My week on @AotearoaPeople

Last week I was the curator of the @AotearoaPeople Twitter account.  I covered a lot of areas of interest to me. The tweet stream follows. I hope you enjoy it!

Jump to:
Monday: Intro, my whanau, and our charitable trust
Tuesday: Lexicography and words
Wednesday: Tech, startups, and investment
Thursday: The future of government
Friday: Governance
Saturday: (Shabbat – I was on a social media break)
Sunday: Being Jewish in NZ


Me at 9:45 PM – 10 Jun 2018
Kia ora tatau, I’m (((Dave Moskovitz))) aka and I’ll be tweeting here from tomorrow. Big thanks to @whaeajc / for her insights over the last week.

Me at 9:46 PM – 10 Jun 2018
The Aunties do work that is important, breathtaking in scope, transformative, and mostly thankless. Please support with your aroha and your putea.


Me at 8:46 AM – 11 Jun 2018
Kia ora tatau, I’m (((Dave Moskovitz))) , holding the pen this week on .

Me at 8:47 AM – 11 Jun 2018
I’m an immigrant pākehā cis hetero pale male stale Jew; job title: Professional Director and Early-Stage Investor. More background at: – I hope you’ll enjoy looking beyond those labels this week.

Me at 8:48 AM – 11 Jun 2018
Again, massive thanks to for her insights over the past week – a hard act to follow. Please support her and the good work that she and the Aunties do with your aroha and your putea.

Me at 8:49 AM – 11 Jun 2018
This week, I’ll be talking about:

Today – my whanau, and trust, Te Muka Rau

Tuesday – Lexicography and words

Wednesday – Tech, startups, and investment

Me at 8:50 AM – 11 Jun 2018
Thursday – GovTech and the future of government

Friday – Governance, and what it’s like being on a board

Saturday – This is Shabbat, the Jewish sabbath – no tweets!

Sunday – Being Jewish in Aotearoa

Me at 8:51 AM – 11 Jun 2018
Please contribute to the conversation. I’ll RT constructive contributions.

Me at 10:11 AM – 11 Jun 2018
My whanau are my source of strength. Without them I’d probably be dead, spiritually and emotionally if not physically. I grew up in a strong family with great role models, and hope our kids can say the same. Of all the good luck I’ve had, that’s the best.

Me at 10:12 AM – 11 Jun 2018
My mom and dad will be 91 this year. They still live in the same house I grew up in, in Los Angeles. When I visit, I stay in my old bedroom from 50 years ago. That’s roots, as much as it’s possible for immigrant refugees.

Me at 10:12 AM – 11 Jun 2018
Their parents were from Poland and Ukraine, but they weren’t considered Polish or Ukrainian – they were Jewish. Kiwis find that hard to grasp. Jews were always on the run, being pushed from one place to the next.

Me at 10:13 AM – 11 Jun 2018
Many Kiwis somehow think European Jews were all wealthy bankers. Mine certainly weren’t, and I’ve not met anyone with such whakapapa. But perhaps I don’t mix in the right circles. Mom’s people were teachers, and Dad’s were roofers and tinsmiths. They were all dirt poor.

Me at 10:15 AM – 11 Jun 2018
Mom is an emeritus professor of educational psychology specialising in early childhood education, and later in the effect of the Holocaust on children. Nearly all of her whanau that were left in Europe died in the Holocaust.

Me at 10:15 AM – 11 Jun 2018
Dad was an electronics engineer, and a pioneer in television broadcasting technology. He got his degree working through night school while climbing power poles for the electricity company to make a living.

Me at 10:16 AM – 11 Jun 2018
Dad started a business building broadcast test equipment. I grew up soldering printed circuit boards on his knee, and learning about electronics. His business eventually failed due to impossible debtor management.

Me at 10:17 AM – 11 Jun 2018
Lessons learned: The bigger the company, the less likely they are to pay on time. Undercapitalisation kills startups.

Me at 10:36 AM – 11 Jun 2018
My big sis has had many careers. Silversmith, welder, office worker, artist, beekeeper. She keeps LA’s urban beekeeping scene flourishing. I pine for her zipcode honey.

Me at 10:45 AM – 11 Jun 2018
Lesson learned: you can keep reinventing yourself. It’s inspiring.

Me at 10:55 AM – 11 Jun 2018
My bigger sis Debi finishes up work as finance and ops manager at in Oakland this month. She turns 70 in December, and will do a 70-mile bike ride in one day to celebrate. That’s her tradition, one mile per year of age.

Me at 10:57 AM – 11 Jun 2018
Lessons learned: (1) Given enough time, organisations no matter how good they are, nor how valuable you are, will eventually chew you up and spit you out. (2) Don’t stop moving. Ever.

Kia_ora_hello at 11:15 AM – 11 Jun 2018
My aunty and many of her colleagues have worked at the same factory for many years. She, for 30 years. Others, longer than that. Only now have things changed as the company was bought out. Moving on your own steam is a luxury item for many.

Me at 11:27 AM – 11 Jun 2018
My partner in just about everything constantly inspires me. Follow her, as her wisdom is rare and straight from the heart. Find out what makes her tick at We’ve been married 31 great years, and it keeps getting better.

Me at 12:01 PM – 11 Jun 2018
Firstborn son Jeremy isn’t on twitter – sensible guy – he’s a commercial airline pilot at based at LAX. He grew up in WLG but couldn’t find any aviation jobs here, so moved to the states.

Me at 12:01 PM – 11 Jun 2018
Jeremy is true mentsch – I love him to bits, and miss him here. Especially his sense of humour which is drier than a Santa Ana.

Me at 12:02 PM – 11 Jun 2018
Middle son works as a rails dev at here in Welly. Thoughtful, big hearted, smart as. Really proud of the adult he’s become. Welly is such a small place, the tech scene tiny, it’s odd when we know many of the same people.

Me at 12:02 PM – 11 Jun 2018
We’re an epicurean family of foodies, but is always introducing us to new stuff. We made the most amazing batch of dumplings ever a couple of weeks ago, but I’m still ambivalent about the sous-vide.

Me at 12:03 PM – 11 Jun 2018
Out 14yo potiki is at . He blogs about politics at – if you think that the younger generation is disconnected, follow and read his blog.

Me at 12:05 PM – 11 Jun 2018
. is also a loyal fan which is hard work. Loyalty to hopeless causes seems to be a family trait. I think that’s a good thing.

Me at 12:20 PM – 11 Jun 2018
Our family is very fortunate. and I started an Internet development business in 1995, grew it, and sold it to a multinational, exiting in 2002. It didn’t make us “fuck you” money, but it was enough to give us a lot of options.

Me at 12:21 PM – 11 Jun 2018
When we sold our company, we took a significant chunk of the sale proceeds, and set up a Charitable Trust, which is now called Te Muka Rau –

Me at 12:22 PM – 11 Jun 2018
Te Muka Rau’s purpose is to contribute to a socially cohesive Aotearoa New Zealand where Te Ao Māori is strong and vibrant, the central place of Te Ao Māori in Aotearoa is understood and supported by all, and we all feel confident and respected in our own cultures and heritage.

Me at 12:22 PM – 11 Jun 2018
Our hypothesis is that social cohesion in a multicultural society is based on confidence and respect, and in Aotearoa it must be built on a foundation of partnership between Māori and Pākehā.

Me at 12:34 PM – 11 Jun 2018
At Te Muka Rau, we like taking risks and supporting initiatives that other funders won’t touch. If nobody took risks, nothing innovative would ever happen. Here are some of the things we’ve funded recently:

Me at 12:35 PM – 11 Jun 2018
. ’s work on supporting better Māori representation in local government. This did not produce the desired results in the recent referenda, but we believe it raised awareness and the conversation will continue.

Me at 12:36 PM – 11 Jun 2018
We support He Korowai Trust’s community gardens – these provide a source of food, work, and community cohesion in Kaitaia.

Me at 12:36 PM – 11 Jun 2018
We’ve supported Multicultural NZ’s provision of courses to new migrants on Te Ao Māori

Me at 12:37 PM – 11 Jun 2018
We’ve also supported Hui E , , , and many others. See the full list at:

Me at 12:39 PM – 11 Jun 2018
With respect to incarceration we’ve supported Robson Hanan Trust in their Rethinking Crime and Punishment project.

