Author Archives: G Australia

New Zealand tech startup to benefit from Google News Initiative Innovation Challenge

Last year, we launched the Google News Initiative (GNI) Asia Pacific Innovation Challenge, aimed at strengthening our support of digital innovation and new business models in news organisations.

Through our work and partnership with publishers, it’s clear that reader revenue is key to their financial stability. We want to support innovators in this space—those who are pioneering approaches that involve everything from granting digital currency to subscription-based membership models.

Today, I’m delighted to announce that New Zealand’s very own PressPatron will be supported as part of the Innovation Challenge. PressPatron is a platform that aims to support the future of journalism, through a mix of crowdfunding, membership payments and donations. By simplifying the process for supporters to make contributions to their favourite media sites, this kiwi organisations is ensuring the support of readers allows publishers to expand their capacity to report on the stories that matter most.

Within two months of opening up the Innovation Challenge, we received 215 applications from 18 countries. After a rigorous review, a round of interviews and a thorough jury selection process, we ended up providing support to 23 projects in 14 countries—amounting to a total of $3.2 million.

When we called for applications, we listed four criteria: impact, feasibility, innovation and inspiration. The winners demonstrated a combination of each.

There were 23 applications that received GNI support, all equally impressive in their own right. Check them out here.

Thank you to every organisation who applied. There will be a second round of the APAC GNI Innovation Challenge later this year, and we encourage you all to re-apply. Watch out for details on our website.

Ethique Changes Consumer Behaviour and helps the planet – one plastic bottle at a time

In 2012, Brianne West had a dream to reduce the amount of single use plastic in the cosmetic industry. After experimenting from her kitchen in Christchurch, she formulated, mixed, and moulded by hand the first batches of shampoo and conditioner bars. And that was the beginning of Ethique.

Soon after successfully selling her first products in a local community forum, Brianne realised they had potential to reach a global audience through online advertising. Fast forward to 2019, Ethique now sells worldwide via its website and in retail stores in nine countries, employs ten people, and has prevented more than three million plastic bottles - a total of 82.5 tonnes of plastic - from ending up in landfills and our oceans.

Scientists have established that if we continue as we have been, by the year 2050, we’ll have more plastic in the ocean than actual fish. Igniting her entrepreneurial spirit and passion for the environment, Brianne has raised their ambition to save six million plastic bottles in 2019. Significantly contributing to both her local community and the world.

Watch Brianne’s story to learn more about how Ethique started reaching international customers looking for environmentally friendly products, and check how you can also grow your business and reach new customers with Google Ads.

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Trekker Waka Maps New Zealand’s Longest River

The Google Street View Trekker has travelled down the Venetian Canals, the Colorado River and London’s River Thames, and now it has traversed the length of New Zealand’s longest river. All 425 kilometres of the Waikato River will launch today on Google Street View.
To capture the Waikato River and all its beauty, the Google Street View Trekker was installed on a number of boats to get a unique water perspective. The trip started on board the “Poutiaki” (kindly provided by Waikato Tainui) and concluded with the support of the Taupo Coast Guard RIB.

With training and guidance from our local intrepid trekker and Google Street View Ops Lead in NZ, Matt Jenke, the Waikato River Festival – He Piko He Taniwha team carefully mounted the Trekker system, which weighs around 18 kilograms, onto each boat used throughout the project; then spent over a month collecting imagery from Port Waikato all the way to Lake Taupo.

With 15 camera lenses taking photos every 2.5 seconds, panoramic imagery was captured to create an interactive 360 degree virtual tour now visible for aspiring or armchair travellers across the globe via Google Street View.

Weather, logistics, rapids and hydro dams were some challenges navigated along the way - but with the support of boat owners, volunteer skippers and crew (including the Upper and Lower Waikato Regional Council Harbour Masters), the Waikato River Festival team (and Trekker) were kept safe. With eight dams along the river and at least three sets of rapids making sections of the river inaccessible by boat, supplementary 360 aerial imagery was collected by drone to make sure you don’t miss a centimeter of scenery.

