Column: Tech.bits


By Simon Gutschlag, chair of Nelson Digital Futures

Hello and Welcome to the first blog on Innovation and Technology in the Tasman/Nelson region.

To get us started, here’s a great local success story to show how our lovely corner of the world is already making its mark with digital technology:

Check out this link: and click on the camera link. It was really blustery the day I wrote this and if you look at the timelapse on this camera looking over Richmond, you’ll see it move around a fair bit thanks to those ugly winds. Take this kind of technology for granted don’t we? Use it to check out the ski field outlook or traffic flows if we have to go to a big town?  Yup – I do too.  Guess what – it comes out of Nelson. Here is a really neat company that started out of a garage right here in Nelson that is showing the global players how to really do it.

SnapITHD ( is a company of innovators that started from an idea about how to best capture images of a holiday home. The entrepreneurial Rodley family then thought the idea and concept was too good to keep to themselves and gave their idea a commercial nudge. It has evolved from there and got better and better and now the product suite has world-leading camera technology, with 360 degree capability, and is being used on commercial fishing boats and marine applications, using satellite communications to transmit and saving taxpayers money!

Andrew and Chris Rodley of Snapit HD on-board a fishing boat that’s been fitted with one of their cameras.

SnapIT is a real kiwi get-stuck-in story and while Chris and Andrew Rodley would modestly say they are still starting out, they are racking up some serious awards and achievements.

The concept on the face of it is simple, but the opportunity had to be seized and the technology harnessed, the little office there in downtown Nelson is continually innovating it’s products and services now to include applications for health and safety, monitoring fishing quotas and I know Chris and the team have been talking to a number of government departments about uses to help automate processes and save time and money.

Stand by for more success from SnapitHD and more stories like this one….


Technology. Some people love it and some people just aren’t sure.  We’re firmly in the first camp which is why we set up Nelson Digital Futures after the Gigatown competition.  We’re all about sharing great stories and keeping you up to date on new and exciting news. Our regular partner will be INNOVATE which is already responsible for bringing us the region’s first ever StartUp Weekend.  If there’s innovation and exciting things happening with technology we’ll be talking about them here.

So to kick things off, what can you expect from Nelson Digital Futures?  I’m Simon Gutschlag, the current Chairperson and I work with a great group of people on areas like advocacy for new technology, sharing local success stories and setting up projects to help us all get the best out of new technology (We have an exciting gigfibre project in the pipeline among other exciting initiatives).