Me at 12:46 PM – 11 Jun 2018
IMPORTANT: You don’t need a trust to be generous. Every little bit goes a long way, especially with small orgs. Find an org whose kaupapa aligns with your values, and ask what you can do to help.

Me at 12:47 PM – 11 Jun 2018
What small charities or projects doing great things do you know about that need support? Reply, and I’ll RT. Please provide a link or contact info.

JoshuaGrahamNZ at 1:03 PM – 11 Jun 2018
is an org that lead to the intervention in the gross mistreatment of a Maori woman in solitary confinement, they’re currently working to secure transportation so families can visit their incarcerated fanau, making it less likely they’ll kill themselves.

anarkaytie at 2:10 PM – 11 Jun 2018
Thanks . You’d be surprised how many Aunties there are. Jackie herds all the cats 😺

Me at 5:15 PM – 11 Jun 2018
What community initiatives do you know about that deserve our support? I’d love to help you and them spread the word. Please reply, and I’ll RT.

AsherGoldman at 6:52 PM – 11 Jun 2018
This is why I generally don’t identify as having Polish heritage, only Jewish – the Poles hated my family, tried to kill us, drove the few that survived out. Where they lived wasn’t their culture or who they were, and it isn’t who I am.

Jo_Bond at 5:24 PM – 11 Jun 2018

TamarinSauce at 7:47 PM – 11 Jun 2018
I know what you mean. My parents are from USSR and we’re jewish, not Russian, not Latvian etc. I have to explain every time.


Me at 7:58 AM – 12 Jun 2018
Ata marie, today I’ll be talking (inter alia) about lexicography – making dictionaries.

Me at 8:00 AM – 12 Jun 2018
True story. My success in startups actually came as the result of academic failure.

Me at 8:01 AM – 12 Jun 2018
In 1990 I got sick of working in the IT industry for government departments and banks, and enrolled at to do a Ph.D in Applied Linguistics, studying the phonology of .

Me at 8:01 AM – 12 Jun 2018
Phonology? In a sign language? That sounds odd, you say! (See what I did there?)

Me at 8:02 AM – 12 Jun 2018
Oversimplification: In a spoken language phonology is the study of the sounds that make up the language, and how they’re produced and perceived.  OTOH,

Me at 8:02 AM – 12 Jun 2018
In a signed language, phonology in the study is the study of the motions that make up the language, and how they’re produced and perceived. They’re surprisingly analogous.

Me at 10:10 AM – 12 Jun 2018
My thesis title was “Phonological Characteristics of the New Zealand Sign Language Lexicon”.

Me at 10:11 AM – 12 Jun 2018
My basic hypothesis was that there were two forces driving the presences of phonological combinations in the lexicon: (1) ease of production, and (2) ease of perception.

Me at 10:12 AM – 12 Jun 2018
I coded a database of over 4,000 signs in Stokoe notation – that took a couple of years learning signs and sitting in front of a computer doing data entry.

Me at 10:13 AM – 12 Jun 2018
To do that, I had to design a font, and a database, as well as a data entry scheme capable of ingesting and processing this info. I did this in (please don’t laugh) , one of the ugliest programming languages ever conceived.

Me at 10:16 AM – 12 Jun 2018
I spent several years doing data entry and analysis. But I never completed my thesis. IINM in 1999 I was the longest serving Ph.D student on the roll at .

Me at 10:17 AM – 12 Jun 2018
I just tried to open my draft thesis to have a peek. It’s so old that current versions of Word won’t open it. Ironically, did. Gotta love .

Me at 10:17 AM – 12 Jun 2018
Lesson learned: software is more backward compatible with old versions of proprietary software than current versions of the same proprietary software.

Me at 10:21 AM – 12 Jun 2018
My thesis is still there. It hasn’t changed. There are still only about 20 people in the entire world who *might* be interested enough to read it, if I completed it.

Me at 10:22 AM – 12 Jun 2018
The experience of dumping 9 years of my life into an incomplete Ph.D was a failure. Right? Wrong. For me, it was a pivotal moment in my life which allowed me to progress to achieve several amazing things.

Me at 10:54 AM – 12 Jun 2018
Because I was a dev and knew a bit about NZSL, I was asked to build the database for the Dictionary of NZSL they were contemplating. I built it on a Mac 2ci running the 4th Dimension database system.

Me at 10:54 AM – 12 Jun 2018
“A Dictionary of New Zealand Sign Language” was published in 1997.

Me at 10:55 AM – 12 Jun 2018
I also worked on the lexicographic design of the Dictionary of . We did UX research before setting the format of the dictionary, which was revolutionary in 1997.

Me at 10:55 AM – 12 Jun 2018
I spent many, many hours doing QA work on each entry, and phonetically coding entries using HamNoSys

Me at 11:55 AM – 12 Jun 2018
You have no idea how boring, painstaking, and soul-destroying lexicography can be. It got so bad for William Chester Minor that when he was working on the OED, he was driven to cut off his own penis. ‘Strewth.

Me at 11:56 AM – 12 Jun 2018
The NZSL Dictionary team also spent many, many hours arguing over the specific meaning of each lexeme (word). You wouldn’t believe how passionate people get about their words. That’s a good thing. But I wish these arguments had been less acrimonious.

Me at 11:56 AM – 12 Jun 2018
The published Dictionary of itself was a report printed directly from a database, with a few minor tweaks. This was also revolutionary.

Me at 11:57 AM – 12 Jun 2018
We also published “A Concise Dictionary of NZSL” a few years later.

Me at 2:50 PM – 12 Jun 2018
Several people have told me that it would not have been possible to make NZSL an official language if it didn’t have a dictionary. I’m proud to have played my small part in this effort.

Me at 2:51 PM – 12 Jun 2018
Lesson learned: Acts of good often have greatly amplified unintended consequences

Me at 2:52 PM – 12 Jun 2018
I also built the database that backed Harry Orsman’s Oxford Dictionary of NZ English:  I never got any credit for this, which I was grumpy about at the time. I never really forgave Graeme Kennedy for this, which I regret.

Me at 2:52 PM – 12 Jun 2018
May Harry Orsman and Graeme Kennedy rest in peace. Two giants in New Zealand lexicography. The legacy of their description of our languages is a huge taonga.

Me at 2:53 PM – 12 Jun 2018
Orsman was a character. He couldn’t put a new word into his dictionary unless it had appeared in print. He’d regularly ring up a mate at The Listener and ask him to use a word in an article so he could do a dictionary entry.

Me at 4:26 PM – 12 Jun 2018
Harry Orsman eventually died of emphysema. He walked around the Von Zedlitz building with a big steel oxygen bottle on a frame, still nipping outside for an occasional smoke right up to the end.

Me at 4:26 PM – 12 Jun 2018
After these projects, I was approached by Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori ( ) to make a database for Te Mātāpuna, which we eventually published as He Pātaka Kupu

Me at 4:30 PM – 12 Jun 2018
The entire dictionary is in Te Reo Māor, no English cover-to-cover. At the time, it was the largest reference work ever collected in Te Reo. I’m credited as the Tohunga Rorohiko. The loosely translates to “Computer Shaman” in English.

Me at 4:30 PM – 12 Jun 2018
But a Tohunga is so much more than a shaman. A priest, spiritual guide, doctor, adept, monk. None of these words come close. Translating cultural words like this is impossible.

Me at 4:30 PM – 12 Jun 2018
Williams translated the word “haka” as “dance”. Yeah, OK, at a superficial level, a haka is a type of dance, but leaving it at that, you’re missing out on 90% of the meaning and focusing on the one component that might be accessible to Pākeha language speakers.

Me at 5:20 PM – 12 Jun 2018
I decided I didn’t want to build another dictionary database when I was done with Mātāpuna, so I built it on Open Source tech: Perl and PostgreSQL. In 2002, Taura Whiri loved the prototype I built and commissioned the work.

Me at 5:20 PM – 12 Jun 2018
I had a major fight with ’s legal team in 2002 who were most reluctant to use software. We got there in the end: I told them I wouldn’t work for them if they wouldn’t accept a GPL license. It took a few months, but they finally accepted.