“The realisation of this project required a real collaborative effort from various community stakeholders along the length of the river,” said Craig Muntz, Waikato River Festival Director. “We are extremely thankful for the community support received which has in turn resulted in the production of a community resource that also offers a great platform for sharing the story of the river and our region with nearly every bend on the river having a rich story to tell.”

Take a peek at the full Waikato River gallery here before your next trip to the region or to simply learn more about this fascinating stretch of the North Island.
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Kiwi Flora for our National Day

Today as a nation we recognise the 1840 signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, and today’s Google Doodle spotlights the flora unique to our island nation - the silver fern, the Kōwhai and the Pōhutakawa flowers which are emblems of New Zealand’s diverse plant life. Our geographical isolation in the Pacific Ocean means that some 80 percent of the islands’ fern, flower, and tree species are native. What makes this even more special, is that most can be found nowhere else in the world.

For years we’ve worn the silver fern with pride, badging our nation’s uniforms for sports teams or military troops. The silver fern was traditionally seen by Māori as a symbol of strength and resilience and has become a symbol of our national identity and spirit. Practically, the underside of the fern’s leaves can reflect moonlight, and act as a guide through the forest at night for twilight travellers.

The unofficial national flower, the bright yellow blossoms of the Kōwhai tree, act as a sign of the end of winter. But more than just visually stunning, the tree’s bark is renowned for its medicinal properties, useful for treating everything from dandruff to seal bites.

Finally, the Pōhutukawa’s crimson flowers bloom around the holiday season, lending it the name “New Zealand Christmas Tree.” The plant figures prominently in Māori legends as a bridge between the living and the spirit world, and has become a contemporary symbol of home for kiwis here and abroad.

Happy Waitangi Day 2019!

An updated Safety Centre for Safer Internet Day

Making technology for everyone means protecting everyone who uses it. For more than 20 years, Google has been building useful products to help make people’s lives easier. From the beginning, we’ve recognised that not everyone uses the Internet in the same way and that’s why we offer tools to keep your family safer online, and it’s why we’re continually cracking down on bad actors whose actions make the web worse for all.

In the lead up to Safer Internet Day, we have launched an expanded Google Safety Centre. We’ve updated our resources and pulled even more tools, easy security tips and information into one site dedicated to educating and empowering people on important topics like data security, privacy controls and how to use technology in a way that is right for your family.

The Google Safety Centre educates kids and helps their parents and teachers support them to explore the internet and use our Google products safely. With Family Link, we empower parents to set digital ground rules by managing their Google Accounts, device, and app usage. Family-friendly products, like YouTube Kids, provide a safer online experience for discovery. Beyond our own products, we also help kids learn how to be safer, more confident explorers of the online world through our investment in programs such as the eSmart Digital Licence.

As technology continues to change the way we live, work, and play, our commitment to keeping you safe and secure remains top of mind and the updated Google Safety Centre is part of that commitment.

YouTube Music Unveils its First-Ever ‘Artists to Watch’ in Australia and New Zealand

Singers such as Kaiit, Bene and Didirri, and rappers including the Triple One crew and Kwame, feature in the Top 10 Australian and New Zealand acts predicted to break through in the next 12 months

