Category Archives: Google New Zealand Blog

New Zealand news and notes from Google

Kotahitanga through kapa haka in today’s Waitangi Day Doodle

Image alt text: New Zealanders participating in kapa haka to show kotahitanga, unity, in celebration of Waitangi Day 2024.

Poi, pukana and kapa haka are a shared experience for many people all across New Zealand, whether participating or watching. 



Vincent Egan of Māui Studios has created an image of kotahitanga through kapa haka in today’s Waitangi Day Doodle. “The Doodle artwork delivers a message of kotahitanga - the importance of unity and a celebration of our collective cultures in Aotearoa New Zealand. This piece is a tohu, or symbol, of how awesome we are as a people when we come together and look out for each other.”



Displayed today on the Google New Zealand homepage, the 2024 Waitangi Day Doodle depicts a group of New Zealanders participating in or celebrating elements of the kapa haka festivals, mau rākau weaponry workshops, or annual tribal celebrations that Egan has experienced. 



The design captures a moment in time with whānau and friends: Taking centre stage are a diverse group of tamariki, each representing components of kapa haka - practising with poi and taiaha, and a cheeky Māori boy, Tamaiti haututū, performing a haka dance movement and doing a pukana. The scene is book ended by a proud Māori father who is holding a trophy which one of his tamariki has won in a manu korero speech competition; And an older Pacifica Aunty who is on kai (food) duty with some freshly made rēwana (sweet bread).



In the centre of the image is a girl gazing in interest and wonder at the collective wairua (spiritual essence) of everyone coming together and participating in events. It speaks to the numerous cultures participating and an embracing of each culture’s spirit.  



When explaining why the Waitangi Day is meaningful to him, Vincent shared, “It speaks of the people in Te Ika ā Māui and Te Waipounamu of New Zealand and the important series of historic moments in this country. This is a perfect opportunity to depict the different personalities of our collective home, in a style that resonates deeply with me and the communities we serve at Māui Studios.” Vincent collaborated with his colleagues and fellow designers and illustrators, Madison Henry and Royce Southerland. 



Aotearoa New Zealand today recognises Te Tiriti o Waitangi which was signed on 6 February 1840. Kiwis search interest in Waitangi Treaty Grounds is currently at a four-year high.



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2023 Google News Key Moments

Image: Te Rito journalism cadets learning at Ngā Kete Wānanga Marae marae in September 2023


For over twenty years the Google News Initiative has worked to help local news organisations adapt to digital transformation, and 2023 was no different. Our goal, globally and here in Aotearoa, is to help  news media companies as they build sustainable businesses, connect with readers and engage audiences in a digital environment. 


In the past year, as outlined below, our programmes in New Zealand have engaged dozens of publishers and more than 100 journalists, providing critical information on how newsrooms can use digital technology to find and tell stories in new ways, reach larger audiences and generate more revenues. 



Google News Showcase


Google News Showcase, our curated online news experience and licensing program, launched in Aotearoa in 2022, provides news publishers with more opportunities to create connections with their readers. Across a range of large, small, regional and ethnically diverse publishers, 48 individual mastheads are now on News Showcase, representing the vast majority of news publishers in New Zealand. 


Most recently Newshub, New Zealand's independent broadcast and digital news service joined the program, with Sarah Bristow, Senior Director News, Warner Bros. Discovery ANZ noting: “This partnership is a significant step for Newshub, ensuring our brilliant reporting continues to reach audiences where they are, and helping to create a sustainable future for local journalism. We are very pleased to have reached an agreement with Google.”




Advancing quality journalism 


Training Kiwi journalists

We partnered with Telum Media to deliver eight open training sessions around the country, free of charge, to share the latest tools and processes to support digital reporting. In the last year more than 100 Kiwi journalists joined workshops run by local experts including training on Google’s research tool, Pinpoint, to support journalists’ reporting and creative data visualisation techniques. Journalists interested in future training sessions in 2024 can sign up here.

Supporting misinformation tracking & media literacy

It’s critical we can all differentiate quality information from misinformation in the moments that matter. New Zealand headed to the polls in October 2023, and with a wide range of political information sources readily available online, we partnered with CrossCheck at RMIT FactLab to launch immersive and interactive training events that help newsrooms and community media learn skills to analyse online information during the election period. More than 200 journalists, media executives, media community leaders and students took part in 12 sessions in New Zealand, with two of these facilitated in te reo Māori and one in Mandarin.


For the second consecutive year, Squiz Kids rolled out its media literacy module to give children of 8 to12 years the skills to decide which information sources are trustworthy, and which are not. The eight-part teaching resource, Newshounds, created in partnership with Google was aligned with the New Zealand curriculum and used by 72 Kiwi classrooms in 2023.


Supporting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 

At Ngā Kete Wānanga Marae marae, 12 Te Rito journalism cadets from diverse backgrounds participated in the second annual Te Rito Training Camp, a digital journalism camp founded on the Google News Initiative training curriculum. Cadets met with some of the leading journalists from New Zealand and Australia to learn investigative techniques, cultural history, digital skills and resilience training. For the first time, 8 Australian Indigenous journalists and three journalists from the Pacific joined the New Zealand based Pasifika and Māori cadets at the camp.