Me at 5:21 PM – 12 Jun 2018
I believe the contract between my company in and Te Taura Whiri in 2002 was the first time the NZ Government specifically purchased the development of Open Source Software under the GPL.

Me at 5:21 PM – 12 Jun 2018
The same code for that system was later used for a number of other dictionaries.

Me at 7:36 PM – 12 Jun 2018
The Online Dictionary of New Zealand Sign Language ( ) was launched in 2011. It is a world-beating sign language dictionary. The underlying database has some very cool features unique to signed languages too.

Me at 7:37 PM – 12 Jun 2018
He Papakupu Reo Ture: A dictionary of Māori legal terms was published by in 2013, again as a report printed more or less directly from a database.

Me at 7:37 PM – 12 Jun 2018
The online dictionary of Māori legal terms is available online at:

Me at 7:37 PM – 12 Jun 2018
You can access the corpus browser that backs the legal dictionary at: The corpus lets you see how the meaning of words changes in context, as well as over time. Hours of fun.

Me at 7:38 PM – 12 Jun 2018
The same database system was used to create Te Reo Putaiao, an encyclopedic dictionary of science covering the NZ curriculum through Year 11.

Me at 7:38 PM – 12 Jun 2018
Te Reo o Ngā Toi, a similar encyclopedic dictionary covering the arts, was also published off the same database system.

Me at 7:38 PM – 12 Jun 2018
And again, the same system has been used to publish dictionaries in the Hawai’ian langauge as well as Fula.

Me at 7:39 PM – 12 Jun 2018
So as you can see there were spectacular successes that resulted from the of not completing my Ph.D

Me at 7:39 PM – 12 Jun 2018
Lesson learned: What looks like an epic fail from one angle can be a massive success from another. It just depends on what you’re looking for.

MrsJansimmons at 8:44 PM – 12 Jun 2018
Have learnt so much today reading your interesting post, thanks, this dictionary is fantastic, currently doing a sign language level one night classin Lower Hutt. This a an awesome resource! Thanks again

Me at 9:00 PM – 12 Jun 2018
But the most unexpected success to arise from my Ph.D failure was The Web Limited. Being at gave me early access to the Internet. I saw it was going to change everything, and started a business with .

Me at 9:01 PM – 12 Jun 2018
My failed academic inquiry into sign language phonology turned me into a successful startup co-founder. The result: several dictionaries of our NZ languages, a startup built and sold, and a charitable trust.

Me at 9:01 PM – 12 Jun 2018
May God send us failures like this more often.

Me at 9:02 PM – 12 Jun 2018
Lesson learned: Divine providence and dumb luck play a massive role in the transformation of failure into success.

Me at 9:03 PM – 12 Jun 2018
How do you use your divine providence and dumb luck?

Me at 9:03 PM – 12 Jun 2018
One of the key skills of being an entrepreneur is recognising opportunity when it knocks.

Me at 9:12 PM – 12 Jun 2018
I’ll leave you with this: the ‘s Wordy Rappinghood:

namerson5 at 12:25 AM – 13 Jun 2018
I hear about this a lot. It’s bizarre that everything everyone did with their tools past a certain date just don’t exist to Microsoft anymore. I’d be interested to hear what their support service recommends.


Me at 8:17 AM – 13 Jun 2018
Ata mārie, it’s Tech, Startups, and Investment day today!

Me at 8:17 AM – 13 Jun 2018
Let’s start with tech. I believe there’s never been a more exciting time to be alive, largely thanks to technology.

Me at 8:18 AM – 13 Jun 2018
Technology cuts both ways to be sure – it is used for both good and evil – but it has enabled things our grandparents, our parents – heck, even us! – would have never thought possible.

Me at 8:18 AM – 13 Jun 2018
Violence around the world is in decline. Obesity is now a greater global problem than famine. Everything is knowable. Life expectancy is increasing just about everywhere except the USA.

Me at 8:19 AM – 13 Jun 2018
No question that technology has fueled climate change, nuclear proliferation, mass repression, etc. But overall, tech has been, and is a powerfully positive force.

SCaseyNZ at 8:33 AM – 13 Jun 2018
It has been part of the problem. But I think we’re at the tipping point now where it can be a big part of the solution, and in a scalable way.

Olivefarmer at 9:45 AM – 13 Jun 2018
My Ma with similar roots could not work as a scientist in New Zealand after she started her family.She died last year at 98…still with her sense of humour.Her Grandaughters all can work in science careers and have families…

Me at 10:01 AM – 13 Jun 2018
I’m most interested in digital tech – tech which involves information processing. Which is just about everything.

Me at 11:57 AM – 13 Jun 2018
I wrote my first computer program in 1971 at age 11. There weren’t many computers around. Now we carry them in our pockets. You can hardly walk into a room that doesn’t have a computer in it.

Me at 11:58 AM – 13 Jun 2018
Products like Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant mean that you don’t even need to know how to program anymore to tell a computer what to do. Just say it, and it happens.

Me at 11:58 AM – 13 Jun 2018
The day when you can just think something and a computer will do it for you is not far off. Are you ready?

Me at 11:58 AM – 13 Jun 2018
I don’t think that anyone will argue with me that digital technology is powered by the Internet. Without the Internet and the ability to freely exchange information, there’d be no point to digital technology.

Me at 11:58 AM – 13 Jun 2018
. is calling for universal access to the Internet in NZ.

Me at 11:59 AM – 13 Jun 2018
. says that access to the Internet should be like access to water.

Me at 11:59 AM – 13 Jun 2018
So what made the Internet so special? There are four superpowers of the Internet. I did a TEDx talk about this, watch it:

Me at 12:56 PM – 13 Jun 2018
The first Internet superpower is “Direct”: you can exchange information between two endpoints and not care about what happens in the middle of the network that enables this.

Me at 12:56 PM – 13 Jun 2018
The second Internet superpower is “Open”: it’s built on open standards, and anyone can add new components to it because the rules are well known.

Me at 12:56 PM – 13 Jun 2018
The third Internet superpower is “Accessible”: anyone should be able to access it, it doesn’t matter what kind of equipment you have, or whether your a producer or a consumer.

Me at 12:57 PM – 13 Jun 2018
The fourth Internet superpower is “Free”: Everyone has the right to participate; censorship is viewed as a bug.

Me at 12:57 PM – 13 Jun 2018
With these superpowers we each make choices that turn each one of us into leaders as we create our own heavens or hells around us through our actions and transactions, drawing others into our either virtuous or vicious cycles.

Me at 12:57 PM – 13 Jun 2018
It’s up to you.

Me at 2:01 PM – 13 Jun 2018
I was recently appointed to the Digital Economy and Digital Inclusion Ministerial Advisory Group, reporting to Minister – DEDIMAG

Me at 2:02 PM – 13 Jun 2018
DEDIMAG has two main jobs: (1) Eliminate digital divides, and (2) Increase the value of the tech sector to where it’s NZ’s second biggest contributor to GDP.

Me at 2:02 PM – 13 Jun 2018
DEDIMAG needs your help – we can’t do this alone, and we want a broad spectrum of people to contribute to and comment on government work in this area. Email digitalnz@mbie.govt.nz if you’d like to be involved.

Me at 4:34 PM – 13 Jun 2018
After and I sold our company, we wanted to focus on building the community around us. Kate decided to focus on philanthropy, and I focused on startups.

Me at 4:34 PM – 13 Jun 2018
I believe startups – commercial and social enterprises – are our main tool in improving society. New organisations create new ideas that will break old paradigms resulting in better outcomes for everyone.

Me at 4:35 PM – 13 Jun 2018
The main mechanisms for growing startups are capitalist in their nature at present, but I don’t see why they should be stuck in this model in the long term.

Me at 4:35 PM – 13 Jun 2018
One of my main goals is to render money irrelevant. That might take a long time to bring about. People tell me I watched too much as a kid.

Me at 4:35 PM – 13 Jun 2018
If we can develop a source of clean energy that’s too cheap to meter, if we can automate dull boring jobs out of existence, if we can provide health and nutrition for all, isn’t that paradise?

Me at 4:36 PM – 13 Jun 2018
The question is about how the resulting abundant wealth is distributed fairly. That’s a political question, not a technological question. Together, we can solve that problem. We must.

