Category Archives: Google New Zealand Blog

New Zealand news and notes from Google

Kiwi’s Top Trending YouTube Videos Revealed for 2019

It's time to hit #YouTubeRewind and check out the top trending videos for 2019.

In 2019 we revelled in the return of Sam Smith, the scandalous revelations of James Charles and recreations of Billie Eilish. We bopped to ‘Bad Guy’ and attempted to learn how to create the video clip at home!

Let’s dive into our annual look back at the year that was in online video, and reflect on the moments that captured the hearts and minds of Kiwis in 2019.

Kardashians, conspiracies and spicy wings reviews all made it into our top trending videos. Well known creators dominated our watchlist, with the confessions and investigations of James Charles and Shane Dawson. While Gordon Ramsay and the infamous ‘twenty bucks’ Karen brought us entertainment with a side of colourful language.

The spectacular leaping acrobatic display by Katelyn Ohashi clearly captured us. As did the opportunity to jump on a bandwagon to “Make this video the most liked video on YouTube” (sorry guys, no luck this time).

Breakout artists of the year Billie Eilish and Camila Cabelo made our top list but we are still clearly obsessed with Ariana Grande (with two of her tracks in the top 10!).
And if you claim you haven’t watched or listened to Old Town Road - you’re a liar.

Some may have inspired a belly laugh, while others a break down. These are the videos that had Kiwi’s laughing, leering and losing it in 2019.

New Zealand’s Top Trending Videos

1. No More Lies
2. Katelyn Ohashi - 10.0 Floor (1-12-19)
3. Gordon Ramsay Savagely Critiques Spicy Wings | Hot Ones
4. Conspiracy Theories with Shane Dawson
5. Make This Video The Most Liked Video On Youtube
6. 73 Questions With Kim Kardashian West (ft. Kanye West) | Vogue
7. how to create billie eilish's "bad guy"
8. New Zealand Today - Karen wants her $20 back.
9. Minecraft Part 1
10. Gangsters in Paradise - The Deportees of Tonga

New Zealand’s Top Trending Music Videos

While some artists returned for a second year in a row we also saw breakout stars Billie Eilish and Camila Cabella feature this year. But the great return of Sam Smith dominated.

1. Sam Smith, Normani - Dancing With A Stranger
2. Billie Eilish - bad guy
3. Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabella - Señorita
4. Lil Nas X - Old Town Road (Official Movie) ft. Billy Ray Cyrus
5. Ariana Grande - 7 rings
6. Khalid - Talk (Official Video)
7. Lil Dicky - Earth (Official Music Video)
8. Khalid, Kane Brown - Saturday Nights REMIX (Official Video)
9. Cardi B & Bruno Mars - Please Me (Official Video)
10. Ariana Grande - break up with your girlfriend, i'm bored

As 2020 draws near, we also take this moment to celebrate YouTube with the annual Rewind mashup. This year, we tried something different and looked at what you did like — a lot. Our Rewind 2019 video compiles the top videos and creators that you liked, shared, and watched the most around the world, from the biggest games to must-try beauty tutorials and breakout stars.

Check out the full video below and head over to our Rewind site for more!



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Helping Kiwi Teachers Learn Digital Skills through the Manaiakalani Education Trust

Back in 2013 Google New Zealand began work with the Manaiakalani Education programme by partnering on initiatives to help digitise education. Today we announced our continuing support of their Digital Fluency Intensive (DFI) which is rapidly upskilling large numbers of teachers in schools across New Zealand.

While 8 in 10 New Zealand principals say that digital technologies are positively impacting student achievement(1), 72% also believe that professional development among staff presents either a “major barrier” or “somewhat of a barrier” to the use of digital technologies in schools(2). That’s why schools working with Manaiakalani are combining effective teaching techniques with digital enablement to accelerate children’s learning.



Announced today at the 12th annual Manaiakalani Film Festival, Jenny Oxley from Manaiakalani Education Trust said “The Digital Fluency Intensive programme is a direct result of Google's ground-breaking support of the Manaiakalani Digital Teacher Academy innovation and is maximising the impact of the digital learning for young people through accelerating teachers’ own skill development. This is proving to be an enormous professional learning experience for these teachers and the flow-on impact on student achievement is now undeniable.”