In July, Google hosted the inaugural Tagata Moana Media Fono at our offices in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, organised by Pacific Media Network, bringing together all parts of the Pasifika media community.




Strengthening and evolving publisher business models 


The GNI Advertising Lab Series 

The Google News Initiative's major training program for 2023- 2024 is the nine-month Advertising Lab. The Lab's aims to equip small and mid-sized news organisations with the latest information and support to improve their understanding, strategy, and infrastructure as it relates to digital advertising with a view to maximise their site performance and advertising revenue. Facilitated by Google and delivered by A&A Digital Services, a Google Certified Publishing Partner and Google Ad Manager 360 Platform Partner,  the lab supported more than 25 participants from 10 New Zealand news organisations, who will receive additional individual implementation support in 2024 to assist in their digital advertising performance.


The GNI Fundamentals Lab

The Fundamentals Lab is a collaborative three-month lab in which Google reviews news publishers’ sites and shares practical, easy-to-follow steps to grow their audience, expand their ad revenues and increase reader revenues. The Lab delivers learning sessions and working group sessions, as well as bespoke audits. In 2023, 13 participants from ten local news organisations participated in the Fundamentals Lab.


FT Strategies Program: Exec North Star & Digital Business Models Workshops

Kiwi news publishers participated in our Google News Initiative programmes facilitated by FT Strategies including:

  • The Exec North Star Workshop Series, a two-month intensive programme aimed at publishers with a strong online presence, with participation from senior executives, aiming to define and accelerate progress towards a single ambitious organisation goal, using the FT’s proprietary North Star methodology to accelerate digital growth and strengthen commercial sustainability. 

  • The Digital Business Models Workshop Series, a two-month program designed to help publishers at the beginning of their digital reader revenue journey understand and identify reader revenue models in evolving their digital businesses.




Empowering news organisations through technological innovation


Google is focused on partnering with news organisations on initiatives that further their digital transformation. One such partnership is with NZME and we’re pleased to share these examples of how we’ve supported their effort to promote original, trusted journalism across NZME’s digital titles. 

NZME launched a new enriched content subscription product, upgraded its core publishing content management system (CMS) to streamline workflows and improve performance, and enhances data maturity & audience targeting for new story formats. We also supported Stuff to realise the redesign of their stuff.co.nz platform which will enable an innovative approach to dynamic storytelling and exciting new advertising opportunities.





As we embark on 2024, we’re proud of the continued work to partner with the New Zealand news industry, to contribute to a thriving news ecosystem that seeks to benefit all New Zealanders.



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Year in Search: Here’s what Kiwis searched for in 2023

A census and a cyclone. An austere Coronation and the humble cookie. And defining ‘culvert’. Here are the top trending queries that captivated Kiwis this year.


Image: Year in Search 2023 illustration by local artist Sarah May Little


As 2023 draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on the moments, milestones and mysteries that captured Kiwi’s attention this year. 



We tried to make sense of historic events, both on our shores and further afield. We grappled with cyclones and flooding, elected a new Government and hosted the world’s women’s soccer teams. We mourned the loss of the universally funny Matthew Perry, asked questions about the resignation of Jacinda Ardern and marvelled at the spectacle of Posie Parker. And we continue to try to make sense of the war in Israel and Gaza. 



Yet among all of this there were moments of levity. Barbie hit our screens, we found a new daily challenge in Connections and yorkshire puddings graced our dinner plates. 



Google’s Year in Search also allows us to reflect on the year through the lens of the questions we asked. Why is there an egg shortage? How do you say Happy Matariki? How exactly do you cook frankfurters? 



Let’s take a look at some key themes from our searches in Aotearoa this year:


Sports Above All Else

We’ve proven time and again that we’re a nation of sports-mad people and this year is no exception. We were so spoiled with sports games, events and tournaments that it's a wonder we got anything else done. We hosted the FIFA Women’s World Cup, made it all the way to the finals of the men’s Rugby World Cup and created a cultural movement around “Up the Wahs!”. The list of sporting heroes reflects the breadth of our sporting prowess, with golf, UFC, motorsports, cricket, soccer, rugby and league all represented in our top trending Kiwis.



How’s the weather?

As we wait patiently for the summer we deserve to begin, it is clear that the weather has occupied more than just the thoughts of many Kiwis this year. With unprecedented becoming the most common way to describe weather events, we bore the brunt of flooding, atmospheric rivers and cyclones unlike anything we’ve seen before. Tools like Geonet, Windy and Rain Radar helped us to understand these weather patterns, while Skyscanner assisted in planning our escape. The DIY-minded looked to make the most of the sunshine with solar panels, while star gazers wondered how to find matariki.



Civic Duty

We close out this year with a new Government and a new Monarch. The latter had us whipping up Coronation quiche and chicken. We started this year wondering why Jacinda Ardern decided to resign, and we put our mettle to the census and elections of both the human and avian kind. Congratulations again to the Pūtekeke! With politicians from across the political spectrum in our trending searches, as well as questions on how to register and vote, we clearly took our civic duties seriously this year.



