As many guys who grew up as a second son will tell you, living with a bigger brother close by can often create challenges. It’s occasionally difficult to be seen in your own light and get your voice heard.
Sometimes, countries experience just this kind of relationship. Think Canada to the United States. Think Scotland to England. And, of course, think New Zealand to Australia. As a native born Kiwi, the last example is one that I feel reasonably well qualified to comment on!
We’re all aware of our neighbour across the Tasman Sea, and the fact that when we head for Europe or the US, nearly everyone mistakes our accents for Aussie.
So, it’s time to shout a bit louder about New Zealand, and, in particular highlight the way in which, in the shape of Smart Parking, Kiwis are playing their part to keep our industry and our company at the cutting edge of new parking and traffic flow solutions.
New Zealand is home to around 4.5 million people, but while that’s not a huge population, we are, for the most part, largely urban dwellers. Just four cities alone – Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington and Hamilton – are where almost 60% of us live, so while we’re a small country, it doesn’t mean to say we don’t have big country parking and traffic flow challenges.
Think of New Zealand and you’ll probably consider that we’re famous for our agriculture. If you’re partial to roast lamb and a decent Sauvignon Blanc, the chances are that they came from here. But what’s also worth saying is that we’re also home to some sophisticated technology businesses, as exemplified by Smart Parking’s origins here. Smart Parking can trace its roots to 2003, when it was a New Zealand-founded technology developer. It’s a background that means we understand the true importance of innovation in our industry – and the value of using technology as a key enabler to help our clients achieve their goals.
It’s also this longstanding heritage in the sector, and strong professional relationships with parking providers here, that means Smart Parking has been able to secure a significant client base across the country, with local authorities and private car parking providers adopting our innovations to improve the quality, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of parking compliance.
Councils like Rotorua and Waipa are using our sensor technology to help breathe new life into their CBD and ensure that shoppers and tourists are given another great reason to visit downtown. Retailers like The Base in Hamilton and transport providers like Auckland International Airport have integrated our SmartGuide solution to enable drivers to find a parking space quickly and easily.
Our expertise as an innovator in the sector also means that New Zealand is the perfect location for Smart Parking’s new technology hub. We recently secured new offices in the South Auckland district of Penrose to provide our research and development team with their own dedicated facilities.
The team focuses on developing innovations in the speed, efficiency and functionality of our applications. They also ensure that the way in which our hardware that is deployed within a Smart Parking contract is fully integrated into the software to provide a seamless service.
So yes, New Zealand may be a small nation, but we’re playing an important role not only in helping make parking and traffic flow easier but also in developing and then deploying the solutions that will form the basis of tomorrow’s solutions.