Me at 4:36 PM – 13 Jun 2018
There will be plenty to go around, kids – no need to squabble.

Me at 6:01 PM – 13 Jun 2018
While we work toward the lofty goal of universal prosperity and wellbeing, there are plenty of incremental steps being taken along the way.

Me at 6:01 PM – 13 Jun 2018
New Zealand has lots of cool startups, and I’d like to tell you about some of them.

Me at 6:04 PM – 13 Jun 2018
Amy is an AI maths tutor for secondary school students. Disclaimer: I’m Chair of the Board.

Me at 6:22 PM – 13 Jun 2018
Whare Hauora measures the healthiness of our homes, run by the unstoppable team of and

Me at 6:29 PM – 13 Jun 2018
Engender has built a sperm sorter on a chip using lasers. What could be cooler than that? Saving the unnecessary births and deaths of unwanted bobby calves in the diary industry. Founder is a national legend.

Me at 6:33 PM – 13 Jun 2018
ADRI – The Arabic Digital Reform Institute’s mission is to make Arabic literature and scientific research widely available online. They’re proudly Kiwi.

Me at 6:36 PM – 13 Jun 2018
Conscious Consumers is creating a world where businesses and consumers prioritise people and the planet, by rewarding patronage of businesses with good sustainability practices.

Me at 7:08 PM – 13 Jun 2018
Excio puts a stream of beautiful artworks on your homescreen, and gives a new outlet to artists and photographers

Me at 7:15 PM – 13 Jun 2018
Nyriad is what happens when DirectX marries the Square Kilometer Array and elopes to The Tron. GPU-fuelled data compression at the source, but oh so much more.

Me at 7:18 PM – 13 Jun 2018
I could go on all year with the list of amazing NZ Startups. I ran a blog in 2016 called “NZ Startup of the Week” which did just this:

Me at 7:19 PM – 13 Jun 2018
Doing the NZ Startup of the Week blog on my own was a lot of work though. I’m keen to pick this up again. If you’d like to help me do it, please contact me on

EdNZ at 7:10 PM – 13 Jun 2018
Imagine what kinds of futures kids will envisage and create when startups like this enter their imaginations

Me at 8:08 PM – 13 Jun 2018
If you want to get into the startup scene in Auckland, go visit

Me at 8:09 PM – 13 Jun 2018
If you want to get into the startup scene in Tauranga, go visit

Me at 8:09 PM – 13 Jun 2018
If you want to get into the startup scene in Hamilton, go visit

Me at 8:09 PM – 13 Jun 2018
If you want to get into the startup scene in Wellington, go visit

Me at 8:09 PM – 13 Jun 2018
If you want to get into the startup scene in Christchurch, go visit

Me at 8:10 PM – 13 Jun 2018
If you want to get into the startup scene in Dunedin, go visit

Me at 8:10 PM – 13 Jun 2018
If you’re on FB, the NZ Tech Startups Ecosystem is an excellent community: I’ve seen it grow from a few hundred to over 10,000

Me at 8:12 PM – 13 Jun 2018
If you’re looking for angel investment for your startup, there are a number of different angel networks around the country. The is an umbrella group covering all of the angel networks in New Zealand. Top people. Especially

Me at 8:13 PM – 13 Jun 2018
I was one of the founding members of , Wellington’s angel investment network. We started with about 10 people in 2009, and we now have close to 100 members.

Me at 8:13 PM – 13 Jun 2018
Is angel investment right for you and your venture? Angels are typically most interested in high-growth companies with global aspirations, backed by a strong team with some sort of unfair advantage.

Me at 8:14 PM – 13 Jun 2018
Angels typically want to see the potential of a 30x return on investment (ROI) from any given investment. That’s because of very high startup failure rates.

Me at 8:15 PM – 13 Jun 2018
Eg, if 9 out of 10 angel investments die, you need one 30x investment to return 3x on the portfolio. That will typically take ~ 10 years. Given the risk, 3x over 10y is not a lot better than other traditional investments.

Me at 8:17 PM – 13 Jun 2018
And believe me, angel investments are a lot of work. It looks glamorous from the outside, but you might not want to visit the factory where the sausages are made.

Me at 8:18 PM – 13 Jun 2018
Nearly every startup is a string of near-death experiences. I haven’t been in one where the directors didn’t sit round the table one day asking “How are we going to make payroll? Who has anything left on their credit card?”

Me at 9:39 PM – 13 Jun 2018
It’s especially hard to launch a startup with global aspirations from NZ. We’re so far away from the rest of the world, physically as well as mentally.

Me at 9:39 PM – 13 Jun 2018
The strategy of using NZ as a test market is based on a fallacy. Our market of 4m people looks nothing like the rest of the world.

Me at 9:43 PM – 13 Jun 2018
I’ve done a number of blog posts giving advice to startups seeking investment. Here is a selection:

Me at 9:43 PM – 13 Jun 2018
What makes a good startup?

Me at 9:44 PM – 13 Jun 2018
Questions investors ask startups seeking investment:

Me at 9:44 PM – 13 Jun 2018
How to get the most from a mentor

Me at 9:45 PM – 13 Jun 2018
Convince me to invest in your startup

Me at 9:45 PM – 13 Jun 2018
A checklist for technical due diligence – make sure you have good answers to these questions!

Me at 9:46 PM – 13 Jun 2018
A template for an advisory board meeting

PaulSouthWales at 12:36 AM – 14 Jun 2018
Nice. Reassuring, for me, that a lot of the stuff I would expect to be there, is there.

NZParliament at 3:00 PM – 13 Jun 2018
It’s official! Parliament’s embracing live streaming and video-conferencing to open up select committees to more people all around the country:


Me at 9:44 AM – 14 Jun 2018
Kia ora, today I’ll be talking about government. This won’t be a partisan conversation, but more about how government works now and where I’d like to see it go in the future.

Me at 9:45 AM – 14 Jun 2018
I’m proud to be a Kiwi. I’m very proud of our government. Nearly everyone I’ve ever met who works in government is in it because they want to work to achieve our collective ideals.

Me at 9:45 AM – 14 Jun 2018
What are Kiwi collective ideals? That’s hard to pin down. But I believe the single core value is that everyone should have a fair go.

Me at 9:45 AM – 14 Jun 2018
I was born in the USA. The workings of NZ government and NZ society provide a sharp contrast to what’s happening in Merca. I won’t go into detail here as it’s pretty obvious.

Me at 9:46 AM – 14 Jun 2018
David Hackett Fisher wrote a book about this: Fairness and Freedom: A History of Two Open Societies: New Zealand and the United States – an interesting read

Me at 9:46 AM – 14 Jun 2018
I renounced my US citizenship at the end of 2015. I’m now 100% Kiwi. Please forgive the accent.

Me at 9:46 AM – 14 Jun 2018
Joseph de Maistre said in the early 19th century that every nation gets the government it deserves. So true.

Me at 10:38 AM – 14 Jun 2018
New Zealand was rated by Transparency International as being the least corrupt country in the world. Again.

Me at 10:39 AM – 14 Jun 2018
New Zealand’s public sector was also rated the least corrupt in the world – Transparency International NZ Chair Suzanne Snively says our biggest problem is complacency.

Me at 10:40 AM – 14 Jun 2018
We have the best raw material in the world to build the democracy of the future. What’s holding us back?

nickijingles at 10:56 AM – 14 Jun 2018
Greed. There will always be people who have more than others & that’s ok as long as there’s a bottom line nobody falls below. Until politicians prioritise people over profits, even the best democracy will still fail its society.

Me at 11:49 AM – 14 Jun 2018
In addition to complacency, I’d say the main factors holding back NZ Government are: institutional inertia, risk aversion, and fear of confrontation. These factors are all related. These are good problems to have!

Me at 11:49 AM – 14 Jun 2018
They all come down to the fact that things are pretty good, and “she’ll be right mate” has largely worked as a strategy in an environment lacking existential threats.

Me at 11:49 AM – 14 Jun 2018
But we *could* level up government. We have the technology. We could enable citizens to be more involved in shaping the way government works.

Me at 11:49 AM – 14 Jun 2018
We could take the ideal of “giving everyone a fair go” to a new level.