Culinary Creativity and Home Comforts

Our top trending culinary delights show we like to branch out creatively, but are also creatures of comfort. Yorkshire pudding took the top savoury spot, while teriyaki sauce, crayfish and frankfurters all featured on menus around the country. Dishes like fry bread, steak and lamb chops show we’re still keen to get the basics right. Our sweet tooth cravings had us baking cookies, afghans and, perhaps curiously, orange cake. 



Check out the full trending Search data for New Zealand in 2023:


News

  1. Cyclone Gabrielle

  2. Matthew Perry

  3. Election Results

  4. Census 2023

  5. Auckland Airport

  6. Auckland Flooding

  7. Jacinda Ardern

  8. War in Israel and Gaza

  9. Auckland Shooting

  10. Submarine Missing



Sporting Events

  1. Rugby World Cup

  2. FIFA World Cup

  3. NRL Ladder

  4. Cricket World Cup

  5. Warriors vs Broncos

  6. All Blacks vs Ireland

  7. ASB Classic

  8. Ashes

  9. All Blacks vs France

  10. Jake Paul vs Tommy Fury



Sports Teams

  1. Warriors

  2. All Blacks

  3. Black Caps

  4. Inter Miami

  5. Lakers

  6. Football Ferns

  7. Wrexham

  8. Chiefs

  9. Breakers

  10. Manchester City



Loss

  1. Matthew Perry

  2. Sinead O'Conner

  3. Jock Zonfrillo

  4. Ken Block

  5. Tina Turner

  6. Nicola Bulley

  7. Yanfei Bao

  8. Cal Wilson

  9. Angus Cloud

  10. Lance Reddick



Global Figures

  1. Posie Parker

  2. Andrew Tate

  3. Taylor Swift

  4. David Beckham

  5. Harry Styles

  6. Prince Harry

  7. Margot Robbie

  8. Jeremy Renner

  9. Elton John

  10. Ed Sheeran



Notable New Zealanders

  1. Ryan Fox

  2. Israel Adesanya

  3. Liam Lawson

  4. Lydia Ko

  5. Dai Henwood

  6. Shaun Johnson

  7. Rachin Ravindra

  8. Simon Barnett

  9. Sam Whitelock

  10. Michael Boxall



New Zealand Politicians

  1. Jacinda Ardern

  2. Chris Hipkins

  3. Kiri Allen

  4. Christopher Luxon

  5. Winston Peters

  6. David Seymour

  7. Carmel Sepuloni

  8. Wayne Browne

  9. Chloe Swarbrick

  10. Marama Davidson



Movies

  1. Oppenheimer

  2. Barbie

  3. Avatar

  4. Everything Everywhere All At Once

  5. Guardians of the Galaxy

  6. John Wick 4

  7. The Menu

  8. Sound of Freedom

  9. Puss in Boots

  10. Glass Onion



Series

  1. The Last of Us

  2. Ginny & Georgia

  3. The Night Agent

  4. Daisy Jones & The Six

  5. Wednesday

  6. Queen Charlotte

  7. Succession

  8. Beef

  9. White Lotus

  10. The Idol



Definitions

  1. Culvert

  2. Cis White Male

  3. Wan

  4. Woman

  5. Proclaim

  6. Staid

  7. Credo

  8. Snafu

  9. Contempt

  10. Misogyny



Sweet Recipes

  1. Cookie

  2. Scone

  3. Afghan

  4. Icing

  5. Mug Cake

  6. Red Velvet Cake

  7. Pancakes

  8. Muffin

  9. Orange Cake

  10. Pikelets



Savoury Recipes

  1. Yorkshire Pudding

  2. Focaccia

  3. Coronation Quiche

  4. Coronation Chicken

  5. Teriyaki Sauce

  6. Fry Bread

  7. Pulled Pork

  8. Bagel

  9. Big Mac Sauce

  10. Chicken Nibbles



How To

  1. How to vote

  2. How to lock facebook profile

  3. How to watch rugby world cup

  4. How to deactivate facebook

  5. How to solve a rubik's cube

  6. How to get rid of my ai on snapchat

  7. How to say happy Matariki

  8. How to register to vote

  9. How to watch women's world cup

  10. How to find Matariki



What is...?

  1. What is Threads?

  2. What is happening in Israel?

  3. What is Hamas?

  4. What is a blue moon?

  5. What is ALS?

  6. What is the willow project?

  7. What is Oppenheimer about?

  8. What is ChatGPT?

  9. What is a culvert?

  10. What is Matariki day?



Why

  1. Why is Israel and Gaza fighting?

  2. Why is Book Depository closing?

  3. Why were chainsaws invented?

  4. Why is there an egg shortage

  5. Why did hamas invade israel

  6. Why was the interislander ferry Kaitaki in the news last week?

  7. Why did Jacinda Ardern retire

  8. Why is China upset with Japan?

  9. Why were some roads closed and the public asked to avoid an area in central auckland last week?

  10. Why is it called a blue moon



D.I.Y

  1. Headboard

  2. Chicken Coop

  3. Lash Extensions

  4. Easy Halloween Costumes

  5. Chocolate Gift Box Ideas

  6. Mother's Day Gifts

  7. Solar Panels

  8. Dog Wash

  9. Fly Screen

  10. Advent Calendar



How to Cook

  1. How to cook pasta

  2. How to cook steak

  3. How to cook lamb chops

  4. How to cook brown rice

  5. How to cook tofu

  6. How to cook choko

  7. How to cook rhubarb

  8. How to cook salmon

  9. How to cook crayfish

  10. How to cook frankfurters



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Get a faster connection with Wi-Fi 6E on Nest Wifi Pro

Alt text: A white Nest WiFi Pro sits on a stack of white books on a white dresser. A piece of artwork, a lamp and a bowl also sit on top of the dresser.

