New commercial partners for $1 billion Technology Queenstown project

by Peter Newport - Jun 24, 2024

Genesis Energy and SBS Bank have joined Technology Queenstown (TQ) as Founding Members, providing critical funding for the next five years.

TQ plans to become a $1 billion technology enterprise that has the potential to transform the Southern Lakes economy.

TQ founder and Chair, Roger Sharp, welcomed the new commercial support.

“We are thrilled to welcome Genesis and SBS Bank to the TQ whānau and thank them for their support and endorsement of our plans to diversify the Queenstown Lakes District economy through building a world-class niche tech ecosystem,” says Mr Sharp.

“The Queenstown Lakes economy is highly dependent on tourism – and was left exposed during COVID-19. Our mission is to diversity and enhance the economy by expanding its tech sector, and we’re proud to have so many behind us on this mission.”

SBS Bank Group Chief Executive Mark McLean says the bank is proud to join the collaborative effort to leverage the potential of Queenstown’s growing tech sector.

“The team at TQ has stepped up with a clear vision to cultivate a billion-dollar technology industry and SBS is pleased to support it to take the steps to maximise the opportunity,” Mr McLean says.

“Building a vibrant tech industry in this part of the country will create opportunity for people across the region. With 155 years’ of backing Kiwis as a New Zealand-owned, mutual bank, SBS is delighted to champion this initiative to drive economic growth and resilience.”

Genesis Energy Chief Retail Officer Stephen England-Hall believes the transition and diversification of our regional economies is vital to create a thriving and sustainable Aotearoa.

“The TQ team has taken the nascent technology sector as the foundation stone of a new billion-dollar industry for Queenstown Lakes, and that’s something we want to get behind, partner with others and help make happen.

“Our strategy commits us to investment in energy-related technology to support New Zealand toward net-zero 2050. Genesis shares strong alignment with the aspirations of TQ in ensuring we live, work and play in a more economically and environmentally sustainable country.”

Genesis and SBS Bank join Accenture, Queenstown Resort College, the University of Otago and North Ridge Partners as Founding Members, all of whom sit on the TQ Council, TQ’s peak body.

Alongside the Founding Members, Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) and Queenstown Airport Corporation Limited have signed up as TQ’s first Capital Members, providing start-up funding contributions to help TQ fund its initial set-up expenses in support of economic diversification in the Queenstown Lakes.

Mr Sharp says with the strong base of cross-sector supporters on board and skills and capital behind it, TQ can now forge ahead with recruiting a CEO and starting operations later this year.

“When we launched on 31 January 2024, we said that when sufficient funds were raised, we would look to recruit a small team to run TQ and bring our collective vision to life.

“We are delighted to have reached this milestone and to have launched the search for our CEO. With applications from nearly two hundred local and international candidates received in the first week, we are looking forward to bringing talent on board and starting the hard work required to realise our 20-year vision for diversifying Queenstown’s economy through developing a low carbon, high value tech industry.”

Read: TQ search is on for new CEO - "The best job in the world"

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