Magazine article New Zealand Management

Timing New Zealand Stays Ahead of the Pack

Magazine article New Zealand Management

Timing New Zealand Stays Ahead of the Pack

Article excerpt

Managing Director Paul Ryken started Timing New Zealand 15 years ago as a one man operation recording times at sports events around the country. Now the company is looking after online registrations, providing results to websites, competitors and commentators, and issuing result notices and certificates, as well as timing the events themselves.

Mr Ryken says technological innovation is at the heart of his business' success and the success of the events they're involved with.

"Event organisers and participants demand accurate, instantly available performance information and results and we're constantly Looking for new ways to deriver," Mr Ryken says.

Timing New Zealand put Telecom's Mobile Broadband to the Ironman test in the 2005 Bonita Ironman New Zealand event in Taupo and the technology came out a winner.

On 5 March, around 1,300 triathletes from New Zealand and around the world gathered on the shores of Lake Taupo ready for the 3.8km swim, 180km cycle ride and a full 42.2km marathon.

High Speed data transfer

Mobile Broadband data cards enabled Timing New Zealand to send information at high speed from timing locations around the course to their results server located in Auckland.

Timing New Zealand was able to provide live split times and final results to the World Triathlon Corporation website, IronmanLive.com, as well as sending the results to commentators and media immediately.

"This meant the results were truly Live, with virtually no delay between the competitor crossing a timing location and the time being posted on the Internet," Mr Ryken says.

"We had antenna mats placed at timing locations around the course that received a signal from the unique Winning Time transponder attached to each competitor's leg. When the competitor crossed the mat, their signal was picked up by the Winning Time boxes and processed in a notebook computer at that timing location. This computer then used a Mobile Broadband data card to send the time and competitor number information to our results server, and then to whoever needed it.

"This technology provides amazing data transfer speeds but it's still really affordable. It's more than proved its worth," Mr Ryken says.

Since then the relationship has settled and in March Mark Prebble issued guidelines for the wider state sector he now heads, requiring state services agencies to "work closely together" and he set six "development goals": to be an employer of choice; to hire top people and keep upskilling them ("excellent state servants"); to use networks and internet technologies to improve services and access; to "manage for outcomes" through coordination; to work together to ensure people get to the right agency and get the right services; and to build trust.

Where does this lead us, at least in theory? To a more complex concept than simple 'efficiency': more outputs per dollar. The state must also be 'effective': it must make real changes in the population's health and education status, environmental sustainability, national pride and so on.

It is in pursuit of this objective that the Clark governments have increased state sector numbers and pay. They have cast this in terms of a need to restore 'capacity' for good policy analysis and service delivery.

That means higher pay--most spectacularly for nurses--and better working conditions.

Clark governments have brought the unions, particularly the Public Service Association, explicitly into partnership for workplace management. …

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