There are days when our home’s Wi-Fi feels a bit crowded. One family member might be using it to take virtual meetings, while another streams their favourite show, and another downloads the latest game. And they all rely on a fast and reliable connection.

Our latest Wi-Fi system, Nest Wifi Pro, with Wi-Fi 6E technology is a new advanced mesh Wi-Fi system that helps make all those home connections faster, more reliable and simpler to manage.



Faster speeds for your entire home

So what exactly is Wi-Fi 6E? As its name — 6 “Extended” — suggests, it's a big upgrade from Wi-Fi 6. While Wi-Fi 6 was built on the same heavily congested radio bands used by Wi-Fi 5, Wi-Fi 6E uses an entirely new (and less crowded) 6 GHz radio band. Much like driving in the fast lane on the highway, the 6 GHz band provides a faster and more direct path to the most reliable internet connection.


As a result, 6E offers speeds up to two times faster than Wi-Fi 6. The first of our Wi-Fi routers to enable 6E, Nest Wifi Pro is set up to support the next generation of phones, laptops and other devices operating on more advanced technology. 


Nest Wifi Pro is built to constantly analyse your network performance and optimise your connection to keep it fast and avoid congestion. And it knows how to prioritise high-bandwidth activities like video calls and streaming.



Simple to use

It’s simple to set up your router using the Google Home app, which will show you easy step-by-step instructions to get your network up and running in minutes. The app is also the best place to monitor your network, whether you want to run speed tests, share your password or set up a guest network. 


To avoid those frustrating connectivity disruptions, Nest Wifi Pro proactively scans for and diagnoses connection issues and notifies you in the app with any steps you need to take. Using Google intelligence, it can even automatically fix common problems, like recovering a lost connection. 


And at no additional cost, you can better manage your kids’ connections. In the app’s Family Wi-Fi settings, you’ll find parental controls like Wi-Fi scheduling, which allows you to restrict Wi-Fi access during moments like bedtime or dinnertime, and simple ways to block unsafe content. 



Safe and secure out of the box

With so many connected devices, home networks can be susceptible to unauthorised downloads and router hacks. We built safety and security measures directly into Nest Wifi Pro, at no additional cost, to help protect your connection. For example, in the Google Home app, you can see every device that’s connected to your network to help you easily identify and pause any that might look suspicious. 


Automatic software updates also keep your Nest Wifi Pro running smoothly, helping protect your router and network from security threats. 



Foundation of your smart home

Designed with our many Wi-Fi needs in mind, each Nest Wifi Pro can accommodate nearly every connected device in a typical home. And it has the speed and capacity to handle several high-bandwidth activities at the same time, like taking video calls while watching 4K videos and streaming your security cameras. One router has the power to cover up to 2,200 square feet alone. 


Nest Wifi Pro also includes a built-in Thread border router so you can connect all your Thread smart devices to your home network — and save energy, thanks to Thread’s low power mesh. 


With Matter, the new smart home protocol, you'll be able to use your Nest Wifi Pro router as a Matter hub, too. It will control and connect to all your Matter-enabled devices, making it that much easier to manage and add devices to your smart home in the future.



Beautiful and sustainable design

Let’s face it, many Wi-Fi routers aren’t that attractive with their long antennae and blinking lights. Because of this, they’re often tucked away into a cabinet or closet, stifling their signal and performance. Nest Wifi Pro was built to fit in with your home, offering a beautiful high gloss finish inspired by ceramics. 


Colour was an important consideration when designing the Nest Wifi Pro. These devices are available in Snow, a soft cotton white that easily fits in with your other Nest products. 


We've also considered sustainability at many levels, from how the product is made to the materials we used to build it. It’s a sustainable home networking choice, built with over 60% recycled materials based on product weight.


Nest Wifi Pro retails at NZD$799.99 for a three pack, covering up to 600 metres squared. It’s also available at NZD$399.99 for a one pack to accommodate homes of all sizes. It will be available from October 12 online and in major retailers, JB Hifi, Harvey Norman, Noel Leeming, PB Tech. 


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Introducing Fitbit Charge 6: Our most advanced tracker yet

Alt text: Video of men and women exercising and interacting while all wearing Charge 6.



Work out smarter and understand your body better with the new Fitbit Charge 6, available for pre-order today. (1)



Charge 6 helps you stay on track with your goals thanks to advanced health sensors that, combined with a new machine learning algorithm, bring you our most accurate heart rate tracking on a Fitbit tracker yet,(2) and the ability to connect to compatible gym equipment and fitness apps to see your real-time heart rate during workouts. Plus, it’s helpful when you’re on the go with its new haptic side button, 7 days of battery life (3), and the ability to do even more right from your wrist — like control YouTube music and use Google Maps and Wallet. 



Here’s a look at all the ways the Fitbit Charge 6 can take your health and fitness up a notch. 