YouTube Music today released its top 10 Artists To Watch in Australia and New Zealand for 2019. Some are already building impressive reputations locally but we believe all of them have the talent to go significantly further this year, both at home and overseas.
In alphabetical order, the 10 Artists To Watch from Australia and New Zealand in 2019 are:
  • Bene (Auckland, New Zealand) - pictured above 
  • Didirri (Melbourne, Australia) 
  • G Flip (Melbourne, Australia) 
  • JessB (Auckland, New Zealand) 
  • Kaiit (Melbourne, Australia) 
  • Kian (Castlemaine, Australia) 
  • Kwame (Sydney, Australia, via Auckland, New Zealand) 
  • The Kid Laroi (Sydney, Australia) 
  • Triple One (Sydney, Australia) 
  • Tyne-James Organ (Melbourne via Sydney, Australia) 
YouTube Music compiled its Artists To Watch for 2019 using factors including YouTube views, engagement from global music fans and YouTube Music analytics.
Melbourne’s all-singing, all-drumming indie firecracker G Flip, real name Georgia Flipo, says she is “stoked” to be one of YouTube Music’s Artists To Watch.
“I think it’s so cool they are championing breaking artists and I'm honoured to be chosen as one of them,” she said.
Her fellow Melburnian, sunny troubadour Didirri, describes his inclusion as “an absolute honour”.
“I think it’s time we bring some positivity back into the limelight this year,” Didirri adds. “Hoping to bring a bunch of us together and share the music.”
That would include Sydney hip-hop trio Triple One, as they brace themselves for a huge 12 months, saying, “We've come into the new year with something to prove. 2019 will be our biggest year yet and our biggest evolution as a group.”
And when soulful Kiwi Bene heard she had made YouTube Music’s Artists To Watch list, she said, “So much luv, can't wait to show you more of ma shtuff.”
Burgeoning singer-songwriters Kaiit, Kian and Tyne James-Organ, and talented rappers JessB, Kwame and The Kid Laroi round out the chosen ones.
Head to YouTube Music to further explore these Artists to Watch and enjoy a brand-new YouTube Music playlist featuring our top 10 artists and the longlist, as well as an in-app spotlight, featuring audio and video content.

Year in Search 2018: Here’s what Kiwis searched for this year

From Freddie Mercury to the ‘first baby’, the Census to Suzy Cato - our search habits reveal the things that made us care, cry and crack up in 2018.  

With 2018 almost done and dusted, it’s time to reflect on the people, moments, tragedies and celebrations that brought us together as Kiwis this year.  Our searches show we embraced Diwali and Matariki, gave keto a crack (despite asking how to cook rice), fussed over our ‘first baby’ and kept a watchful eye on cyclones, hurricanes and wildfires around the world.  We also caught the Fortnite craze, made sure we were counted in the Census – but still found the time to search for cake and bikkies.   

To rediscover the events, people and topics that defined 2018 around the world, watch our video:

Here's a summary of six themes that defined Search in New Zealand in 2018: 

New beginnings

2018 gave us many proud moments. Our searches show our excitement about the arrival of New Zealand’s ‘first baby’, the daughter of PM Jacinda Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford. Keeping it family oriented, we were also mesmerised by Meghan Markle as she made her royal entrance as the Duchess of Sussex. Our ties to the motherland and fascination with the life of a princess meant searches for the Royal Wedding were a top hit.

Getting into the game 

In true Kiwi fashion, sports and sporting events dominated our overall top searches in 2018.  The FIFA World Cup was our most popular search of 2018, closely followed by the Commonwealth Games, where swimmer Sophie Pascoe and weightlifter Laurel Hubbard took home gold medals and made our top searches. With no surprises, the All Blacks vs France test matches also made our top list. 

Homegrown heroes 

Whether standing out at home or winning on the world stage, our searches in 2018 show we love our homegrown success stories. Politicians and pop culture icons dominated the list of most searched Kiwis this year – Jacinda Ardern and Clarke Gayford were as popular at home as they were abroad, while opposition MPs Simon Bridges and Jami-Lee Ross also generated considerable search interest.  Entertainers Stan Walker and New Zealand’s sweetheart Suzy Cato also found a place in our hearts this year, along with the late, great amateur stuntman Johnny Danger.  

Weathering the storm

Nature’s fury had us on the edge of our seats this year, with natural disasters making up half our top trending news searches – from cyclones and hurricanes to volcanic eruptions and wildfires. 

We also joined the world in mourning the loss of many greats who made their mark across media, fashion, food, music and science. The much-loved Kiwi news presenter and family man, Greg Boyd, was mourned greatly by New Zealanders. Kiwi’s also mourned the loss of musicians Avicii and Aretha Franklin, along with the brilliant astrophysicist Stephen Hawking. 

Colourful and curly questions 

From food to technology, the ‘How to…?’ and ‘What is…?’ questions were eclectic and quirky, proving the number eight wire attitude is alive and well in New Zealand. Kiwis wondered how to draw a rose, how to cut a mango – and what mycoplasma bovis is following the outbreak of the disease.  But most of all, we were curious about our technology. The number one question asked was “What is bitcoin?, closely followed by queries about how to find IP addresses and take screenshots. 

