keeping tabs on the awesome range of things that make up our unique community. Check out what B:HIVE members have been up to on our blog below or follow us on social.


Save the Kiwi gets New Zealand's GOAT

Date: 01/11/21

Our B:HIVE kiwi conservators have been a tad busy over lockdown.

First there’s the name change – from Kiwis for kiwi to “Save the Kiwi”. And a little bird tells me that The Hatchery, a branding agency at the B:HIVE, helped with the rebrand.

Next came scoring New Zealand’s GOAT in a boat – Lisa Carrington. For those of you who are not sure what that means , it’s the title “Greatest of All Time – in a boat” that the NZ Herald gave Carrington after she won three gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics.

Carrington has become the latest Save the Kiwi ambassador, joining Sir John Key and Helen Clark among others. Part of Carrington's involvement with Save the Kiwi will include an education campaign about dogs and kiwi over the summer holidays, featuring her own canine Colin.

Carrington said serving as an ambassador was one way she can give back to New Zealand after receiving so much support during her Olympic campaign this year.

"The kiwi is so important to our identity as New Zealanders; not only are we known as 'Kiwis' around the world, Aotearoa has such unique wildlife," she said. "I want to be a part of it surviving for the future generations." Carrington was named an ambassador during Save the Kiwi Week late October.

The team gave us a couple of facts to think about: An average of 27 kiwi are killed by predators every week. That's a population decline of around 1,400 kiwi every year, or two per cent. At this rate, kiwi may disappear from the mainland in our lifetime. Just one hundred years ago, kiwi numbered in the millions. A single roaming dog can wipe out an entire kiwi population in a matter of days.

For more information, and to check out Save the Kiwi's new re-brand click here.

SalesStar’s a finalist in NZ’s International Business Awards

Date: 03/11/21

Paul O’Donohue and his SalesStar team are having to sit on their hands before they find out if they have won in the New Zealand International Business Awards.

Supposed to have been announced at a big black-tie event in October, COVID and its interminable lockdown/levels has seen the results pushed out until February 2022.

SalesStar is a finalist in two categories – Excellence in Digital Transformation and Australia-New Zealand business leader Kat Davey is a nominee in the Inspiring Women Leaders Award.

Paul says he and the team are proud, as these are the first awards SalesStar has entered:

“What is it they say about the painter’s house, or the mechanic’s car? As someone reminded us recently: ‘You’re a fantastic transformational sales company, but what are you doing about selling yourself?’.

“A good look in the mirror and we decided it’s time the world heard more about SalesStar and our determination to go global.”

SalesStar already has established practices in Australia, the United Kingdom, Sweden, the United States and now in Mexico.

And in a perfect case study for how the B:HIVE encourages collaboration, Simon Anderson (Level One) has just partnered in and set up SalesStar Digital with the global team. Just as SalesStar has taken itself global by digitalising its sales training, that has now been extended to lead generation for SalesStar and its clients.

Yarn puts a bee in Greta's bonnet

Date: 02/11/21

The B:HIVE’s indie ad agency Yarn created headlines around the world recently when it stung Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg in her home town!

Yarn creative directors Rich Robson and Matt Sellars saw Thunberg hit out at New Zealand for not doing anything to tackle the climate crisis and the team thought “hell” our pizza client might have something to say about that.

Yarn founder Heath Davy says billboards that suggested Thunberg could go to Hell Pizza for 100% carbon neutral deliveries in New Zealand, first went up around the country. The campaign immediately attracted a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority. That got squashed.

Next, the team targeted Stockholm, placing one billboard 300 metres from Thunberg’s home. But that was not before one that country’s largest agencies was served with a legal threat to stop the billboards being erected.

Davy says a multi-national agency stepped up to the plate to help and the rest is history. Photos of the billboard went around the world.

Hell CEO Ben Cumming says: “The campaign hits all the right notes for us – engaging, polarising opinions and generating discussion on an important matter.”

Toi Toi tipple takes gold

Date: 02/11/21

If you have ever had a cheeky wee red at the B:HIVE Friday drinks (don’t we all miss it!), chances are it may have been from one of our fellow B:HIVEr's Toi Toi Wines.