Take a beat with improved heart rate tracking

Charge 6 debuts the most accurate heart rate on a Fitbit tracker yet, thanks to an improved machine learning algorithm that brings over innovation from the Pixel Watch and has been optimised for a tracker. Heart rate tracking during vigorous activities — like HIIT workouts, spinning and rowing — is up to 60% more accurate than before, giving you added confidence in your health stats.(4) Better heart rate accuracy means even more precise readings for you — from calories and Active Zone Minutes to your Daily Readiness Score (5) and Sleep Score. You can still assess your heart rhythm for atrial fibrillation on-wrist with the ECG app,(6) and get high and low heart rate notifications, keeping your beat in check at all times.



Alt text: Man fist bumps while running wearing the Charge 6 in Coral.

See your live heart-pumping progress and connect to fitness apps and machines

Connect your Charge 6 to compatible exercise apps and machines to stay motivated at home or at the gym. Easily and securely connect to compatible exercise equipment with encrypted Bluetooth — from partners like NordicTrack, Peloton and Concept2 (7) — to see your real-time heart rate displayed live during a workout. You can also connect to see your real-time heart rate within popular Android and iOS phone or tablet fitness apps such as Peloton. 


Alt text: Woman streams her real-time heart rate from Charge 6 in Coral to the screen of a stationary NordicTrack rower. 


Fuel your fitness routine with more ways to track workouts and stay motivated

With even more personalised ways to track and stay motivated during workouts, you’re sure to get your movement in. Choose from more than 40 exercise modes — including 20 new options like HIIT, strength training and snowboarding— to get important workout stats. Need to track an outdoor workout? Leave your compatible phone(8) at home thanks to Charge 6’s built-in GPS that allows you to easily track your distance. 


With YouTube Music controls (9) (10) on Charge 6, you can be the DJ of your workouts as you start, stop and skip over 100 million songs right from your wrist. When you want to change things up, YouTube Music Premium can also recommend workout mixes based on your exercise.


Alt text: Woman in a wheelchair plays pickleball while wearing Charge 6 with a sport band.


Bring the helpful tools you need, on-the-go

For the first time, we’re bringing helpful Google tools(11) to a tracker. Charge 6 will have Google Maps and Google Wallet, making it convenient to go from workouts to errands and everywhere in between. Navigate on the go using Google Maps to get turn-by-turn directions right on your wrist, or grab a post-workout snack using Google Wallet to make contactless payments. With just the right smarts you need for your daily routine, it’s never been easier to explore a new running route and quickly tap to pay for a recovery smoothie on the way home. 



Charge 6 also features our first Accessibility feature on a Fitbit device with Zoom + Magnification. With just a couple of taps anywhere on the screen, you can magnify on-screen words if it’s difficult to read small text or you prefer a larger font. 


Alt text: Biker pays for a snack using Google Wallet on Charge 6 in Coral. 

Make sense of your wellbeing

Charge 6 health and wellness features are built from Fitbit’s advanced sensors that power in-depth insights. Here are some of the ways it helps you keep tabs on your health:

  • Wake up to your Sleep Score each morning to assess how well you slept based on the time you’re in different sleep stages, your heart rate while sleeping, how restless you were and more. 

  • Manage your stress with an electrodermal activity (EDA) scan to measure your body’s physical responses in the moment and get actionable guidance on how to manage your stress. Check your Stress Management Score to see how well your body is handling stress and make a plan for the day. 

  • Access other health metrics like blood oxygen saturation (SpO2),(12) heart rate variability, breathing rate and more. 

  • With six months of Fitbit Premium (13) included, you can access thousands of workout sessions like HIIT, cycling, dance cardio and more, as well as a range of mindfulness sessions.

  • The all-new Fitbit app helps you focus on your goals and understand the metrics that matter to you like Daily Readiness Score, a Premium feature that helps you understand your body’s readiness to tackle a tough workout or take a day to recover, with daily activity recommendations based on your score.  


Alt text: Daily Readiness Score in the newly redesigned Fitbit app. 



Ready to get that Fitbit feeling? Beginning today, you can pre-order Charge 6 online for $289.95 at the Google Store, Fitbit.com or major retailers. Available from October 12th.  It comes in three colour options: Obsidian, Porcelain and Coral. There are also new accessories to fit your style for any occasion available on Fitbit.com — whether you’re getting the new Charge 6 or want to freshen up another Fitbit device. Check out the Ocean woven band and Hazel sport band for Charge 6 and Charge 5; a Desert Tan leather and Ocean woven sport band for Fitbit smartwatches; and translucent bands and a matte black stainless steel mesh band for Inspire 3.