Me at 11:50 AM – 14 Jun 2018
Startups have taught me that the best way to be successful is to delight your customers and put them at the centre of everything you do.

Me at 11:50 AM – 14 Jun 2018
Government could put citizens at the centre of everything it does.

marie_clair at 2:23 PM – 14 Jun 2018
‘no natural predators’

Me at 4:19 PM – 14 Jun 2018
NZ government expenditure is hovering just under 20%. With more responsive, transparent government, that could be a much bigger lever than it is.

Me at 4:19 PM – 14 Jun 2018
The recent top-level CE reshuffle announced Tuesday could foretell an interesting shift in attitudes. The old guard (to some degree) is moving on.

Me at 4:39 PM – 14 Jun 2018
There are some really interesting initiatives in NZ government innovation that are happening right now. I hope the government doubles down on them.

Me at 4:40 PM – 14 Jun 2018
The Service Innovation Lab led by is working toward building Government as a Platform (GAAP). The end game is that government is delivered through a set of APIs that agencies, companies, orgs, and the public can build on. Everything is open.

Me at 4:40 PM – 14 Jun 2018
. is a visionary and she’s built a crack team around her – you can follow them at . They are way ahead of the curve. Find out more about them at

Me at 4:40 PM – 14 Jun 2018
The team are always looking for people to collaborate with. Get in touch with them if you want to help build the building blocks of the citizen-centric government of the future.

DrCuriosity at 4:58 PM – 14 Jun 2018
That’s one thing I really appreciate about New Zealand: we have a size and flexibility that allows small, skilled and motivated groups to do revolutionary things that help a lot of people 🙂

Me at 5:02 PM – 14 Jun 2018
Department of Statistics run an outfit called Data Ventures . Led by they are building joint ventures around government data. Check out for more info.

Me at 5:07 PM – 14 Jun 2018
. are running a accelerator starting in August. It’s the logical progression of the . See for more info.

Me at 5:07 PM – 14 Jun 2018
This year will be working with local government agencies as well as an overseas team, in addition to central government agencies. I’m really looking forward to the new mix in a less constrained environment.

Me at 5:08 PM – 14 Jun 2018
. is putting together an international investment fund. Find out more about that at the NZ GovTech Meetup on 20 July:

Me at 5:09 PM – 14 Jun 2018
Linda Oliver at has been running workshops this year on the ecosystem in NZ. She’ll also be presenting at the NZ GovTech Meetup on 20 July

piawaugh at 5:13 PM – 14 Jun 2018
Wow, thank you! Very privileged to be working here with people from all walks of life, all sectors, and myriad diverse experiences and perspectives. The future is ours to create, so we must create it together.

piawaugh at 5:11 PM – 14 Jun 2018
And strong shared community values around fairness, doing public good, helping others, and the importance of thriving not just surviving, that all helps too 🙂

Me at 5:26 PM – 14 Jun 2018
Lisa Casagranda at ’s Better for Business is also working on helping NZ Government Agencies become more innovative. She wants to help create a vibrant ecosystem where agencies looking for ways to nurture creative ways of doing things differently have a range of options

Me at 5:27 PM – 14 Jun 2018
I know about innovative initiatives at and that have massive potential. I’d love to see them succeed.

Me at 5:27 PM – 14 Jun 2018
The key to government innovation is willingness to take small managed risks. All of these agencies are getting more comfortable doing that.

Me at 5:28 PM – 14 Jun 2018
It’s less risky to take small managed risks than to try to take no risk at all.

Me at 5:28 PM – 14 Jun 2018
Check out the Government Innovation Manifesto and I wrote this to identify some of the challenges of government innovation.

teh_aimee at 5:27 PM – 14 Jun 2018
You are all pretty damn awesome 🙂

Me at 5:47 PM – 14 Jun 2018
I designed a tool for policy development that draws on the Lean Startup Methodology.

Me at 5:47 PM – 14 Jun 2018
The big idea behind lean policy is to figure out (1) What problem you’re trying to solve, (2) Who you’re trying to solve it for and (3) The impacts you want to generate before starting to worry about the solution

Me at 5:48 PM – 14 Jun 2018
Lean Policy is not meant to replace or supplant your normal policy development methodology – it’s meant to precede it and prevent you from wasting time and money by enumerating and testing assumptions underpinning your policy approach.

Me at 5:48 PM – 14 Jun 2018
If you’re interested in policy development, I’d love your comments on the Lean Policy Canvas

Me at 5:50 PM – 14 Jun 2018
The Lean Policy Canvas is available in English, Spanish, Arabic, German, and Chinese (Trad). Coming soon: Kyrgyz and Russian.

Me at 5:54 PM – 14 Jun 2018
Government procurement sucks. A rigid set of one-size-fits-all rules focused on risk elimination squeezes the life out of any attempt to innovate, and favours big overseas vendors over clever local ones.

Me at 5:56 PM – 14 Jun 2018
I’d like to see government procurement fixed ASAP as it is a significant blocker to innovation. I have a solution:

Me at 5:59 PM – 14 Jun 2018
I’m told that actual rules around procurement aren’t so bad, it’s just the way they’re put into practice. Whatever: the result is the same. Rules or practice, it needs to change. Unless you want your future to be brought to you by big overseas companies.

EdNZ at 6:14 PM – 14 Jun 2018
There is some evidence of this starting to happen, in some places.

(You may notice, I’ve hedged my bets 3 times in 1 sentence: partly for accuracy, partly to acknowledge emergence but also because boldness is something we are trained out of in govt)

EdNZ at 6:28 PM – 14 Jun 2018
This seems worth testing as a way for my colleagues and me at to develop the new processes we will need to deliver on the expectations from

EdNZ at 6:31 PM – 14 Jun 2018
I expect that the procurement work we did in the 1st R9 Accelerator could be re-examined and tested, if an agency wants to be bold

It is built for the emerging world of co-design and partnerships

GovStatistician at 8:10 PM – 14 Jun 2018
That she is. The mark of a true leader is the team & the environment they build around them. Pia is the real deal.

GovStatistician at 8:12 PM – 14 Jun 2018
That she is, a flame that burns very brightly – great to have had the chance to have as part of team

teh_aimee at 8:43 PM – 14 Jun 2018
I’ve _never_ enjoyed working anywhere, or with any humans, as much as I have with DV and Stats <3

(Looking forward@to@iur catchup tomorrow, Liz :D)

JennyKayNZ at 8:39 PM – 14 Jun 2018
The DIA Service Innovation Lab aka LabPlus also brings joy to most people who have the fun of working with them They on HT & more

yaakovsloman at 9:48 PM – 14 Jun 2018
Anything like what is described would certainly embrace privacy as a primary principle.

“Open” in this context means the interfaces that allow you to access the data are publicly available—what you can access will be based on who you are, on permissions.

yaakovsloman at 9:46 PM – 14 Jun 2018
I would strongly support a green field approach specifically avoiding the incorporation of current services as a convenience, or worse, employing screen scraping or other ugly workarounds—that way only tragedy comes.

yaakovsloman at 9:44 PM – 14 Jun 2018
As a citizen, I’d like GaaS to be the priority.

(This is rhetorical and GaaP would be a step to it both literally and figuratively—as my comment used it)

More seriously data integrity, security, and transparency must be primary considerations in such an effort.

BroadleySpking at 10:16 PM – 14 Jun 2018
You’ll see my point of view on this here with my comment :


Me at 8:41 AM – 15 Jun 2018
Mōrena! I’ll be talking about governance today … but I’m locked up in a board meeting at this morning, so I’ll get going this afternoon.

Me at 2:01 PM – 15 Jun 2018
I really enjoy being a company director. At the best of times, it’s exhilarating. At the worst of times, it’s soul destroying. Some of the time it’s interesting, some of the time, it’s boring.

Me at 2:02 PM – 15 Jun 2018
Being a director is like any other job: show up, do the mahi, stay positive.

Me at 2:02 PM – 15 Jun 2018
In the eyes of the law, a company is a person. The directors of the company are the personification of the company. If the company does anything illegal, it’s typically the directors that are ultimately responsible, and the ones that will end up in jail.

