We are a group of business leaders from NZ-owned IT firms who have formed NZRise as a non-profit New Zealand incorporated society. NZRise exists to represent the interests of NZ-owned digital technology businesses (we use the terms IT and “digital technology” interchangeably).

NZRise and its member companies are passionate about New Zealand technology and believe our IT industry can be a hotbed of innovation and growth. We believe New Zealand’s unique economic and cultural context provides the ideal conditions for building an industry that can meet world demand for agility, rapid development, collaboration, and innovation.

To achieve our aims, NZRise strongly represents the interests of New Zealand-owned IT companies. Whilst organisations exist and have existed to represent the whole IT industry in this country, there has never been any organisation that represents the Kiwi-owned and operated IT companies. Our focus on this group will help ensure a maximum contribution to the New Zealand economy in a manner that is sustainable in the long term and benefits New Zealand first and foremost.

As owner-operators of successful IT businesses, our members have the passion, vigilance, and long-term interest in the success of our industry to a level that cannot be matched by those that are stewards of businesses owned by others.

Having demonstrated their entrepreneurship and commitment by establishing their businesses, NZRise’s members are uniquely positioned to work with government entities, associations, and private industry, all aiming to grow the NZ IT sector into one of international renown.

Current co-chairs are Victoria Maclennan of OptimalBI and Breccan McLeod-Lundy, CEO of Ackama who have been working with many other business leaders over the past years.


Fiona Reid – Co-Chair

Fiona is a self-confessed digital media junky, with a demonstrable record of successfully engaging, leading and influencing key stakeholders to develop and deploy innovative and transformative digital programmes of work on time and on budget.

She loves the responsibility of leading from the front to manage people and businesses particularly ones that are in need of change in both cultural and strategic directions.  For the past twenty years she has focused her energies primarily in the publishing industry working across both offline and online channels to enable organisations to maximise revenue and readership opportunities whilst concurrently identifying and implementing operational efficiencies.

Currently, Fiona is General Manager of Somar Design Studios – a Wellington based digital agency specialising in solving complex user experience problems for organisations at scale.

Breccan McLeod-Lundy – Co-Chair

Breccan founded Ackama with the aim of delivering tech that focuses on ethics, fairness, and sustainable business to achieve long-term positive outcomes. He wants to help organisations improve their performance through thoughtfully applied technology.

With a global focus, Breccan has championed a capability with development projects, sending personnel to Timor Leste to work alongside the Ministry of Education to work in a challenging operating environment at the edge of new networking roll-outs. Breccan has participated in the Internet Governance Forum in Bali and is also a member of the Asia NZ Young Leaders Forum. In 2018 Breccan expanded Ackama by buying two digital companies in Melbourne, Australia – Squareweave and Plot Digital – who are now part of the Ackama Group. Through his board role at NZRise, Breccan is working to influence governmental policy, promote the interests of NZ owned companies and advocate for a vibrant NZ technology economy.

Breccan is a technologist with strong expertise in the fundamentals of the tech industry who has successfully transitioned to management, sales, and leadership. Deeply committed to lifelong learning, Breccan works to make sure the Ackama team has opportunities for continuous upskilling.

Board Members

Rahul Watson Govindan

Rahul is a global entrepreneur, investor and business executive who has lived and worked in 8 different countries and has had a 20 year career in business, technology, public sector and international development. He has founded a number of companies, consulted to Nokia, Microsoft, Amazon, UNICEF and Oxfam globally and most recently was the Group CEO of a SaaS start-up in Wellington. Currently is an investor, board member and advisor on strategy, operations and performance to numerous software companies in NZ and abroad, and his current main focus is on building an exciting digital charity platform in the conservation sector to be launched in 2019. Rahul is the Board Chair of Belong Aotearoa, a Trustee of United Nations Youth NZ,  and a member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors.
Rahul has studied at Victoria University, University of Amsterdam, Oslo University and has been awarded an University Blue from Victoria University for services to sports management (Hockey).

Don Christie

Don is one of the founders of Catalyst and has had over 25 years’ experience in IT consulting and implementation.  Don is a former President of the NZ Open Source Society and was on the Council of Internet NZ for two years.  He was the Co-Chair of NZRise from its inception until June 2019.


Thomas Mitchell (Treasurer)

Thomas is a co-founder and Managing Director of Public Address, and is responsible for platform development, infrastructure design and feature implementation.

He is the 2016 NZ Young IT Professional of the Year and NZRise’s Treasurer.


Our Goals

  • Ensure the global competitiveness of the New Zealand IT industry.
  • Increase the profile, size, and skill base of the NZ IT industry.
  • Inspire young New Zealanders to enter the IT industry here in New Zealand.
  • Improve the export orientation of our industry.
  • Educate other sectors about the capabilities that NZ companies have to service their needs.
  • Be a strong voice for NZ owned and operated IT companies.
  • It is recognised that we, as existing companies, have an obligation and interest in achieving significant growth on an ongoing basis.

Join Us

You can contact us, follow NZRise on Twitter, sign up for our newsletter, or join us! We’d love to hear from you about how, together, we can ensure NZ-owned Digital Technology firms can be more competitive both globally and domestically.


NZRise members recognise that engaging people from a variety of backgrounds, views and experiences is critical to building the skills and talent New Zealand needs. Diversity benefits the Digital Technology sector, our community and the New Zealand economy as a whole, as such NZRise members are committed to promoting diversity, equality, respect and inclusion.

We encourage businesses small, medium and large to operate a policy whereby diversity, equality, respect and inclusion form a basis of their culture and are considered in all hiring, wage and salary, leadership and promotion decisions. The following can be leveraged by businesses in forming this policy statement.

As an employer we will:

  • promote and support initiatives to attract and retain women and other under-represented groups, including (but not limited to) Maori and Pasifika peoples, into digital technology studies and careers,
  • create and foster a sector that reflects a diverse range of individuals, experiences and views, and treats all people with respect, regardless of gender, sexuality, disability, race, age, ethnicity, religion, culture or any other arbitrary feature,
  • pay and promote staff fairly and equitably based on performance, skill, knowledge, responsibility and effort.