Alt text: New Ocean woven band; New Hazel sport band for Charge 5 and Charge 6


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 Fitbit Charge 6 works with most phones running Android 9.0 or newer or iOS 15 or newer and requires a Google Account and internet access. Some features require a Fitbit mobile app and/or a paid subscription. See Fitbit.com/devices for more information. 
(2)  Compared to other Fitbit fitness trackers as of Fall 2023. Does not include Pixel or Fitbit smartwatches. Performance of heart rate tracking may be affected by physiology, location of device and your movements and activity.
(3)  Average battery life is approximate and is based on testing conducted in California in mid 2023 on pre-production hardware and software, using default settings with a median Fitbit user battery usage profile across a mix of data, standby, and use of other features. Battery life depends on features enabled, usage, environment and many other factors. Use of certain features will decrease battery life. Actual battery life may be lower. 
(4)  Compared to Charge 5. Based on 90th percentile BPM errors from 2023 testing of individuals engaged in HIIT, spinning and rowing using pre-production Charge 6 and Charge 5. Percentage improvement does not relate to other exercises.
(5)  Daily Readiness Score requires a Fitbit Premium membership. Premium content recommendations are not available in all locales and may be in English only.
(6)  The Fitbit ECG app is only available in select countries. Not intended for use by people under 22 years old. See fitbit.com/ecg for additional details.
(7)  Compatible with select workout machines that support the Bluetooth Heart Rate Profile, and coming soon to more. See here for more information on Charge 6-compatible machines.
(8)  Fitbit Charge 6 works with most phones running Android 9.0 or newer or iOS 15 or newer and requires a Google Account and internet access. Some features require a Fitbit mobile app and/or a paid subscription. See Fitbit.com/devices for more information.
(9)  YouTube Music controls require a compatible phone within Bluetooth range and a paid YouTube Music Premium subscription. Data rates may apply. 
(10) YouTube Music controls requires a paid YouTube Music Premium subscription. Try a 1-month free trial to unlock more of the YouTube love. Terms apply.
(11)  Google apps and services require a compatible phone within Bluetooth range of your Fitbit device and are not available in all countries or languages. Data rates may apply.
(12)  Not available in all countries. The SpO2 feature is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition or for any other medical purpose. It is intended to help you manage your well-being and keep track of your information. This feature requires more frequent charging.
(13)  With eligible device purchase. New and returning Premium members only. Must activate membership within 60 days of device activation. Valid form of payment required. $9.99/month after expiration of 6-month membership. Cancel anytime. Membership cannot be gifted. Content and features may change. See g.co/fitbitpremium/tos for more details.



Supporting young indigenous journalists through the Te Rito Journalism Training Camp

Image: Te Rito cadets engaging in a korero during the training camp.

Indigenous people are the first storytellers of any land - from Waitangi to Rakiura Stewart Island. It’s important that their stories are told to nurture communities and tell histories. This is critical too in our news ecosystem. Which is why Te Rito Journalism Project was set up to help address today’s shortage of Māori and Pasifika journalists and cultural awareness in newsrooms.



For the second year, the Google News Initiative has supported Te Rito with a digital skills training camp for its cadets, to bring the rich history of indigenous storytelling into the smartphones, laptops and desktops of news audiences across Aotearoa and beyond.



In August last year, we hosted the first Te Rito Journalism Training Camp which saw 23 cadets representing multiple ethnicities, languages, and the rainbow and disability communities from all over the motu participate in training focused on digital skilling and fundamental principles of digital tools and reporting. 



This year, for the first time Te Rito included young Indigenous journalists from Australia, supporting critical First Nation storytelling.



Across four days, 24 cadets identifying as First Nations, Māori or Pasifika learnt fundamentals in indigenous journalism. A News Lab Teaching Fellow taught skills in recognising and verifying fake images or information, engaging audiences through digital storytelling and First Nation editors led sessions in Indigenous storytelling and building resilience -including to raise issues of conflict when they arise and deal with trauma.  They were also trained on Pinpoint, a research tool from Google powered by AI, that can analyse large numbers of documents.

Image: Te Rito cadets participated in training on digital skills and storytelling.

Te Rito was established by New Zealand Media and Entertainment (NZME), Whakaata Māori, Warner Bros. Discovery ANZ and the Pacific Media Network, with support from NZ On Air's Public Interest Journalism Fund.



News is dependent on the people that tell the stories. The journalism and broadcast industry will have much to gain from voices across diverse backgrounds that are representative of all communities in Aotearoa and Australia.




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Supporting the 2023 New Zealand General Election

Image: Google Doodle for Election Day


Come October 2023, New Zealanders will take to the polls to vote in the General Election to decide who we want to represent us and our communities in Parliament. 


To support the democratic process, Google is bringing more openness to election advertising online, and helping connect people to useful and relevant election-related information. Here is how we will be providing support:



Helping voters find the information they need


In the build-up to elections, people need helpful and authoritative information to help them navigate the electoral process. For the New Zealand election in 2023, we will make electoral information from the Election Commission and other authoritative sources - such as how to vote and where to vote - easily discoverable on Search and YouTube.


Google News Lab will continue to publish the latest Search Trends related to the Election, across politicians, policies and parties, to support newsrooms with their coverage of the election period. In addition to the bespoke microsite, News Lab will be issuing weekly Trends Alerts from the beginning of September to highlight the areas that Kiwis are interested in, which anyone can sign up for here



Helping people better understand the election advertising they see


Google’s goal has always been to support election integrity by providing transparency into the political advertising spend on our platforms. For the second time during our local General Election a publicly accessible Transparency Report is live, showing election ads run by verified advertisers. Our goal is to make this information as accessible and useful as possible to citizens, practitioners, and researchers. We're working with political parties to help them understand digital best practices and will be sharing Google's ads policies with parties and candidates.