Me at 2:02 PM – 15 Jun 2018
Directors have two main jobs: Manage the CEO (including hiring and firing), and setting strategy with the CEO.

Me at 2:03 PM – 15 Jun 2018
Directors are also responsible for ensuring the company complies with the law, and also have a fiduciary responsibility for looking after the company’s assets on behalf of the shareholders.

Me at 2:03 PM – 15 Jun 2018
Rule Number One of being a director is to act at all times in the best interests of the company. Often that means putting the interests of the company ahead of yourself, shareholders, the CEO, staff, customers, and other stakeholders. It’s a balancing act.

Me at 3:05 PM – 15 Jun 2018
Sometimes there are conflicts of interest between directors and the company or other stakeholders. It’s important to identify conflicts and potential conflicts, and act appropriately.

Me at 3:05 PM – 15 Jun 2018
Depending on the magnitude of the conflict of interest, it might be appropriate for a director to just note it so that others are aware, not speak on a related issue, not vote, withdraw from a discussion, or resign.

Me at 3:08 PM – 15 Jun 2018
Being a director on a startup, on a government body, on an NGO, on a state owned enterprise, or in a mature for-profit company are all similar, yet different.

Me at 3:08 PM – 15 Jun 2018
Being a founder director, an executive director, a nominated director, and an independent director all have similarities and differences as well.

Me at 3:09 PM – 15 Jun 2018
A good director shows up to a board meeting prepared, having read all of the board papers, and done appropriate background research. There were over 300 pages of reading in the board pack for the board meeting I went to this morning.

Me at 3:25 PM – 15 Jun 2018
At a board meeting, a good board will do what they can to support the CEO and management to achieve the aims of the organisation. Directors will ask constructive questions.

Me at 3:25 PM – 15 Jun 2018
A bad board meeting will be attended by unprepared people, full of recrimination and acrimony. That’s when it’s time to replace board members and/or fire the CEO. A company needs to work as a team to succeed.

Me at 3:25 PM – 15 Jun 2018
It’s really up to the board Chair to direct the conversation and keep things on a positive track. As well as setting the agenda, keeping time, and being the “point person” for the relationship with the CEO, as well as shareholders.

Me at 3:25 PM – 15 Jun 2018
A broken relationship between Chair and CEO is very dangerous for a company. Time to replace one of them.

jcwhaea at 3:27 PM – 15 Jun 2018
We have a very good board.

But then we don’t have a CEO….

Me at 4:21 PM – 15 Jun 2018
Rule Number Two of being a director is to never let the company run out of money.

Me at 4:22 PM – 15 Jun 2018
When a company can’t afford to pay its debts as they fall due, that’s insolvency. Continuing to operate is called reckless trading, and the directors are personally liable for any debts the company takes on.

Me at 4:23 PM – 15 Jun 2018
If you want to become a company director, be sure you’re doing it for the right reasons.

Me at 4:23 PM – 15 Jun 2018
Directorship in NZ has been a bit of an old boys club, but it’s changing slowly.

Me at 4:25 PM – 15 Jun 2018
IINM there are still more directors named Dave in NZ than there are female directors. I’m doing what I can to change that, and encourage more women to apply for director roles.

Me at 4:29 PM – 15 Jun 2018
The larger boards I’m on are good. has 50-50 male-female. is 50-50 too, a big change from all male when I started on the board in 2010.

Me at 4:31 PM – 15 Jun 2018
I’m afraid I have to sign off now for the day. Shabbat is nearly here, and I’ll be offline shortly. I’ll be back on Sunday, talking about being Jewish in Aotearoa NZ. Shabbat Shalom!


Me at 8:19 AM – 17 Jun 2018
בוקר טוב, שבוע טוב!

Me at 8:20 AM – 17 Jun 2018
Boker tov, shavua tov. Good morning, good week. It’s going to be a good week this week, and it’s going to be a good day today.

Me at 8:21 AM – 17 Jun 2018
I’m grateful for everything – for my soul having been restored overnight, and for all of creation.

Me at 8:24 AM – 17 Jun 2018
Breakfast? Shakshouka. Better eat it before it gets overcooked!

Me at 10:24 AM – 17 Jun 2018
Shalom, I’m Dave Moskovitz in my final day at the helm of @aotaroapeople. I’ll be talking about being Jewish in Aotearoa NZ today.

Me at 10:24 AM – 17 Jun 2018
You’ll have a new curator tonight, whom I’ll introduce later on … First clue: the pronoun is “she”.

Me at 10:25 AM – 17 Jun 2018
If you’ve enjoyed my banter this week, you can follow me at , or if longer form is your thing, subscribe to my blog at I’m always happy to engage … well, most of the time, anyway.

Me at 10:34 AM – 17 Jun 2018
Food is always an excellent way to start a conversation about ethnicity. Eating is something we all have in common, and cultural practices around food are always interesting, sensual, and delightful.

Me at 10:35 AM – 17 Jun 2018
Hang on, you’re thinking … did you define “Jewish” as an ethnicity? Isn’t it a religion? Yes. It’s both. And the relationship between the two is complicated, but more on that later.

Me at 10:35 AM – 17 Jun 2018
You’ve already seen my breakfast this morning, shakshouka – after humus and falafel, the most quintessential of Israeli dishes.

Me at 10:35 AM – 17 Jun 2018
You see, I couldn’t get past ethnicity and religion without nationality sticking its beak in. ONE TWEET LATER. As I said, it’s complicated.

Me at 10:36 AM – 17 Jun 2018
Shakshouka is not native to Israel, but was brought there by Maghrebi Jews fleeing Arab lands in the wake of 1948.

Me at 10:37 AM – 17 Jun 2018
And like humus and falafel, shakshouka is loved by Jews the world over, whether or not they’re Israeli.

Me at 10:55 AM – 17 Jun 2018
My tipuna are from Eastern Europe – Poland and Russia – which makes us Ashkenazim. says I’m 97.7% Ashkenazi Jewish. Some would jokingly say that I have J-positive blood.

Me at 10:56 AM – 17 Jun 2018
Our ethnic food comes from the shtetl, stodgy stuff. I’ve published a few recipes on my blog.

Me at 10:56 AM – 17 Jun 2018
Noodle kugel (otherwise known as Jewish Lasagne):

Me at 10:56 AM – 17 Jun 2018
Brisket, using the traditional “gedempt” (smother it in onions and slow cook) method:

Me at 10:57 AM – 17 Jun 2018
Challah – traditional brioche for Shabbat:

Me at 11:19 AM – 17 Jun 2018
It’s funny when ethnic food gets popularised in a different culture, and morphed in strange ways. I’ll say it: ham and cheese bagel doesn’t work, kinda like beef tikka masala. WTF? I won’t stop you, but I’ll have to suppress internal laughter.

Me at 11:20 AM – 17 Jun 2018
I love kasha varnitshkes too – I have a hard time however, getting the kids excited about buckwheat groats with noodles. They fill an internal ancestral void in me where the shtetl used to be.

Me at 11:20 AM – 17 Jun 2018
If someone in the family is sick, I’ll try to make a chicken soup for them. Lots of onions, garlic, and dill. Dunno, seems to work. Jewish penicillin.

Me at 11:20 AM – 17 Jun 2018
Rugelach, latkes, tzimmes, blintzes, gehakte leber. These, and the scant remnants of the Yiddish language are all that remains of the shtetl. Driven out by progroms, and ultimately killed by Hitler.

Me at 11:20 AM – 17 Jun 2018
There are also tacky caricature figurines in Poland where there used to be Jews. You should be so lucky.

Me at 11:29 AM – 17 Jun 2018
Yes, unfortunately the Holocaust also creeps into the narrative rather quickly when you start discussing Judaism. I’ll make no apologies. When a third of your people are slaughtered, it’s kind of hard to ignore.

Me at 11:29 AM – 17 Jun 2018
That said, I do think we are progressively moving on. The worldwide Jewish population has finally recovered to pre-Holocaust levels, albeit against a 3.5x growth in world population.

Me at 11:30 AM – 17 Jun 2018
I’m not sure the scar of the Holocaust will ever heal, as so much was lost – an entire culture along with its food and language, our great centres of learning, many family lines snuffed out.