Since 2018, the DFI has delivered over 1600 days training to Kiwi teachers across 91 schools. We look forward to seeing how this programme helps New Zealand teachers prepare for the digital future.

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(1) Research New Zealand (2017)

(2) Education at a Glance. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/education/education-at-a-glance-2017_eag-2017-en

YouTube Creator Workshops Kick Off in Manukau

Last week we kicked off the YouTube Creator Workshops in Manukau, Auckland, with many showing up to meet, learn and work with fellow creators from all over the city. These events are for the next generation of YouTube creators who are looking to learn how to set their channel up for success and build positive communities online.

We want to encourage and nurture budding local talent, to help them find their place on the global stage that is YouTube. With over 45% of local YouTube content being viewed from outside of New Zealand, we’re committed to supporting Kiwi creators into a career in this ever changing media environment.

Video content agency Changer Studios delivered the programme and shared knowledge on how to keep your voice and remain socially aware, and how to get your videos watched by the right audience. Attendees also heard from successful YouTube creators, Torrell Tafa and Ben Mikha on what they’ve learned in their years developing and putting out content.


The number of YouTube channels in New Zealand with over 100,000 subscribers, which is the point where many turn their content into a career whether full or part time, has increased by over 50% between this year and last. We want this number to continue to grow, by sharing best practice advice with budding creators on building a sustainable business on the platform, and giving them access to successful creators who have built a brand on and off YouTube.

This was the first in a series of workshops that will travel around the country. Further dates can be found online.


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Google pilot aims to provide accurate store hours in New Zealand this Labour Day

Starting this week, we'll start a pilot to confirm holiday hours for a small number of local businesses in New Zealand with the help of the Google Duplex technology. Duplex makes it possible for AI to conduct natural conversations to carry out complex tasks over the phone.

Businesses in this pilot group will receive an automated call from Google asking to confirm their hours for the upcoming Labour Day public holiday on October 28. Once confirmed, these times will automatically be updated on Google Maps and Search for anyone searching for the business info for the holiday. This not only helps people save time during busy holidays, but also ensures that businesses maximise foot traffic at their stores.

We’re also mindful of including controls for businesses. If a business wants to opt-out of receiving calls from Google, we’ll honour that. You can tell us over the phone or change your settings in Google My Business. As always, we’ll disclose that the business is speaking with an automated system when making a call. Business owners can also learn more about calls from Google here.

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Never miss your favourite artist on tour again–see tickets for live shows right on YouTube!

Over one billion fans come to YouTube each month to connect with their favourite artists and discover new music. And now, we’re making it easy for Kiwis to go from experiencing music online to seeing live performances through our partnerships with Ticketmaster and Eventbrite.

Starting today, New Zealand fans watching videos from Official Artists Channels will see ticket listings for live music performances throughout the country. With one easy click on the “Tickets” button, they’ll be able to purchase directly from Ticketmaster or Eventbrite. New Zealand is one of the first countries to have this feature outside of North America.
Live events continue to be a major source of revenue for artists, so we want to help artists keep fans updated on their upcoming shows and sell more tickets to live performances. YouTube’s global audience also lets artists find new fans, with 24% of Millennials and 33% of teens claiming they discover live music events through the platform, according to a Nielsen report from 2018.

The new feature aims to connect fans with not only the global artists they love, but also will give them a chance to discover more intimate events with breakthrough Kiwi talent like Sachi.

YouTube is the space where many New Zealand artists first built their online platform. We’re excited to continue furthering the power of video discovery on YouTube by bringing those artists and fans closer together through live shows.

New Zealand’s First Think With Google – Bridging the Digital Divide

Today we hosted Google New Zealand’s first annual Think With Google event.

‘Think’ events are our global flagship events where we share thought leadership and insights with top advertisers and agencies, to enable them to create meaningful connections between their businesses and the customers they care about most. We highlight new ways to make these connections and how Google can be a key partner in this journey.


