The Centre for Space Science Technology: What, When, Where, How, Who? – Wellington – 30 January 2019


A talk by Duncan Steel

In this talk I will outline the activities of CSST, which was founded last year in Alexandra as one of the government’s Regional Research Institutes. Fundamentally the role of CSST is to provide expertise in the utilisation of satellite-derived imagery for the good of New Zealand: to plug the gap that exists between the torrent of Earth observation data streaming down from orbit and the potential end-users who are largely unaware of what ‘space can do for them’. Applications include the identification of illegal fishing by vessels in the Antarctic Ocean, the early detection of cyanobacteria blooms in NZ’s thousands of lakes, the mapping of how the country is changing shape under seismic and volcanic shifts, right through to the monitoring of the growth and health of crops ranging from grass to grapes.

About the speaker:

Over the past thirty years Duncan has worked on space projects in the US, UK, Australia, Sweden, Canada and NZ. His research has focussed largely on asteroids, comets and meteors, but he has also been involved in planning missions to Mars and the search for life elsewhere. Additionally he is an expert on the history and astronomical basis of calendars.

Duncan is the author of four books, over 140 research papers, and more than a thousand articles in newspapers and magazines published around the globe. He has appeared in dozens of TV documentaries, and hundreds of radio interviews.

Asteroid 4713 Steel is named for him, as is a lunar-roving robot in one of Arthur C. Clarke’s science-fiction novels.

Space Enthusiasts & Professionals Meetup (Wellington)

This is for anyone interested in creating a space ecosystem, industry and community in New Zealand in light of a new resurgence of interest in space technologies, capabilities and exploration. The intent is to find like-minded enthusiasts (no space background required!) and professionals interested in making this happen in New Zealand through informal gatherings to share ideas, network and potentially collaborate in space projects.

When and Where

Wednesday, January 30, 2019
5:30pm – 7pm

Level 10
BNZ Partner Center
1 Victoria Street

How Much



Meetup page for the talk by Duncan Steel
Meetup page for the Space Enthusiasts & Professionals Meetup Group
Facebook page for the Space Enthusiasts & Professionals Meetup Group

Astronomy Night (During the Day!) – Wellington – 11 January 2019

Astronomy Night During the Day


Who says you can’t star gaze during the day?

The Sun is the star at the centre of our solar system; but, because of the harm it can do to your eyes, you should never look directly at the Sun without the proper solar gear. The Wellington Astronomical Society will set up special solar telescopes for you to view the Sun safely. Come and see if you can find sunspots and solar flares!

This event is part of the International Astronomical Union’s 100 Hours of Astronomy.

When and Where

11 January 2019
1pm – 2pm

War Memorial Library,
Cnr Queens Drive and Woburn Road, Lower Hutt, Wellington

How Much



Event on Hutt City Library‘s What’s on page, Facebook event and Eventfinda.

Wellington Astronomical Society.

Citizen Science workshops on beach litter data – North Island – 28 January-9 May 2019

Citizen Science Workshop


Free citizen science workshops on beach litter data collection

Backed by the Ministry for the Environment, and working alongside Department of Conservation and Statistics New Zealand, our multi-award winning charity Sustainable Coastlines is delivering a project to create grassroots solutions to litter in Aotearoa.

As part of this project, we are offering free training workshops for individuals and groups who would like to take part in ongoing litter data collection on their local coastline. The workshop will pass on the skills in surveying, data collection, and Health & Safety that will allow you to play an important part in this long-term effort.

This “Citizen Science” project will allow you to contribute data to New Zealand’s first national beach litter database, meaning that the information collected reaches those that need it for decision-making.

In terms of the level of commitment required from your group, the project is ongoing and ideally each of the monitoring sites will be surveyed a minimum of 4 times per year, for at least the next 3 years. We are setting up 108 sites like these around Aotearoa and this long-term data will play a critical role in proving the litter problem and helping to prioritise solutions.

We will be working around the following towns and regions during the dates listed below, and would love to organise a free Citizen Science workshop specifically for your group during these dates. Simply click ‘Book workshop’ to email our friendly team with a date that works for you. Find out more about the project and the workshops in the sections below.

Workshop details

Date: We’ll arrange a workshop specifically for your group. Just let us know the date and time that suits best within the dates that we’re in your region.

Timing: 3-4 hours.