Me at 11:44 AM – 17 Jun 2018
Food and hospitality are a central part of Jewish culture. This goes back to biblical times. We are commanded in the Torah to welcome the stranger. This commandment appears 36 times in the Torah, more repeats than any other.

Me at 11:44 AM – 17 Jun 2018
Welcoming the stranger – engaging with people who are not like you – is extremely important. When we get to know each other as people, we’re harder to caricature, and harder to hate. Empathy begins with a conversation.

Me at 11:44 AM – 17 Jun 2018
Even if we don’t agree with each other, if we’re talking, we’re learning about each other. It’s much harder to question each other’s lived experience if we’ve shared it with each other firsthand. But we may question our own preconceptions and prejudices. And that’s a good thing.

Me at 11:45 AM – 17 Jun 2018
I’ve been a member of the Wellington Council of Christians and Jews for over 10 years.

Me at 11:45 AM – 17 Jun 2018
We invited the Muslims to join us in 2015, and we’re now the Wellington Abrahamic Council of Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

Me at 11:45 AM – 17 Jun 2018
We thought that the relationship between Christians and Jews had largely recovered, but that the relationship between Christians, Jews, and Muslims still needed a lot of work.

Me at 11:57 AM – 17 Jun 2018
The Abrahamic Council has a formal meeting every month, and several public meetings every year where we discuss matters of importance to each of the three faiths. Recent topics include Religion and Gender, Peacemaking in the Holy Land, and The Care of our Earth.

Me at 11:58 AM – 17 Jun 2018
We also have a monthly meeting called “Sharing our Scriptures” held at a private home where we discuss short texts from the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Koran all around a theme. It’s a lovely way to get to know each other and each others’ religions.

Me at 11:58 AM – 17 Jun 2018
Sharing our Scriptures meetings are open to anyone who wants to attend. See the web site for more info:

Me at 11:58 AM – 17 Jun 2018
We’re planning a meditation day later this year, where we’ll engage in meditation from all three Abrahamic traditions. Again, it’s a lovely way to share. We have so much in common.

Me at 11:59 AM – 17 Jun 2018
Food is a great intro to interfaith conversations, but we need to move beyond the pleasantries, and work toward the crunchy stuff. It takes years to build up trust. But I feel like we’re there, at least in Wellington, between Jews Christians and Muslims.

Me at 12:00 PM – 17 Jun 2018
Naturally, the problems between religions come from people who aren’t engaging with others. Often it’s harder to deal with our own hardliners than it is to deal with others. But we press on, role modelling the behaviour we’d like to see.

Me at 12:00 PM – 17 Jun 2018
Combat hate with the power of love.

KiwiLibrarian at 12:00 PM – 17 Jun 2018
I love that sense of cooperation and togetherness.

Me at 4:41 PM – 17 Jun 2018
The relationship between different branches of the same religion can be difficult. In Wellington, we have two synagogues: Progressive, and Orthodox. I’m a member of the Progressive shul.

Me at 4:41 PM – 17 Jun 2018
There’s an old joke: A shipwrecked Jew is found on a desert island. He’s been there for several years, and has built two synagogues: one that he goes to regularly, and the other that he wouldn’t step foot in.

Me at 4:42 PM – 17 Jun 2018
The main difference between Orthodox and Progressive is our interpretation of the Torah, the first five books of the Bible. The Orthodox believe that the Torah comes directly from God. Progressives believe it was written by people, although divinely inspired.

Me at 4:50 PM – 17 Jun 2018
We argue with each other. Sometimes this is good, sometimes not so much. For every two Jews there are three opinions, the old joke goes.

Me at 4:50 PM – 17 Jun 2018
My friend Harold likes to point out that even as the Romans were breaching the walls of Jerusalem in 73 AD, the Jews were so busy fighting each other that they couldn’t put up a resistance, and only fought side by side once the Romans had broken through.

Me at 4:58 PM – 17 Jun 2018
If you believe the Torah was written by God, you take it literally. If you’re progressive, you interpret the lessons from 3,000 years ago and apply them to the modern day.

Me at 4:59 PM – 17 Jun 2018
I often ask myself, what would the Torah be like if it were written today? The world is a much different place now than it was 3,000 years ago, and if they knew then what we know now, the lessons would be different.

Me at 4:59 PM – 17 Jun 2018
But the many of the core values remain constant. In the 2nd century AD, Rabbi Hillel was asked to summarise the Torah “while standing on one foot”, ie as condensed as possible. He said:

Me at 4:59 PM – 17 Jun 2018
What is hateful to you, do not do to others. The rest is commentary, go and learn it.

Me at 4:59 PM – 17 Jun 2018
There are other guiding principles, which come either from the Torah itself, the Bible, or the Talmud – 66 volumes of interpretation codified around the 2nd century AD.

Me at 5:00 PM – 17 Jun 2018
Love your neighbour as yourself.

Me at 5:00 PM – 17 Jun 2018
Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with The Divine.

Me at 5:00 PM – 17 Jun 2018
On three things the world stands: on The Law (Torah), on prayer, and on acts of righteousness.

Me at 5:00 PM – 17 Jun 2018
On three things the world is sustained: on the truth, on justice, and on peace.

Me at 5:01 PM – 17 Jun 2018
I could go on for a long time, but I won’t bore you with the detail.

Me at 5:01 PM – 17 Jun 2018
Judaism is not a proselytising religion – we’re not going to try to convert you. In fact, if you want to, we’ll actively discourage you. You need to be meshuggeh (crazy) to want to be Jewish if you’re not already.

Me at 5:01 PM – 17 Jun 2018
But back to the sacred texts, they’re a mixed bag. About a third of the laws in the Torah deal with the construction of the Temple, and animal sacrifice. What one of our local rabbis used to refer to as the celestial barbecue.

Me at 5:02 PM – 17 Jun 2018
Many Orthodox Jews believe that when the messiah returns, we can go back to sacrificing animals on the altar in the holy temple. No thanks.

Me at 5:02 PM – 17 Jun 2018
And while the text urges us to love your neighbour as yourself, there are a number of places where we are instructed to completely destroy the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites etc. Not great.

Me at 5:02 PM – 17 Jun 2018
Or not to touch an unclean woman (who is menstruating). Our understanding of the role of menstruation and the place of women in society is thankfully very different from 3,000 years ago.

Me at 5:03 PM – 17 Jun 2018
If the Torah were written today, it would be a lot different. So I’m willing to accept the good with the bad, learn what I can from the good, and consider the bad irrelevant in modern times.

Me at 5:03 PM – 17 Jun 2018
And that’s what it really means to be a Progressive Jew: continually re-evaluating and deciding which of our traditions to follow, which to adapt, and which to discard.

Me at 5:03 PM – 17 Jun 2018
Moment by moment we make these decisions. Which ones will bring us closer to the Divine? Which ones will make the world a better place?

EdNZ at 5:14 PM – 17 Jun 2018
Not just for this tweet, but for many the week – Thanks /

Me at 5:32 PM – 17 Jun 2018
Some of my secular friends make fun of religious people for “taking orders from an imaginary friend”. That’s unkind. We’re inspired by the wisdom of our tipuna. They knew a thing or two.

Me at 5:32 PM – 17 Jun 2018
If you take a strictly reductive view of the universe, you’re missing out on a lot. Even Gödel showed that in any system there are statements whose truth cannot be determined.

Me at 5:32 PM – 17 Jun 2018
Our understanding of science continues to evolve. Things we thought true in one century were proven false in the next. Don’t get me wrong: I consider myself a scientist first and foremost. But science has nothing to say about the spiritual. It can’t.

Me at 5:37 PM – 17 Jun 2018
There’s a saying in Yiddish: shverd tzu zayn en Yid. It’s hard to be a Jew. So many decisions. And so many people hate us.

Me at 5:38 PM – 17 Jun 2018
Clue number two for the identity your next curator for the account: She is a Cantab.

Me at 5:40 PM – 17 Jun 2018
Even here in Aotearoa, people hate Jews. There are only ~ 7,000 of us according to the census. When I arrived in New Zealand, many people I knew had never met a Jew before. It’s easier to hate someone you’ve never met.