Today’s event, “Bridging the Digital Divide” looked at how Kiwi businesses are progressing with digital maturity. Drawing on research from BCG on Australia and New Zealand economic digital maturity, we know that only 2% of AUNZ businesses are in a place of digital maturity and those that reach that goal experience 15% more incremental revenue.

Marketers from more than 50 businesses attended and heard Nick Love, Head of Performance Advertising and I speak alongside key industry speakers on how best to tackle this evolving challenge. Jonathan Waecker (The Warehouse Group), Toni Tuslove (Fonterra), Glen MacKellaig (Harmoney), and Jane Stanley (Hearts and Science) participated in an engaging panel discussion, looking at their own businesses and how they’re striving for digital excellence. Special guest speaker, Francis Valintine, founder of the Mind Lab, delivered the opening keynote on the need to innovate to meet consumer expectations.



Experiential elements to the day, included Kiwi tilt brush artist, Danny Owen creating art in real time for the guests, and a virtual Google Earth studio to explore the great walks of New Zealand.



Think With Google events will be held annually in New Zealand.

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Privacy and Security on a Safe and Open Internet: Net Hui 2019

Today I had the pleasure of participating in the Net Hui Conference, held at Te Papa in Wellington.

Google has been a long time sponsor of New Zealand’s largest Internet gathering, that explores the benefits, opportunities and challenges of the online world. The theme of this year’s event was ‘Safety, inclusion and wellbeing on the open Internet’.

Following the Prime Ministers keynote address, I was on a panel lead by InternetNZ’s Jordan Carter, which brought together many different perspectives and views on ‘The Internet After Christchurch’.

I was also able to share with the conference some of the recent updates we’ve made to our privacy and security products, announced just this week.

Our goal has always been to create products that are simple, helpful, and intuitive. It’s no different with privacy and security: managing your data should be just as easy as making a restaurant reservation, or using Maps to find the fastest way back home.

Earlier this year, we started rolling out more ways for you to protect your data, including making our controls easier to access, new ways to use Google apps with Incognito mode, and options to automatically delete data like your Location History, searches, and other activity with Google.

Making these controls consistent across our core products will help them become more familiar, and we hope, even easier to use. Today, we’re sharing a few more updates on our progress toward this goal.

Incognito mode arrives in Maps

Incognito mode has been one of our most popular privacy controls since it launched with Chrome in 2008. We added it to YouTube earlier this year, and now we’re rolling it out in Google Maps.



When you turn on Incognito mode in Maps, your Maps activity on that device, like the places you search for, won’t be saved to your Google Account and won’t be used to personalize your Maps experience. You can easily turn on Incognito mode by selecting it from the menu that appears when you tap your profile photo, and you can turn it off at any time to return to a personalized experience with restaurant recommendations, information about your commute, and other features tailored to you. Incognito mode will start rolling out on Android this month, with iOS coming soon.

Expanding Auto-delete to YouTube

In May, we announced that you could automatically delete your Location History and Web & App Activity, which includes things you've searched and browsed. We promised to bring this to more products, and now we're bringing Auto-delete to YouTube History. Set the time period to keep your data—3 months, 18 months, or until you delete it, just like Location History and Web & App Activity—and we’ll take care of the rest.

Strengthening your password security

Protecting your privacy online requires strong security, and that’s why we protect your data with one of the world’s most advanced security infrastructures.

Tools like our Security Checkup help users by automatically detecting potential security issues with your Google Account and make it easy for you to add extra protections to keep your account safe, like removing old devices or unused apps that still have access to your account.

But we also want to help protect you across the internet, and a big part of that is helping you remember passwords for your other online accounts. With so many accounts, bad habits like using the same password across multiple services are common, and make all of your accounts as vulnerable as the weakest link. If someone steals your password once, then they could access your information across different services using that same password.