Keto is King 

Whether it’s our New Year's resolutions or the realisation that summer is upon us, we’re ready to give new diets a crack. “Keto Diet”’ was our number one searched diet, along with the second most searched recipe type. We were also loving our vege eats this year – With vegan recipes taking the number one slot, among recipes for salads, pumpkin and zucchini. But Kiwis still made room for treats – recipes for fettuccine, biscuits and cakes still made our top ten list.

To dive into the data, check out New Zealand’s full trending lists* for 2018:


  1. World Cup
  2. Stuff news NZ
  3. Commonwealth Games
  4. Census NZ
  5. Cyclone Gita
  6. Fortnite
  7. Johnny Danger
  8. Mac Miller
  9. Lotto result NZ
  10. All Blacks vs France

News events

  1. Census NZ
  2. Cyclone Gita
  3. Royal Wedding
  4. Thai cave rescue
  5. Jacinda Ardern baby
  6. Hurricane Florence
  7. Hawaii Volcano
  8. Cyclone Hola
  9. Royal baby name
  10. California fires

Global Figures  

  1. Demi Lovato
  2. Khloe Kardashian
  3. Logan Paul
  4. Freddie Mercury
  5. Olivia Newton-John
  6. Anthony Joshua
  7. Ed Sheeran
  8. Sylvester Stallone
  9. Hailey Baldwin
  10. Tiger Woods


  1. Johnny Danger
  2. Jacinda Ardern
  3. Stan Walker
  4. Jami Lee Ross
  5. Simon Bridges
  6. Sophie Pascoe
  7. Suzy Cato
  8. Clarke Gayford
  9. Eliza McCartney
  10. Laurel Hubbard


  1. Mac Miller
  2. Greg Boyed
  3. Avicii
  4. Anthony Bourdain
  5. Stephen Hawking
  6. Stan Lee
  7. Aretha Franklin
  8. Kate Spade
  9. Burt Reynolds
  10. Tania Ellwood

How to...?

  1. How to delete Instagram accounts
  2. How to screenshot on mac
  3. How to take a screenshot
  4. How to lose weight fast
  5. How to draw a rose
  6. How to cut a mango
  7. How to make self-raising flour
  8. How to lose belly fat
  9. How to screenshot on Samsung
  10. How to cook rice

What is…?

  1. What is Bitcoin
  2. What is Mycoplasma Bovis
  3. What is my IP address
  4. What is Diwali
  5. What is Matariki
  6. What is 1080
  7. What is Black Friday 2018 NZ
  8. What is the time
  9. What is intersex
  10. What is open on Good Friday


  1. Vegan recipes
  2. Keto recipes
  3. Chicken breast recipes
  4. Vegetarian recipes
  5. Fettuccine recipes
  6. Biscuit recipes
  7. Zucchini recipes
  8. Salad recipes
  9. Cake recipes
  10. Pumpkin recipes


  1. Keto diet NZ
  2. CSIRO diet
  3. 123 diet
  4. Mediterranean diet
  5. Ketogenic diet
  6. Fodmap diet
  7. Low carb diet
  8. Phatt diet
  9. Dash diet
  10. Anti-inflammatory diet

* Trending Searches: What was hot in 2018? The "trending" queries are the searches that had the highest spike in traffic over a sustained period in 2018 as compared to 2017.

Posted by Camilla Ibrahim, Communications & Public Affairs Manager, Google Australia & New Zealand