You might be interested to know that Toi Toi’s Pinot Noir Clutha 2020 has won a gold medal in the recent New World Wine Awards. That means it scored 95 points and is one of the top 50 wines across all varietals.

Kevin Joyce, the principal of Toi Toi who you will (usually) find with his team on Level Two, is delighted as it’s the first time the pinot noir has been entered in the awards for wines under $25. But winemaker and viticulturalist Tim Adams is even more chuffed after having to deal with challenging grape growing conditions, coupled with COVID-19 restrictions.

“I kind of let the wine make itself,” he says. “It’s wild fermented and we did gentle plunging, treating the fruit with gentle hands. We wanted to enhance the fruit, not over extract the tannins.”

Congratulations to the Toi Toi team. We can’t wait to taste it… if there’s any left after shoppers get the score. It is on special at New World stores this month at $21.99 or at Blackmarket.

Unvest unlocks crypto value – from the B:HIVE

Date: 17/11/21

Cryptocurrency and the world of decentralised finance (DeFi) is probably still a mystery to most of us.

But the B:HIVE is the home of one the world’s leading disruptors when it comes to unlocking the value of digital assets. Unvest is a cross-chain DeFi protocol for trading unvested tokens and it has attracted investors and traders from throughout the world.

It’s the brainchild of Kiran Matthews. You may have seen him, often sporting a wide brim hat and a growing amount of ink, hanging out at Friday drinks before lockdown.

It all started when the majority of his early investment in a crypto project was locked for a two-year period. When those tokens increased significantly in value, Kiran was a tad annoyed he couldn’t cash out some of his gain.

So back in April this year he invented a platform to change that. Unvest’s first product is “Liquid Vesting Tokens” or LVTs, that means projects who distribute using Unvest’s protocol can offer their early investors the option to realise gains early by selling the LVT within the vesting period. The LVTs can then be redeemed 1:1 at the end of the vesting period, or be traded an unlimited number of times securely on-chain.

As we have all seen, crypto like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin have huge surges and crashes – Doge did on the back of a flippant remark by Elon Musk.

So how does Unvest make any money? Unvest’s protocol takes a 2.5% fee every time an LVT is transferred between wallets. In the future these rewards will also be made available to the Unvest community who will be able to stake their UNV holdings to receive a share of the fees accumulated by the various projects using Unvest’s services. 

Unvest raised funds from international investors including GD10 Ventures and x21 Digital, so COO James Rohloff says it can quietly grow its product offering over the next few years without having to be too concerned by the high volatility of the crypto industry. 

Suffice it to say Unvest intends to be a one stop powerhouse to assist the launch of new crypto products. And from a platform that kicked off at the beginning of September it has shown plenty of muscle. According to, the price of Unvest (UNV) coin is sitting at around US$0.09, up over 300% from its listing price.  UNV coins can be bought and sold on exchanges such as Uniswap and Pancakeswap.

To learn more click here.

Drawn to the B:HIVE buzz

Date: 10/03/22

Sky Reidy is a huge fan of flexible working spaces and it was inevitable she would eventually lead her team to the B:HIVE.

As Moustache Republic’s chief strategy officer and general manager (NZ) Sky was thrilled to settle her team on Level three in the last week of February.

Sky’s passion for flexible working was fuelled when she was lucky enough to visit the world’s WeWork in 2016 in the United States, on an International Business Exchange while attending The Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) at the University of New South Wales.

“We visited WeWork San Francisco as part of our MBA business exchange and were lucky to meet one of the founders Adam Neumann,” she says. That same year WeWork was chosen by  Fortune magazine as one of its three unicorns to bet on.

Flexible workspaces fit well with Sky’spassionate for digital transformation and design thinking and are a crucial part of Moustache Republic’s strategy to offer a remote first policy to its 30 Kiwi staff.

Moustache Republic’steam of digital commerce innovators, designers and developers are based in Auckland, Sydney and Manila. The company has grown by 30 per cent in the past year in NZ and has doubled the size of its Australian office.

Newsflash: Moustache Republic has been announcedas winners of the 2021 @Bigcommerce ‘Agency Partner of The Year Award | APAC’ and the ‘B2B Excellence Award | APAC’ for their work with Bobux. What an amazing start to enjoying the team’s new home at the B:HIVE.