On YouTube, we have expanded information panels giving topical context in New Zealand and across the region. Now, when Kiwis search videos on certain topics prone to misinformation, they’ll see an information panel at the top of their search results or under a video they’re watching which includes links to additional info and context from authoritative third-party sources.



Helping to build media literacy with the Google News Initiative 


We help voters find reliable, useful election-related information online and we also work hard to prevent election interference by being on the front foot and educating stakeholders on how to spot disinformation through media literacy programmes.


As part of our ongoing commitment to the New Zealand media industry we partnered with CrossCheck at RMIT FactLab to launch RMIT Fact Lab Workshops. These immersive and interactive trainings help newsrooms and community media learn skills to analyse online information during the Election period.


In addition, we have partnered with Squiz Kids, a daily news podcast for school children, designed to teach students how to recognize online fact from fiction through a plug-and-play teaching resource. 



Our mission is to make the world’s information accessible and useful, and during this election period, we want to surface the facts and help audiences get more context on information they find online. We will continue to invest in initiatives that build further on our commitment towards election transparency, and we are grateful for our partners, and the work we do together in this space. 



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Google Cloud Signs All-of-Government Cloud Framework Agreement with New Zealand Government


Cloud technology plays a critical role in solving complex problems for Aotearoa — across both national and local levels and today, I’m pleased to share that Google Cloud has signed an All-of-Government Cloud Framework Agreement with the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA), to accelerate public sector cloud adoption to deliver improved digital experiences for Kiwis.


Simply put, this means that eligible government agencies will have standardised and simplified access to our technology and services so they can modernise their legacy systems and build new applications that serve New Zealanders quickly and securely. 


The agreement covers Google Cloud Platform (GCP) including data and analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) tools, Google Workspace, as well as professional cloud services and Security Operations Services (SecOps). 


The Framework Agreement builds on Google Cloud’s deep investment in New Zealand. Last year, Google Cloud announced plans for its first ever cloud region in New Zealand, offering resiliency, low-latency connectivity, and scalability to Kiwi customers. According to a recent Economic Impact Report by Access Partnership, the new Google Cloud region will support the country’s economic growth, with a predicted NZD$4.2 billion in productivity benefits being generated between 2025 and 2030. 


Google has been supporting New Zealand businesses and communities since 2007. With government initiatives such as the Google in Schools Agreement, Google Cloud has worked with the Ministry of Education to provide schools using Google solutions, with digital tools that support safe modern digital learning environments. Google is also part of the Digital Boost Alliance with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), offering digital training and expertise to support the digitisation of small businesses. 


We’re committed to working closely with the New Zealand Government to provide secure and sustainable solutions to all Kiwis. This government agreement is a welcome addition to Google Cloud's rapidly growing presence in New Zealand's Enterprise, Education and SME sectors and we are aware that security of data and the digitisation of government are critical to building trust in the public sector. 



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Google’s $16.5 billion impact in Aotearoa: Supporting New Zealand’s digital future


Today, I’m proud to launch Google’s 2022 Economic Impact Report


The report by Access Partnership investigates how digital technologies can help New Zealand tackle two critical national challenges: the growing digital skills gap and the increasing risk of natural disasters. By addressing these we can build our resilience and gain up to $18 billion in 2030*.


The report also looks at the ways Google is supporting New Zealand households and businesses into the digital future — to the tune of $16.5 billion worth of economic benefits in 2022.



Using digital technologies to solve critical national challenges 

The research by Access Partnership looked at two critical challenges: the digital skills shortages in our labour market, and the risk of natural disasters exacerbated by climate change. 

It found that:

  • Better using digital technologies to solve critical challenges can help New Zealand gain up to $18.2 billion in 2030. This includes:

  1. Improving New Zealand’s digital competitiveness could unlock $8.4 billion of additional  Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2030 through improved labour productivity. For example:

    • By streamlining the job search process through online job portals, upskilling workers through online digital skills training, and applying artificial intelligence (AI) on resume optimisation or insights on industry hiring and salary trends.

  2. Helping New Zealand manage the impacts of natural disasters could eliminate $9.8 billion in property damage in 2030. This includes:

    • Three key technologies include remote sensing, geospatial data analytics and satellite communication which can ensure better disaster preparedness and quicker response efforts.


Google is helping New Zealand’s resilience through community engagement, funding and partnerships. To provide digital skills and knowledge to New Zealand’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), Google has played an active role in the MBIE’s ‘Digital Boost Alliance,’ including the development of a free tool Checkable, which is built on Google Cloud, and helps SMEs understand and improve their digital presence. 



Google’s economic impact in New Zealand


Google has been on the ground in New Zealand for over 15 years and has a team in both Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland and Pōneke Wellington across Cloud, Engineering, Education and Client Partnerships. 


Our digital tools like Google Ads and YouTube help support an additional 39,600 local jobs in 2022. For example, app developers use Google Play to generate revenue that supports a wide range of jobs including engineers, graphic designers and marketers. And over one in four New Zealand YouTube users say they use the platform to learn advanced digital skills, like software programming, AI and website development.


