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  • Writer's pictureGrace Covey

Kara's experience with 2022 Hi-Tech Awards Gala Dinner

Before we delve into the blog, biggest and warmest congratulations needs to go to GNS Science & NIWA who won the award for Best Hi-Tech Solution for the Public Good (the same category that Kara Technologies was nominated for) - for their Riskscape software - a world-leading risk modelling tool. We can see a lot of work has been poured into their software so hats off to them.

The team here at Kara Technologies were blown away by the fact that we even had the opportunity to attend the 2022 NZ Hi-Tech Awards Gala Dinner. We had a brilliant time, and felt really honoured to be in the same room as all of these remarkably ambitious people.

There were 14 categories in total, with 6 categories including a runner-up (highly commended) as well as a winner. Kara was highly commended for Best Hi-Tech Solution for the Public Good which was astonishing.

This year was the first time that this huge event included NZSL (New Zealand Sign Language). They did it so well - ensuring that the NZSL interpreters were clear and easy to see. And they incorporated NZSL and Deaf culture into the MC routine, by teaching everyone in the room to sign Hi-Tech Awards and the Deaf applause. We felt incredibly grateful for Hi-Tech awards organisers, crew and presenters for making this possible.

Since we had no idea who was going to be winning the award until the announcement at the gala dinner, we prepared a speech beforehand, just in case we happened to win. Since we didn’t get the opportunity to share the speech on stage, we would love to share it in this blog to spread awareness and to acknowledge the support we’ve received.

This is an excellent opportunity to thank the people who have supported us through the whole journey. What started out as a crazy idea, has become a reality and it is genuinely because of the support system we had around us.

So the people we want to thank are:

  • Our amazing investors who believed in us.

  • The clients who had faith in us.

  • Ko Taku Reo Deaf Education Centre New Zealand who guided us.

  • All the individual people from the Deaf community who help us develop to where we are today

As the co-founders of Kara Technologies are immigrants, who all moved here to New Zealand from Iran - our minds were blown and we were so inspired by this amazing country. Aotearoa is always taking leadership in making changes or taking the first step to start the change, and ensuring that accessibility and inclusivity is always at foremind at every step.

Out of 195 countries, New Zealand was the first country in the world to give voting rights to women in 1893. New Zealand was the 15th country in the world to legalise same sex marriage in 2013. New Zealand was the 16th country in the world to make New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) an official language in 2006. (Fun fact: New Zealand has two official languages, not three. Te Reo Maori and NZSL are official, and English is the de facto language!) There are over 300 sign languages worldwide, and only 71 of them are legally recognized.

The list could go on, but what this clearly states is that New Zealand’s values strongly are about accessibility and inclusivity, and New Zealand truly has unlimited potential to take this leadership trait to the next level. The companies that attended the gala dinner event were overwhelmingly talented and we could see so many opportunities to make this amazing country the most inclusive and accessible country in the world.

Let's repeat all of those phenomenal successes again and let’s take it to the next step. Let’s roll up our sleeves and start acting on it. Let’s work together to make Aotearoa accessible to everyone.



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