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TWTV: Alliance members partner to boost business with digital clusters

Hear from BNZ and Zeald on their joint initiative to build digitally-led business clusters in Aotearoa, to grow regional and digital economy

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TWTV: Alliance members partner to boost business with digital clusters

Date and time:

Fri 20 May 12:40 PM - 1:10 PM


Nationwide (more than one region)


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TWTV: Alliance members partner to boost business with digital clusters

View the TWTV session on demand - click here to view

The Digital Cluster Initiative is a visionary model aimed at accelerating regional economic development through digital transformation. A joint initiative between Bank of New Zealand and Zeald, as part of their Digital Boost Alliance commitments, it aims to help Kiwi businesses and communities to prosper, and thrive online.

What is the Digital Cluster Initiative?

Starting with a Pilot, BNZ and Zeald recently announced three business groups they will build into digitally-led clusters: Central Otago Wine; Ngā Kaitoi o Mataatua i Tauranga Moana - TMT Māori artists; and Baby Product Manufacturers New Zealand.

The Pilot groups will be set up with ecommerce, a centralised digital marketplace, and digital support to establish their marketplace brand and explore new online channels and markets.

Together they want to show what's possible when ecommerce and digital tools are put at the heart of Kiwi business communities.

Why the Digital Cluster Initiative?

New Zealand's geography has long been a handbrake on the economy.

Being small, remote and sparsely populated, many Kiwi businesses are also small with limited market access and resourcing. The DCI aims to overcome these obstacles and strengthen regional economies by building scale and collaboration through clustering, and using digital tools to grow and propel local businesses into new markets.

Ultimately, the pilot will help create a digital cluster blueprint that can be applied to other business groups across the regions… for a more productive, inclusive, digital New Zealand.

The discussion

Join members from the DCI Team (Paul Conway, David Kelly, Jarra Borman, Jacqui Marks) and Malcolm Luey from MBIE, as they discuss the origins of the Digital Cluster Initiative and their shared vision to grow Kiwi businesses and communities, through digital transformation.

This is a tangible and exciting partnership that has come out of the Digital Boost Alliance.

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David Kelly

Chairman and co-Founder, Zeald

David Kelly is a co-founder and the chairman of Zeald, one of New Zealand's largest, most experienced website design and digital transformation agencies for SME businesses. For 20 years Zeald has specialised in ecommerce and digital development, helping more than

15,000 Kiwi small to medium-sized businesses transform digitally, and processing more than $2billion in transactions locally on its proprietary ecommerce platform. In March 2020 David spearheaded the company's social impact initiative GEM (the Get Ecommerce Movement) to help get small businesses trading online, and to support greater digital enablement in Aotearoa.

David is committed to equipping and supporting New Zealanders to become more digitally-advanced and connected, in an increasingly digital world. Zeald is a proud member of the Digital Boost Alliance and is committed to seeing digital revolution in New Zealand, through its GEM initiative and Digital Boost Pledges.


Jarra Borman

Head of Strategy, Zeald

Jarra Borman is Head of Strategy at Zeald, with more than 25 years of experience helping businesses engage and connect with their customers.

Jarra's passion for digital media came from a decade spent in radio and music events. He went on to join Yellow and helped with their transition to digital, building a multi-award winning digital team across the North Island in the process.

In 2016 Jarra joined Zeald and was integral to establishing its commercial agency in Tauranga, which he leads. He was also a key part of the team, together with David Kelly, that developed Zeald's social impact initiative GEM (the Get Ecommerce Movement), and is now overseeing the rollout of GEM in Fiji.

Jarra’s desire to see transformative change in New Zealand through digital strategy, ecommerce and solution architecture, drives his hallmark creative and visionary solutions at Zeald


Paul Conway

Chief Economist, Reserve Bank of New Zealand

Paul has recently moved to his role at the Reserve Bank after 3 years at BNZ having come from the Productivity Commission prior to that. Paul spent 6 years with the OECD in the early 2000's where he worked on understanding the impact of policies on economic performance. He also worked on the India-China Desk at the OECD.

Paul was the driving force behind BNZ's report titled "Digital skills for life in Aotearoa 2021", recently updated for 2022. The 2021 report highlighted the fact that 700,000 adult New Zealanders (20%) lack the essential digital skills needed to use the internet safely and effectively. This digital skills gap is skewed towards people who are already marginalised in NZ (low household incomes, lower levels of education, the disabled).

Paul is passionate about working to close that gap and to motivate the private sector and non-Government organisations to play their part. He and the BNZ are key advocates for the recently launched Digital Boost Alliance

Jacqui Marks v2

Jacqui Marks

Head of Business Activation, Bank of New Zealand

Jacqui Marks is highly passionate about igniting change that transforms culture & customer experience, creating measurable engagement and commercial benefit.

Jacqui built a unique and transferrable skillset over the past 18 years’ in both agency and corporate roles, specialising is Lifestyle Marketing. Her passion for connecting brands to people in their communities has led to many international and multi-award winning campaigns.

In 2021 Jacqui joined BNZ where her collaborative leadership style and pragmatic approach is focused on building a more prosperous New Zealand.

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Malcolm Luey

Director of Digital Boost, MBIE

Having worked in the public service for 28 years, Malcolm has worked in a range of public service agencies and departments. 

This has included positions in the Health & Disability Commissioner’s office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade, Ministry of Justice, Crown Law Office, Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet, Customs and the Ministry of Education. 

His experience includes policy development, service design and implementation,  constitutional, criminal and national security law reform, international negotiations, Crown litigation, central agency led sector co-ordination and the creation or management of public/private partnerships to achieve public service outcomes. 

In his current role as Director – Digital Boost (MBIE), Malcolm leads a small team working in partnership with the private sector to rapidly create and implement the Digital Boost (Small Business Digital Enablement) Programme which includes the free Digital Business Education platform (www.digitalboost.co.nz) and the Digital Boost Alliance – 30 + private sector organisations committed to the acceleration of digital adoption in New Zealand


Facilitator - Diana Kirkland

External Relationship Manager, The Mind Lab