Boomerang Ellie bounces into B:HIVE

Date: 04/03/22

Ellie Shedden is a true international citizen.

Born a Kiwi, she lived a chunk of her childhood in Australia, returned to New Zealand and boomeranged back to Oz.
But Melbourne was a mere bounce for a degree and to start work in the construction sector. By age 26 Ellie, a now well-travelled business woman, was promoted to the Czech Republic as a senior corporate services manager with a portfolio of projects - budget US$40 million.

Then love entered the picture – of her Venezuelan partner Sarkis Agobian and the Czech Republic.
“Who wouldn’t love being in the centre of Europe with the ease of travel and such culture,” she laughs. “Sarkis and I love it there.”

But there was only one way to meet the visa rules around staying – quit her job and start her own company. OOP Clicks was born (the name comes from Ellie and references “ Alley Oop”, an old song  and French circus acrobatic move).

Ellie built a substantial digital affiliate marketing business, think retail, tourism, banks, airlines… by reaching out to her network and aligning with one of the world’s biggest affiliate networks.

Next came COVID. The pair needed somewhere safe and Ellie, a Kiwi by birth, soon found Sarkis could get a partner visa as a permanent resident to join her in Auckland. She sold the business and secured the Australasian market for the affiliate network.

Elle brought OOP Marketing into the B:HIVE in February this year and quickly found out that New Zealand marketers don’t really understanding the value of affiliate marketing.

That’s something she is helping change – with agility that would be the envy of any circus acrobat.

Louise is walking the talk

Date: 08/03/22

Remember what your grandmother told you – “take a deep breath”? It might sound old fashioned, but it works. Breathing is one of a suite of tools at our fingertips as we travel through Omicron, according to our resident B:HIVE preventative medicine expert Dr Louise Schofield.

Put more scientifically, slow breathing allows the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain associated with rational thought to come back in charge instead of the more emotional amygdala; which processes emotions associated with fear.  

Louise, whose PhD is in public health, co-founded PreKure® three and a half years ago with her husband Prof Grant Schofield and a group of nine academics and health professionals.

PreKure’s team of health coaches, mental health coaches, researchers, and cliniciansfocus on helping us to live longer, healthier lives without chronic disease.

PreKure is the third start up in the medical field that Louise has headed. The previous two were The Real Food Publishing Company (2015) and Vitality Works NZ (2010).

“They have all been in health and wellbeing,” says Louise, “because if you haven’t got your health nothing else matters. Little changes can make a massive difference.”

If you don’t see Louise around the B:HIVE as much these days, it is because she and Grant have relocated to the Coromandel. Louise travels to the B:HIVE a couple of days a week. The couple was worried how their previously active son Danny (12) was spending all day on a computer station during covid lockdown. School work? Maybe…
Now he is riding round town on his bike, swimming in the ocean, or building huts down the creek.

Louise is helping the family walk the PreKure talk.

A little respect please

Date: 09/03/22

A B:HIVE based mother and daughter team are on a mission to promote the trade industry.

Trade Jobs NZ founder and director Colleen Getley, who has 30 years of experience in HR and recruitment, joined her designer daughter Kim to establish Trade Jobs NZ in May, 2020.

The aim was to provide a purpose-built platform for the industry and grow the reputation of trades people.
“It’s great because we have different skill sets,” says Kim. “Mum in HR and recruitment, and me in advertising, marketing and the creative side.We have a close relationship and say it how it is - we respect each other’s side of things.

Both spotted a gap in the market when they started Trade Job NZ.

Covid created growing demand. Increased building activity and government-backed infrastructure projects, combined with border restrictions reducing the flow of skilled workers into the country, has meant the industry has been facing a skills shortage for some time - 178,000 tradies are needed in New Zealand.

They also want to improve the reputation of tradespeople.
“Tradies across the board for a long time have had a bad rap,” says Kim. “Oh, you drop out of school and become a tradie is the thinking. In reality, it can mean earning incredible money and it is really reliable.”

Trade Jobs NZ also educates tradies themselves about how to get a job. Word-of-mouth is the most common go to - nearly 60% rely on it.