YouTube Rewind 2018 is here! A look at what New Zealanders watched

In 2018, you danced your heart out to Maroon 5, yodelled along with a kid in Walmart, and played a lot of Fortnite. It's time for our annual look back at the year that was in video and reflect on the moments that captured New Zealand.
This year was marked by celebrity moments. In February, Kylie Jenner surprised the world with To Our Daughter, an 11-minute film detailing her pregnancy and the birth of baby Stormi. And of course, there was our fascination with the Royal Wedding of Harry and Meghan.
Emerging and well-known YouTube stars also showed up in a big way in the year's Top Trending Videos list. Liza Koshy and David Dobrik shared the news of their breakup through tears and laughter, we sang along with Paul McCartney in a special Carpool Karaoke, were blown away by a performance from Courtney Hadwin, the guys from Dude Perfect somehow perfectly tossed bread into a toaster, and we were determined to solve the internet’s latest mystery -- seriously, is it Yanny or Laurel? We also supported local actor Julian Dennison as he hit screens in Deadpool 2.
These were the moments that had New Zealanders watching, commenting and sharing in 2018:

New Zealand’s Top Trending Videos

  1. Walmart yodeling kid
  2. To Our Daughter
  3. Real Life Trick Shots 2 | Dude Perfect
  4. "ROYAL WEDDING" — A Bad Lip Reading
  5. So Sorry.
  6. Do You Hear "Yanny" or "Laurel"? (SOLVED with SCIENCE)
  7. we broke up
  8. 15-Year-Old Deadpool 2 Actor Julian Dennison Can't See His Own Movie
  9. Paul McCartney Carpool Karaoke
  10. Courtney Hadwin: 13-Year-Old Golden Buzzer Winning Performance - America's Got Talent 2018

New Zealand’s Top Trending Music Videos
In 2018, we were hooked on the biggest releases of the year with Bruno, Drake and Childish Gambino all making appearances in New Zealand’s top trending music list.

  1. Maroon 5 - Girls Like You ft. Cardi B
  2. Bruno Mars - Finesse (Remix) [Feat. Cardi B] [Official Video]
  3. Lil Dicky - Freaky Friday feat. Chris Brown (Official Music Video)
  4. Drake - God's Plan
  6. Childish Gambino - This Is America (Official Video)
  7. Ariana Grande - no tears left to cry
  8. Post Malone - Psycho ft. Ty Dolla $ign
  9. Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin - I Like It [Official Music Video]
  10. Dua Lipa - IDGAF (Official Music Video)

It's also time for our annual Rewind mashup video. But rather than trying to sum up 2018's biggest memes, personalities, and hit videos ourselves, we tried something different this time around. We asked some of YouTube's biggest names to tell us what they wanted to see if they controlled Rewind.

Check out the full video below and head over to our Rewind site to get to know the creators and artists who shaped popular culture in 2018.

Say G’day to the new Google My Business app, and say hello to your next customer

Every month, in Australia, Google drives tens of millions of direct connections between businesses and their customers including calls, online reservations and direction requests.
Enabling these interactions was our goal when we first introduced Google My Business in Australia four years ago, a free tool that helps small business owners reach more people online and connect with their customers through Google, so they can grow their business and spend more of their time doing what they do best—running it.
As a next step into that journey, today we are excited to announce the release of the new Google My Business app, an even easier way for small businesses to turn those direct connections into customers. Let’s look at how one small business, Khamsa, gets new customers with the app, and read on for details about what’s new:

  • A simple, free way to stand out on Google and get new customers with a great Business Profile: With a press of the new Post button in the app, you can upload a photo, create an offer or event and add it right to your Business Profile on Google. You can also manage your business information on Google from the Profile tab and watch your edits appear seamlessly across Search and Maps. 
  • Your customers on Google – all in one place: When people find you on Google, they can connect with you in a number of ways -- calling, messaging, or even leaving a review -- right from your Business Profile. You’ll be able to see all of these customers on Google in one place from the app’s new Customers tab. From here, you can easily respond to customer reviews and post offers to your followers to keep them coming back in the door, and soon you’ll be able to respond to messages right from the app. And because Google My Business is always on the clock, we’ll be sure to notify you when you get a new customer connection. 
  • Keep track of the results that matter: See how many people are finding and connecting with you from your Business Profile on Google. We’ve put your profile results front-and-center on the home screen so you’re always in the know. 
No matter if you’re a dog grooming business in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs, or an Australian Teddy Bear shop in Tambo, people are searching for your business on Google. Turn those searchers into customers with the new, free Google My Business app. Available for download in Google Play or the App Store today.