Location(s): We will run a 2-hour workshop session at a nearby indoor space of your choosing, eg surf club, community centre, marae etc, followed by a Litter Survey at a local beach / coast that you would like to collect data from on an ongoing basis. This will be your “Monitoring Site”. Sustainable Coastlines will assist you with your monitoring site selection. Please let us know your beach and indoor location preference(s) so we can make arrangements.

3-10 ‘Citizen Scientists’. We highly recommended that a minimum of 3 people from your organisation / community group attend so that leadership and knowledge can be spread.

When and Where

Book your Citizen Science workshop

Northland: Mon 28 Jan to Fri 1 Feb. Book workshop.
Auckland: Tue 12 Feb to Thu 21 Feb. Book workshop.
Coromandel: Mon 4 Feb to Fri 8 Feb. Book workshop.
Waikato West Coast: Tue 19 Mar to Thu 28 Mar. Book a workshop.
Taranaki (New Plymouth & North): Tue 16 Apr to Thu 25 Apr. Book workshop.
Taranaki (South of New Plymouth): Tue 2 Apr to Thu 11 Apr. Book workshop.
Manawatu-Whanganui: Tue 5 Mar to Thu 14 Mar. Book workshop.
Wairarapa: Tue 30 Apr to Thu 9 May. Book workshop.
Wellington: Tue 5 Feb to Thu 14 Feb. Book workshop.

Can’t see your town or region above?! Never fear. We’ll be in touch again in the next few months as we confirm dates for our next roadshow from May 2019. Eventually we will set-up at least 108 long-term Monitoring Sites all around Aotearoa, so there will be plenty of opportunities to get involved.

How Much



Citizen Science Workshops by Sustainable Coastlines.

Gardeners of the Galaxy – Auckland – 1 December 2018 to 10 March 2019

Gardeners of the Galaxy at Auckland Botanical Gardens


Your space rocket has crash landed on an alien planet – how will you survive? What will you eat and how will you breathe? Life on an alien planet is tenuous, and the answer to surviving in this harsh environment is plants.

Plants are life!

Join us for family fun at Gardeners of the galaxy this summer and find out how plants are essential for life in space. Take one small step into life as an astronaut as you discover the tools needed for survival on an alien planet.

? Start your space mission at our Visitor Centre – pick up a Mission Sheet for kids, visit our crash-landed rocket and take an astronaut selfie!

? Check out the experiments and live plants being grown in the Science Lab.

? Play fun games in our kids International Space Station and get creative with our Future Plants colouring wall.

? Head outside to try MOTAT rocket power activities and take our Solar System Walk.

? Join us for free special events and activities including star-gazing in the Gardens, solar-gazing and more! Keep an eye on our website or Facebook to find out what’s on (please note some events have limited spaces and will require advance booking).

? Get extra fun facts and videos on your space mission using the STQRY app on your phone – see below for links to download the STQRY app.

Brought to you by the Auckland Botanic Gardens and Auckland Council in association with Stardome Observatory & Planetarium, MOTAT, Hyalite and the Auckland Astronomical Society.

When and Where

1 December 2018 to 10 March 2019
Gardens open 8am to 8pm every day.
Visitor centre is open daily from 8am – 4.30pm (closed Christmas Day).

Auckland Botanical Gardens
102 Hill Road, Manurewa, Auckland 2105.

How Much



Event information including links to apps on Auckland Botanic Gardens site and Facebook event.

Stargazing Lab – Auckland – 22 December 2018

Stargazing Labs at Maraetae Beach



The first session starts before the sunset in order to explain very basic concepts about astronomy, telescopes, and photography. After that, you will have opportunities to observe the craters and mountains on the Moon, Jupiter’s Great Red Spot and the rings of Saturn.
You will also have a chance to observe deep sky objects like star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies.

The sessions will target different objects and topics every day. Since these events are weather dependent, on occasions we may need to postpone the event at short notice. If this happens, you will receive a txt message in your mobile, one hour prior to the event, and your booking will be transferred to the next available session.

Even though the sessions end late, these activities are family friendly and ideal for kids. You will have a nice opportunity to learn more about the solar system and the Universe, and also to motivate interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) in young minds. Some telescopes and additional resources will be available for use. Including telescopes that can be operated by kids.

We will help you to identify bright stars and major constellations. During each observing session, we will teach participants to find those elusive patterns in the sky with a simple monthly star map and a green laser pointer that projects a visible beam into the sky. Just like at a planetarium but under the real night sky!