“They often go through Facebook, but it is not always going to work if you are hiring your mate’s cousin,” she says.“It also might not be the best way to find your dream job.”

Super Rugby battle at the B:HIVE

Date: 11/04/22

We have a super rugby clash playing out at the B:HIVE!

Bayer’s Elevit is partnering with the Hurricanes. Apricity Finance is behind the Blues… Fortunately they are supporting different genders. Both B:HIVE-based businesses say they can see the value in supporting one of New Zealand’s strongest sporting codes.

For Bayer partnering the Wellington-based Hurricanes women’s team is a no brainer for Elevit, which provides vitamins and minerals for before, during and after pregnancy. Jarrod Rhodes, senior brand manager, says the Hurricanes Poua is heavily involved in partnering women’s health and Elevit. “They are excited about being asked for help to develop events and social media campaigns that would reach a diverse range of kiwi women,” Rhodes. “During the year-long contract we will be helping the Hurricanes grow and connect with culturally diverse audiences.”

Back in Auckland, Apricity Finance is appearing on the sleeve of the Blues Under-20 and Under-18 teams, and is partnering with several Blues events, during a three-year partnership. In announcing the deal Blues CEO Andrew Hore, said the values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline, and sportsmanship are at the core of Apricity Finance and closely shared at the Blues.

Hore said the partnership will pave the way for new relationships and overall business growth for Apricity Finance as the Blues connect it with friends and family of the club.

Ex-pats team up again in the B:HIVE

Date: 12/04/22

Chris Ellison has travelled most of the world as a professional snow boarder and a corporate suit. When Chile exploded in riots and with COVID he and his Chilean wife and children came back to the safe haven of New Zealand.

“I ended up living over the back fence of Long Bay College where I had been to school a couple of decades ago,” Chris says. “While familiar, the culture shock of coming back to New Zealand has been huge for both Fran and me.”

Chris’ B:HIVE business partner Chaz Savage grew up in Gisborne. But he too has been away home for nearly a decade. After finishing uni, he left a promising rugby career and hightailed it to Australia where he worked for Telstra. That’s where he first met Chris. Then when Chaz went to work for Multichoice, a pay TV company that was ripping through Africa, as Chief Customer Officer he naturally nominated his old workmate as head of the marketing department.

The pair were based in Dubai but saw little of it as they travelled through Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Malawi, Mozambique and 20 other African countries empowering local teams to set up prepay TV for their customers. “I travelled so much that I earned 3x platinum status on Emirates,” Chris laughs.

Chaz eventually headed home to the family business, Scarpa Shoes, but was quickly wooed to become Chief Revenue Officer of Sky TV.

Meanwhile, Chris continued on his travels adding digital banking to his many talents as he worked through South America.

Once back in New Zealand, the pair teamed up again on a contract advising a Canadian company, Certn, that does employment and criminal checks. Certn has just finished a Series B capital raise that will value it at about NZ$720 million.

Chris and Chaz tag-team on Certn’s marketing and consumer business and decided to join the B:HIVE so they could work the project more efficiently.

“In reality while we could both work from home, we missed the workplace camaraderie and we have certainly found that around where we are on Level One,” Chris says. “We both have other businesses and we have been able to build connections with other people and their companies to help us with those too."

“It could also be true that we enjoy the few beers that our level one team pull out from time to time. It’s relaxing and talking, that we discovered there are also lots of people around us who have worked or had their own businesses overseas. So they are very familiar with the ex-pat feeling.”

Retaining & gaining talent needs a rethink

Date: 13/04/22

"Hiring is no longer about choosing the right candidate, it’s about candidates choosing you", warns Eighty4 Recruitment's consultant Lexi Jones. How do you go about holding on to the talent you’ve got and attract newcomers in a market where there is a growing shortage of skilled people?

During a record quarter for the business, Lexi says Eighty4 asked its network of candidates what employers could be doing better. Of course, the usual ‘more money’ and ‘more flexibility’ came up plenty of times, but there were a few other answers worth attention.

A common complaint was: “I feel like I’m doing the jobs of three people”. Feeling stressed, burnt out and exhausted has become the norm for a lot of employees since COVID hit.