Our password manager automatically protects your passwords across your different accounts, and today, in time for Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we’re making it much more powerful. We’re introducing the Password Checkup, a new feature that—with one click—tells you if any of your passwords are weak, whether you’ve reused them across multiple sites, or if we've discovered they've been compromised (for example, in a third-party data breach). Find more about the Password Checkup in this post.


We’re constantly working to improve the products that billions of people use, right now. We’re also looking to the future so that teams at Google, and other organisations, can build new products and develop new engineering techniques, with privacy and security as core principles. In May, we opened the new Google Safety Engineering Center where we expect the number of privacy engineers to double by the end of 2019. We’ve also open-sourced technologies like our differential privacy library, Private Join and Compute and Tensorflow Federated. These will help any institution—from hospitals to governments to nonprofits—find better ways to gain insights from their data while protecting people's privacy.

As technology evolves, so do people's expectations for security and privacy. We look forward to building protections that aim to exceed those expectations, and will continue sharing regular updates about this work.


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Celebrating the Dynamic Digital Advertising Industry at the IAB NZ Digital Advertising Awards

Last night at the Auckland Museum the third annual IAB New Zealand Digital Advertising Awards were held to recognise the best talent in the interactive media industry. It was a record year for the Awards, with the number of entries doubling from the previous year and the number of awards categories growing from 17 to 23!

Here at Google we’re hugely proud to be part of this event that recognises outstanding work by the people and teams who are leading digital advertising in New Zealand. With both myself [Caro, Google NZ Country Manager] and Susan Carlton [Google NZ Marketing Manager] on the panel of judges, we had the opportunity to review an abundance of incredible work.

Google was delighted to sponsor three key awards this year and our congratulations go to Harmoney for winning Best Use Of Search/SEO for “Creating a competitive advantage leveraging AI & Google Ads Smart Bidding Strategies”, MBM for winning the Agency Of The Year Award, and finally, to Tianze Yu from Big Mobile, the winner of the Grand Prix award. Well done Tianze!

Congrats to the IAB for a fantastic event, which once again proved to be such a great opportunity to come together and recognise the incredible work of these industry professionals.

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Backing Asia Pacific’s emerging newsroom leaders | Google News Initiative

Across Asia Pacific, a new generation of journalists is telling the region’s stories and tackling the challenges facing the news industry. The Google News Initiative (GNI) Newsroom Leadership Program, a collaboration between GNI and the Columbia School of Journalism, was established to develop the business and product expertise of these emerging newsroom leaders. Today we’re announcing the 2019-2020 Program fellows and sharing more about their projects.

The projects they chose are as diverse as their backgrounds. These journalists hail from Pakistan to Japan, India to Australia. They’ll be looking at how digital tools can make great storytelling even better, championing socially-conscious reporting and investigating new approaches to political polling. And they’ll explore new membership and revenue models for news, helping fund the future of journalism in their countries.


Kiwi Editor Phillip O’Sullivan has been chosen as one of the 12 Fellows, and will research new methodologies and technologies in political polling ahead of New Zealand’s 2020 elections.
Phillip is Editor of Newsgathering at TVNZ’s 1 News where he oversees all of TVNZ’s news reporters across New Zealand, including its political team and overseas correspondents in Sydney, London and New York. O’Sullivan is a former TVNZ news reporter and worked for CNN for 15 years in Hong Kong and the Middle East.

As they work on their projects, the fellows will take part in seminars and develop professional networks across the region. To find out more, we spoke to Raju Narisetti, the Director of the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism and Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia, who helped develop the program.


What are the skills you think emerging newsroom leaders need to be successful today?

The most critical skill is an understanding of the business of journalism and the forces shaping the industry. They also need to hone the ability to think of content as a product, and the willingness to let data inform their decisions. These “hard” skills need to be coupled with “power skills” like developing diverse teams, leading with purpose and managing relentless change.


How do you think the GNI Newsroom Leadership Program addresses this?

The fellows will experience a mix of theory and practice in seminars during their in-residence weeks at Columbia School of Journalism. Practitioners as well as academics will deliver the sessions, which are specifically designed for the media industry. Topics will range from revenue streams and media sustainability to building video, audience and analytics frameworks and teams for the next decade. They’ll also get hands-on workshops on developing leadership and “managing up.”