Through products and services including Google Search, Ads, AdSense, Play, YouTube, and Cloud, New Zealand businesses gained $10.9 billion worth of economic value in 2022. Of this value, over half (52%) went to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) - a total $5.7 billion. These products help businesses expand and grow revenue in domestic and international markets, and work more efficiently while strengthening resilience against economic shocks. In addition, Kiwi employees using Google Workspace each gain 18 days of time savings annually. This includes time saved by accessing, storing and sharing online documents for work, and from reduced meetings and more efficient collaborations. 


This includes the University of Canterbury which was struggling to attract international students when borders reopened post-pandemic. The Faculty of Science adopted a test and learn approach, and rolled out a full-funnel digital ads strategy across 40 countries, in the hope of generating enquiries, and ultimately applications, from international students. The campaign resulted in 58,000 new enquiries — a 10x return on export investment from their spend on Google Ads.


Many New Zealand businesses choose to partner with Google Cloud to support their digital transformation journey, providing them with an easy-to-use and always-on service that keeps them running smoothly and maximises efficiency and productivity. We recently announced plans to bring a Google Cloud region to Aotearoa, with an AccessPartnership study** finding:


  • $4.2 billion in productivity benefits will be generated via the new Google Cloud region between 2025 and 2030; 

  • 9,700 equivalent full-time jobs like cloud engineers and data scientists will be created through the Google Cloud region in 2030 alone;  and

  • 78% improvement in energy efficiency*** could be achieved through the migration of on-premise data centres to cloud, enabling organisations to reduce energy consumption and associated emissions.


The Google Cloud region’s reliable, low-latency connectivity, as well as the highest security and compliance standards will help advance areas like New Zealand’s healthcare systems and scientific research through scalable, on-demand access to solutions.



Helping Kiwis save time and access important information


Many of our helpful products have become an important part of the everyday lives of millions of Kiwis. Through the use of Google's products, which include Google Search, Maps, Play, YouTube, Drive, Photos, Slides, Docs, and Sheets, in 2022, New Zealand households enjoy $5.6 billion worth of economic benefits — which represents the average New Zealand Internet user receiving $1,167 of value annually as a result of easier access to information, increased productivity and a variety of entertainment and enrichment benefits.


Digital technologies have played a vital role in supporting New Zealand’s resilience through the environment, economic shocks and other emerging challenges. This report shows us they will be critical to helping us better predict and respond to future challenges — and in achieving our potential. Google is committed to working alongside people, businesses and community to create a strong and inclusive digital future for all New Zealanders.


You can read more about the findings here.

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The labour productivity gains from digital skilling are measured in value-added terms, while the property damages avoided from natural disasters are measured in terms of cost savings.

**Access Partnership (2022), “Lifting Productivity: Google Cloud Regions”. Available at: https://accesspartnership.com/lifting-productivity-google-cloud-regions/

***Note: This finding refers to benefits from cloud-based solutions in general, and is not specific to Google Cloud. 


Training Kiwi journalists to spot misinformation ahead of the New Zealand General Election

Ahead of elections, misinformation can ramp up leading to confusion and an erosion of people’s trust in the democratic process. With Kiwis taking to the polls this October, and a wide range of sources readily available online, it’s crucial that those who write the news have the tools to evaluate and ascertain quality information from misinformation.



That’s why, as part of our ongoing commitment to the New Zealand media industry, we’ve partnered with CrossCheck at RMIT FactLab to launch immersive and interactive training events that help newsrooms and community media learn skills to analyse online information during the Election period. 



In preparation for the election period, journalists participate in live simulations at the heart of a high-intensity breaking-news story, challenging them to make reporting decisions in real time. This includes a bespoke reflection that involves discussion and reflection on the various scenarios developed for all training sessions, and masterclass in information disorder and responsible reporting. 



Caption: The first virtual training session held in March with participants from the Spinoff to Pacific Media and students from AUT


In the 60-minute online training, participants debate ideas and simulate real life situations journalists may face, such as delving into case studies to understand some of the ethical boundaries on social media reporting. Participants found one of the biggest challenges for journalists was the 'tipping point' - when to report on information while considering whether or not amplification will do further harm.



We know that it’s better to address misconceptions before they spread, which is why the simulation brought to life examples of how to prebunk, as opposed to just debunk, information. 



Shanti Mathias, staff writer at The Spinoff shared her reflections post-training: ”I really appreciated the simulation and felt that it was quite a well researched scenario on the whole...overall the reminder to be thoughtful about information that I encounter as a journalist was a really valuable one.”


AUT Journalism Associate Professor Helen Sissons said the experience was a fantastic training tool, and students were "all smiles" and still talking about the simulation in classes. She also mentioned that the students enjoyed the hands-on practical and interactive nature of the exercises.



In the coming months, more simulation and training sessions will be conducted with top tier national and regional mastheads. There will also be additional training scenarios with te reo Māori experts and Chinese speakers to deliver simulations relevant to language groups. 



To further advance New Zealanders ability to identify misinformation, the Google News Initiative supports a range of other projects including Newshounds by Squiz Kids, a media literacy teaching resource which teaches children what information sources they should (and shouldn’t) trust, and Policy who run a tool for journalists that provides a database for candidates’ key election policies, supporting their ability to track misinformation. 



We look forward to continuing to work with news partners to ensure communities have access to quality information in an effort to ensure Kiwis continue to find quality information and journalism in critical moments that matter.


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