Perhaps someone on your team has left and you haven’t managed to hire a replacement yet. It’s extremely important to support those who are picking up extra work, even if that’s simply hiring administrative support or getting someone in on a temporary contract part-time.

“It might cost you up-front but losing that skilled person, combined with the cost of onboarding and training someone new, means that more often than not, it’s worth hiring help,” Lexi says.

“Next, having a good culture alone won’t do the trick. Are you realising your employees’ full potential and providing them with opportunities to grow? When was the last time you sat down with them and asked them about their goals?”

The Eighty4 survey also highlighted that the days of getting home after the kids are in bed have gone, as an increasing number of people are updating their policies regarding family time.

“People are less willing to give up those important moments to celebrate milestones and be with their families - and they don’t have to anymore,” Lexi says. “Companies that show understanding and actively encourage their employees to make time for their families are winning the recruitment race."

“The reality we are facing right now is that it’s so incredibly hard to hire good people. We still have limited international immigrants coming to NZ to fill the gaps, despite the borders slowly starting to open so it's more important than ever to invest in our local talent.”

Milestone clicks over with a merger

Date: 13/04/22

Joseph Darby could be excused for having a wee skip in his step.

He has just successfully merged his 10-year-old company Milestone Direct with to form Become Wealth, creating one of the few 100% New Zealand-owned financial service providers with no ties to specific product, or product provider. Fundamentally that independence means it can offer its clients the product it thinks best suits their needs.

Joseph had no sooner dried the ink on that deal, when the new entity then acquired the books of a couple of “baby boomer” advisers who were looking to retire.

And he is not stopping there: “Become Wealth, as we are now known, is rolling up the businesses of several more advisers who want to retire rather than face recent changes in financial markets, regulations and the need for additional scale and specialisation.”

Joseph, who retains his CEO role, says the merger and acquisitions will assist with strong future growth and build upon Become Wealth’s nearly $1 billion in funds under advice, including those managed under a Discretionary Investment Management Service (DIMS) licence.

Become Wealth has as clients major NZX and ASX-listed companies, a government department, medical professionals through the Medcapital brand, and around 17,000 individual clients.

The company is headquartered at the B:HIVE, with staff in Christchurch, Queenstown, Australia, and the Philippines.

Theta warns hybrid working a cyber security risk

Date: 16/06/22

Has your credit card ever been hacked? Suddenly there’s a couple of dodgy payments “pending” that you just know is not something you have bought?

Hacking into the payment tokens that are generated for your legitimate purchases is easier than it should be says Pete Bailey, head of cyber security for Theta on Level Three.

The hybrid working environment has helped thieves. Working between the B:HIVE, your favourite local to home café and home has real security challenges. Attackers are out there constantly looking for vulnerabilities.

“Recently people have been trying to find software to make dividing personal life and work life easy,” Pete says. “They have downloaded ‘free’ software to split their hard drive into home and work sections. What they don’t realise that this ‘free’ gift is only free for hackers to get malware in and find passwords via your browsers and folders to get your information and money out.

“Never let your browser, like Chrome, store your passwords. You should use password lockers or managers for security.

Pete has a diverse background in process improvement, training and digital marketing, and has spent the last decade in security, previously running one of New Zealand’s largest information security consultancies.

Pete says there are five main focus areas for companies to prepare for smart cyber-attacks:

1. People - Do your teams know what cyber-attacks look like, and the impacts they can have on your systems? You need to invest in good training for tools, processes, and awareness for your staff. Combine that with having the best filter/alerting tools in place to instantly spot an attack.

2. Hybrid working risk assessments - Your systems and processes should adjust according to new risk factors as they arise with people working on multiple sites.  You should conduct a threat assessment – where is your organisation's greatest security risk? Prevent your staff from taking shortcuts - ensure you understand how they are working and what they need to achieve this. Review constantly.

3. Artificial Intelligence (AI) - AI and machine learning (ML) have grown 28% in the past year and is already being used in several security applications. Users, asset and network profiles are built using these behaviour histories, allowing AI to detect and respond to deviations from established norms. You should specify what level of security your organisation needs - there are systems that specialise in email filtering, threat hunting, detecting bots and bot activity. Invest in the right AI system.