What words of advice do you have for the fellows as they prepare to go through the program?

Be really present during the in-residency classroom weeks, because your day job will still be waiting for you. Think of the other participants as a learning and sharing opportunity that can become a professional support network during the year and beyond. And have strong beliefs (about your project or the news business), but hold them loosely, so you can embrace new ideas and solutions.


Caption: Our 2019-2020 Fellows, as pictured from left to right, starting from the top left: Gyanu Adhikari, Phillip O’Sullivan, Akane Imamura, Betina Hughes, Danielle Cronin, Marium Chaudhry, Nitya Thirumalai, Hyuntaek Lee, Ragamalika Karthikeyan, Yusuf Wijanarko, Anisa Menur Maulani, and Lynn D’Cruz.

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Indigenous speakers share their languages on Google Earth



Of the 7,000 languages spoken around the globe, 2,680 Indigenous languages—more than one third of the world's languages—are in danger of disappearing. The United Nations declared 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages to raise awareness about these languages and their contribution to global diversity. To help preserve them, our new Google Earth tour, Celebrating Indigenous Languages, shares audio recordings from more than 50 Indigenous language speakers.

“It is a human right to be able to speak your own language,” says Tania Haerekiterā Tapueluelu Wolfgramm, a Māori and Tongan person who works as an educator and activist in Aotearoa--the Māori name for New Zealand--and other Pacific countries. “You don’t have a culture without the language.”

Tania is one of several dozen Indigenous language speakers, advocates and educators who helped create the tour. Thanks to their contributions, people can click on locations meaningful to Indigenous speakers and hear people offer traditional greetings, sing songs, or say common words and phrases in their languages.


The healing power of speaking one’s own language
The people who recorded audio in their languages and connected Google with Indigenous speakers each have their own story about why revitalizing Indigenous languages strikes a chord for them.

For Arden Ogg, director of Canada’s Cree Literacy Network, and Dolores Greyeyes Sand, a Plains Cree person and Cree language teacher, the focus is on providing resources for language learners. For Brian Thom, a cultural anthropologist and professor at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, the interest grew out of his work helping Indigenous communities map their traditional lands.

Brian asked yutustanaat, a member of the Snuneymuxw First Nation and a language teacher in British Columbia, to record the hul’q’umi’num’ language. “Our language is very healing,” says yutustanaat. “It brings out caring in our people and helps our students be strong, because the language comes from the heart.” In her recording, yutustanaat speaks the traditional hul’q’umi’num’ greeting: ‘i ch ‘o’ ‘uy’ ‘ul’ or “How are you?”

By using their languages—and sharing them with the rest of the world—Indigenous people create closer connections to a culture that is often endangered or has outright disappeared.

Wikuki Kingi, a Māori Master Carver, recorded traditional chants in Te Reo Māori, an Eastern Polynesian language indigenous to New Zealand. He says, “Speaking Te Reo Māori connects me to my relatives, to the land, rivers, and the ocean, and it can take me to another time and place.”

Ensuring that generations to come will hear their languages
“I do this not for myself, but for my children and grandchildren, so that in the future, they’ll hear our language,” says Dolores, who recorded audio in her native Plains Cree.

To ensure that future generations hear and speak Indigenous languages, more needs to be done to support their revitalization. Tania Wolfgramm suggests checking out how her nonprofit organization, Global Reach Initiative &; Development Pacific, uses technology to connect far-flung Indigenous people to their traditional communities—like bringing Google Street View to the remote island of Tonga. Arden Ogg directs people interested in Indigenous languages to the Cree Literacy Network, which publishes books in Cree and English to facilitate language learning. And a video from the University of Victoria suggests five ways to support Indigenous language revitalization, such as learning words and phrases using smartphone apps, and learning the names of rivers, mountains and towns in the local Indigenous language.

This initial collection of audio recordings in Google Earth only scratches the surface of the world’s thousands of Indigenous languages. If you’d like to contribute your language to this collection in the future, please share your interest.

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