Code of Conduct

In order to insure safety, protect equipment and to enhance everyone enjoyment, we ask that you follow the Code of Conduct:

  • Pets are not permitted nearby the telescopes.
  • Smoking and alcoholic beverages are never permitted within the area.
  • Minors under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times.
  • Aerosol bug spray repellent may only be applied away from the telescopes. (Sprays produce a fine mist which can settle on optical surfaces and is very difficult to clean.)
  • Remove any trash and keep the premises clean.
  • Visitors should bring a flashlight with RED light to use for the walk from the parking lot to the observation area and for reading star maps.

When and Where

22 December 2018
9:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Maraetai Beach,
Maraetai Coast Rd, Maraetai, Auckland

Stargazing Labs are taking place from Maraetai Beach, Maraetai, at just 40 minutes from the Auckland CBD. This beautiful location offers stunning views of the night sky and low light pollution coming from the city. This is key to allow long-term expositions to capture amazing pictures of the deep sky objects like nebulae and galaxies.

There are four public parking (free) available (+40 cars capacity) and public toilets close to the observation area.

How Much

$0 – $16.09
Under 5 yrs: free
Child (5 – 15 yrs): $10+fees.
General Admission: $15 + fees.

Please book here.


Stargazing Lab, Eventbrite event and Facebook event.
Organised by Skylabs

Games Night Down South – Auckland – 21 December 2018


My last event for the year so come on down and make some new friends over random board games and idle chit-chat at Spellbound games.

Spellbound has a decent selection of games but it would be awesome if you could bring your own, doesn’t matter how old school it is, always keen for a round of monopoly.

But yeah if this sounds like something you’d be interested in, don’t hesitate to join.

The Social Geek

A small oasis for Geeks to meet up and make friends with others who share similar geeky interests. Now if you’ve gotten this far and still haven’t clicked the join button yet, then that might be because you have no idea what a ‘Geek’ is exactly, well let me explain…

You see a Geek is an expert, enthusiast or a person obsessed with a hobby or intellectual pursuit mostly aimed at popular culture (Thanks, Wikipedia). However, there is more to Geeks than meets the eye. You see to me a Geek is a creative genius bordering on insanity and the only way to fend off the madness is by going to see the next Marvel movie or playing copious amounts of video games or even just a quiet night in pretending to be an Elf from Neverwinter.

But because of these interests, we tend to stay indoors a lot as we play Overwatch while watching Game of Thrones that we don’t have the time to venture out into the real world and meet up with people that might want to do the same stuff we do—and that’s where we come in.

When and Where

Spellbound Games
29 Aviemore Drive
Highland Park

Friday, December 21, 2018
7pm to 10pm

How Much



Games Night Down South Meetup page
The Social Geek Meetup Group

#GirlsInnov8 Camp – Auckland – 16-18 January 2019


The vision of our #GirlsInnov8 camp is to empower young women between Y9 and Y13 and inspire them to choose IT as their career in the future.

The demand and popular response for a 2019 camp was driven by the success of the #GI8 camps we coordinated in January 2017 and 2016. It offers a variety of experiences to the girls throughout the year which focus on Technology and the maker movement and strive to spark their interests, encourage their passions and ignite their curiosity.

Girls can be Residential campers, experiencing the full set of planned activities and learning opportunities while living on campus. Alternatively a Day camper only option is available and girls will conclude their activities at the end of the workshops each day.

Registrations open until 15 December 2018

Program Overview

Wednesday, 16 January 2019:

  • Select one of two streams: Computer Science activities & code Breaking or Code Avengers – HTML
  • Select one of two streams: Arduino robotics programming or Code Avengers continue
  • Visit to Maru Nihohiho (MNZM – Founder and MD of Metia Interactive)
  • Evening activity (Residential Only)

Thursday, 17th January 2019:

  • Industry visit to Soul Machine
  • Select one of two streams: Maker Day – Self chosen projects or Code Avengers – Javascript & gaming
  • Evening activity – Woman in IT Talks (Residential only)

Friday, 18th January 2019:

  • Maker activity – Boat Construction
  • Fiserve Agile Activity
  • Project time

When and Where

St Cuthbert’s College
122 Market Road
Epsom, Auckland 1051

8:30am Wednesday 16 January 2019
– 4:30pm Friday 18 January 2019

How Much

Residential attendees – $550
​Day attendees – $425


#GirlsInnov8 official site and registration

Eventbrite site



Wellington Python Meetup – Wellington – 13 December 2018

New Zealand Python User Group (NZPUG) Logo


Two presentations 🙂

Avo Patlong:

As part of my internship at Eagle, I was presented an opportunity to work with the NZTA Crash dataset. My objective was to incorporate machine learning to analyse influential factors and geospatial patterns to predict the risk of a crash occurring at road sections throughout New Zealand. I used Python throughout the project to implement the machine learning scripts, gather data, and implement a feature service that continuously publishes the predictions onto a web map. The web map visualises the heatspots of crash risks, which updates every hour. I would like to talk about the challenges throughout the process and discuss my findings.

Vincent Bonnet:

This presentation is about a personal project started earlier this year where I explored numerical computation in Python. It is only scratching the surface of this wide topic but will include a brief introduction to physics simulation and show an early 2D implementation.


Python talks! Python people! Discussions from how to start learning Python through to debugging your robot pirate spaceship avionics controller library. Or whatever. There is also pizza, and sometimes spare beer.

When and Where

Level 3 meeting space,
Catalyst House, 150 Willis Street, Wellington

How to find us

The door locks after 6pm, so send a text to the number on the door and someone will fetch you.

How Much

Free. Please register here.


13 December 2018 Wellington Python Meetup by NZ Python User Group – Wellington.

NZ Python User Group (NZPUG) and twitter @nzpug.

Christchurch Aerospace Centre Meetup 4 – Christchurch – 11 December 2018

Christchurch Aerospace Centre Logo


At our previous meet up we heard talks about CubeSats, air launch rockets and jet packs. As we glide to the end of the year, we’re going to be zooming in on the human element with talks from a NASA astronaut candidate finalist and a jet pack test pilot, as well as discussing a number of other recent developments.

Sarah Kessans, University of Canterbury. A plant biologist and biochemist by training and an adventurer thriving on challenges by nature, Sarah decided to throw her name in the hat for NASA’s 2017 Astronaut Candidate selection cycle. The journey through the selection process to becoming one of the top 50 Finalist Interviewees (out of 18,000+ applications) revealed many lessons that can be applied to New Zealand’s emerging space ecosystem. In that same spirit of adventure and innovation, Sarah is excited to play a role in developing Christchurch into a hub for space industry and research.

Michael Read, Skybase. After an exciting career as a pilot in the Royal Australian Air Force, Michael went on to become a test pilot and executive at Martin Jetpack. Michael now resides in Christchurch and is a founder of Skybase, who are leading developers in the drone industry for Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) flight. In his presentation, he’ll pass on some stories of the past, a look to the future of unmanned and autonomous systems and how Christchurch/ Canterbury is ideally placed to become a nexus of aerospace innovation and launch platform.

So come along to the GreenHouse at 146 Lichfield Street, be inspired and network with our local aerospace community!

The generous sponsor of this event, BizDojo Christchurch, will be providing delicious food and wet beverages.

When and Where

Tuesday 11 December 2018
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM NZDT

146 Lichfield Street, Christchurch 8011

How Much

Free. Please register here.



Christchurch Aerospace Centre Twitter @chchspace.

NZNOG 2019 – Napier – 31 January – 1 February 2019


NZNOG is the New Zealand Network Operators Group

“The Nog” is our annual conference which provides both an opportunity to exchange technical information, and a high-value opportunity for NZ’s networking staff to ‘network’ amongst themselves. This is New Zealand’s primary technical networking conference. The event is unique in New Zealand and attracts technical, skilled individuals with a genuine interest in Internet operations and Internetworking technologies.

The conference is low priced and has a strong technical focus with the aim and history of getting a strong turnout of technical personnel from New Zealand Internet orientated companies.

When and Where

Napier Conference Centre,
Napier War Memorial and Conference Centre,
48 Marine Parade,
Bluff Hill, Napier

APNIC SDN Workshop:   Mon 28 Jan –  Wed 30 Jan
TICSA Workshop for Network Operators:    Wed 30 January
Network Automation Workshop:    Wed 30 January
Main Conference:     Thur 31 Jan – Fri 1 Feb

How Much

Main Conference: $250 ( $200 earlybird )
APNIC SDN Workshop: $150
TICSA Workshop: $50
Network Automation Workshop: $50


NZNOG 2019 conference website
NZNOG 2019 Workshops and tutorials
NZNOG 2019 Speakers