4. Spending - When concluding a budget for cyber security, 10% of your IT budget is considered standard, but for high-risk industries this can go up to 25%. High-risk industries include: 


5. Consult & Research -Attack vectors (pathways for attackers to illegally access your environments) and technology change fast. You should do your research and seek the best advice and solutions that are relevant to the current security situation. 

No sting in Fair Pay Agreements for most B:HIVER's

Date: 21/06/22

Tony Teesdale doesn’t think too many people in the B:HIVE need to worry about something that has put New Zealand on the International Labour Organisation’s “bad country” list.

But the founder of Level One’s Teesdale and Associates says the NZ Government’s Fair Pay Agreements (FPAs) policy has ruffled a few of his clients’ feathers.

The consummate professional, who hung out the company’s shingle in 2008, says he sits firmly on the fence when it comes to the rights and wrongs being bandied about by different sides of the political spectrum. He’s just trying to educate people about what happens if FPAs becomes law.

For now the policy is only at Bill stage, with the first reading in Parliament having been completed. The Bill now goes to Select Committee where interest groups’ lobbying becomes super charged.

However, Teesdale says even after some changes after the Parliamentary process the Minister in charge doesn’t expect to see anything come out in terms of a FPA before late 2023 or even 2024.

The technical process for even getting a FPA to the table is arduous under the current law and the Government has written that it retains control into its policy. But Teesdale say unions ( the CTU) have indicated they have a priority list that has people like cleaners at its top.

Meanwhile the FPAs have attracted the attention of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Along with 21 other countries accused of labour breaches including discrimination, forced labour and child labour, New Zealand is deemed to have a case to answer regarding its intention to breach a fundamental labour convention which protects freedom of association.

BusinessNZ says New Zealand’s Fair Pay Agreements policy contravenes ILO Convention 98 by constituting an ‘act of interference’ in the affairs of workers and employers. It says businesses believe the compulsory nature of the Fair Pay Agreements policy constitutes interference and are also concerned at other sections of the policy which would limit the freedoms of workers and employers.

Asked for his opinion on that, Tony just laughs and says: “well it is not the first time the ILO has taken New Zealand to task.”  And, he adds, there is a General Election before the end of 2023 that may change things too.

Bravura pilots new work culture

Date: 16/06/22

New Zealand has long been a testing ground for international companies. Our workforce is seen as agile and early adopters of technology.

That’s partly why multinational software solutions company Bravura chose its Level 3 B:HIVE team to pilot a new way of working.

ASX-listed Bravura, which has a market capitalisation of around A$389 million, employs around  1,500 people in 17 offices across Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Europe, Africa, and India.

Another part of the pilot decision was the attitude of the team led by NZ country manager Kylie Bryant. After the challenges around COVID and remote working, her people were up to conversations about how to make working together better.

Bravura partnered with New Zealand hybrid working specialists Anywhere Culture for the pilot. Together with Bravura’s Eilis Devlin, learning experience and culture partner, and Elissa Fletcher, acting chief people officer, Anywhere Culture led a co-design that put employees at its heart.

Kylie says with the physical office move from a traditional office to the B:HIVE, it was an opportunity to think differently not only about where, but how the team worked.

“Through the Anywhere Culture project the team adopted new mindsets, tools, norms and habits that were fit for a hybrid world,” she says. “These mindsets focused on community, empowerment, growth, and wellbeing.

“Through our conversations around empowerment, we watched employees start to think differently about the opportunities brought by hotdesking – including the ability to choose a focus or collaborative zone dependent on the type of work, and to form new connections with colleagues they don’t usually work alongside.

“With on-site yoga, weekly socials and networking events, the B:HIVE embodies our mindsets and provides endless opportunities to connect to community, prioritise wellbeing and experiment with new ways of working.”

Kylie says one thing that stood out was rituals matter: “It was crucial that we maintained the ‘moments that matter’ to make the B:HIVE feel like home, and no culture revolution was going to get in the way of Biscuit Wednesdays!"

Kylie will be talking about the Anywhere Culture pilot to interested B:HIVE residents later this month. Contact for more information!

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