Me at 5:40 PM – 17 Jun 2018
I spoke about my experiences with hate speech recently at a Tech Week event on Hate and the Internet:

Me at 5:42 PM – 17 Jun 2018
My experiences at the sharp end of hate speech revolved around Zionism. You could hear the collective drawing in of breath at the event when I said that I’m a Zionist.

Me at 5:42 PM – 17 Jun 2018
Before you hit that reply button, let me review the Oxford definition of Zionism: A movement for (originally) the re-establishment and (now) the development and protection of a Jewish nation in what is now Israel.

Me at 5:43 PM – 17 Jun 2018
I subscribe to that definition, and support the development and protection of a Jewish nation in what is now Israel. Quickly adding that I disagree with the policies of the current and recent Israeli governments.

Me at 5:45 PM – 17 Jun 2018
Fact is, most practicing Jews are Zionists. Not all, but most. People like to point to the oddball anti-Zionist Naturei Karta movement which has a few hundred members. Nobody except Iran takes them seriously.

Me at 5:45 PM – 17 Jun 2018
There is no excuse for the way the Israeli government has treated Palestinians. But that does not negate my belief that there should be a Jewish state in what is now Israel. So I _am_ a Zionist, by the previous definition.

Me at 5:48 PM – 17 Jun 2018
Who are the Tangata Whenua of the place that is now Israel? I’ve argued that there are two people with two divergent narratives. Read it here:

Me at 5:49 PM – 17 Jun 2018
I ask my Māori friends: If your iwi were exiled from Aotearoa and shunted round the globe for centuries, at which point would it stop being your whenua? 100 years? 500 years? Ever?

Me at 5:49 PM – 17 Jun 2018
But the reality is that the Israel-Palestine situation is complex. Neither the Jews nor the Palestinians are going to up sticks. We need to learn how to live together. That is going require painful sacrifices on both sides.

Me at 5:50 PM – 17 Jun 2018
It all starts with a conversation. Walls and other barriers to contact only entrench positions.

Me at 5:51 PM – 17 Jun 2018
I got in some hot water for telling the Israeli Ambassador to NZ to tell his government to put down their weapons and start pursuing peace: Someone had to say it, but he claimed to have not heard the message. So it goes.

Me at 5:58 PM – 17 Jun 2018
Oh dear. I’ve been blocked and sworn at by for being a F@#$ing Zionist.

paulainauckland at 5:59 PM – 17 Jun 2018
She blocked me 🤣🤣🤣 still reported.

kairakau50 at 5:58 PM – 17 Jun 2018
Getting in before change to say how valuable I have found the generosity with which you have shared this week – especially today. Thank you 🙏🏼

MikeDawesNZ at 5:55 PM – 17 Jun 2018
I don’t need religion to be a good person or to be happy chief, I know what’s right and wrong without the sacred elven scrolls. Judgemental of the systems yes, not the people caught up in it. Humans are suckers for a good story, and there’s always a religion ready to capitalise

Te_Taipo at 6:12 PM – 17 Jun 2018
There were attempts to *shunt* Maniapoto from our whenua, but they failed. We left Hawaiki as well, without shunting. So therefore I can’t say. But we believe in covernants with other peoples, those should be honoured.

DrCuriosity at 6:12 PM – 17 Jun 2018
Thank you for making the effort, nonetheless. It is important that to be mindful that the loudest voices within a community are not the only voices that should be listened to.

barbari_ann at 6:11 PM – 17 Jun 2018
Believing there should be a thing is not a legitimate argument for taking over other people’s land

RustDevLuke at 6:11 PM – 17 Jun 2018
Remember American History X? I was a teen when that came out. I witnessed a lot of already slightly racist teens suddenly hate Jews even though they’d never met one in their life. Media plays a huge role – including our papers/tv, and who we let be published (fuck Bob Jones).

NZLainey at 6:04 PM – 17 Jun 2018
Try being a diplomat – it’s not easy.

NZLainey at 6:01 PM – 17 Jun 2018
I’ve met him many times, including in Israel when he was back there on that short sabbatical from NZ … He seemed like a pretty likeable guy – tough job trying to keep everyone happy 🤷🏻‍♀️ He did like Kiwis.

roonsopo at 6:14 PM – 17 Jun 2018
Me to and I’ve been a sleep on the couch

CderueDe at 6:18 PM – 17 Jun 2018
I think humans inevitably have to progress towards truth. Children get milk then meat… even the bible says get more wisdom. Excelling beyond religious control wont necessarily mean a collapse of morals, unless more sanity means less morals.

fuzzywuzzie at 6:24 PM – 17 Jun 2018
I’m Pākehā and my family received stolen land in the same area Maniapoto were shunted from. It’s still their land, they’re still treated badly, and my fellow Pākehā have short memories. I don’t really identify with the countries my tūpuna left, but I don’t claim ownership.

fuzzywuzzie at 6:26 PM – 17 Jun 2018
(I don’t claim ownership of the land I now belong to. Ko Pirongia te maunga, ko Waipā te awa… ka hoea au ki te taha o tāngata whenua)

barbari_ann at 6:24 PM – 17 Jun 2018
It actually is pretty simple, to act like decent human beings and not treat the people you have displaced badly

paulainauckland at 5:59 PM – 17 Jun 2018
Ah. But for me, Jesus’ words come after & I need to follow these. Loving getting your view tho! Please continue.

anarkaytie at 6:49 PM – 17 Jun 2018
*shrug* some of my Scottish forbears were cleared off the land by English landlords, forced to migrate – Nova Scotia, Australia, here.

English aristocracy are fond of pointing at a bunch of peasants & saying ‘oi, you lot – clear orf’.

Perhaps, do away with aristocracy?

Me at 7:58 PM – 17 Jun 2018
So that episode with the Israeli ambassador was during a gig by the band I was playing with, the . We have an interesting connection to Operation Eight, but that’s a story for another time //

Me at 7:59 PM – 17 Jun 2018
Check out the music of the at

Me at 8:00 PM – 17 Jun 2018
Or feast your ears on the showreel:

Me at 8:00 PM – 17 Jun 2018
Klezmer music is a fusion of music from the shtetl, combined with new world influences. I played trumpet and sang lead vocals. I still play with them occasionally.

Me at 8:01 PM – 17 Jun 2018
It’s my way of saying “fuck you” to Hitler, and keeping what’s left of Yiddish culture alive.

Me at 8:01 PM – 17 Jun 2018
I’d never punch a Nazi, but I’d sing them a Yiddish lullaby. Or a raucous freilachs.

Me at 8:01 PM – 17 Jun 2018
Finally, if you want to explore Israeli music, check out this Podcast: The latest installment highlights LGBTQI artists and songs from the Tel Aviv Pride festival.

GeniusNet at 7:59 PM – 17 Jun 2018
“They would not listen

They’re not

List’ning still

Perhaps they never will.”

Me at 8:06 PM – 17 Jun 2018
We are nearing the end of my tenure here at . The final clue for the next curator has a 4yo kid and is involved with … Only two more tweets left from me!

bradmac_nz at 8:41 PM – 17 Jun 2018
I think we should recognise how abhorrent it is to drive people from their homes, and commit to each other to prevent it happening to anyone

fuzzywuzzie at 7:55 PM – 17 Jun 2018
Yes of course it’s easier not knowing but not for the people actually affected by it. It makes a heck of a difference to Māori when Pākehā people aren’t ignorant and racist. Not acknowledging the continuing effects of colonisation is racism.

hugobrown at 7:55 PM – 17 Jun 2018
I’ve always wanted to find out what my DNA was, I know on both my parents side are Maori / Pakeha

My papa father doesn’t know where his parents were born but knows it wasn’t NZ

My mum’s pakeha side is French from Baron Charles De Thierry (Dubious Frenchman haha) google him lol

Te_Taipo at 8:54 PM – 17 Jun 2018
Maniapoto though were never driven from our lands is the example given. Certainly had to consolidate inside the exclusive territory within the aukati, but not driven from or exiled. We’re still here ;).

Me at 8:58 PM – 17 Jun 2018
That’s it from me! If you want to continue the conversation, follow me at and we’ll continue the conversation. Thank you so much everyone for listening, contributing and interacting. Aroha nui, and Shalom.

Me at 9:00 PM – 17 Jun 2018
And now, I’d like to introduce you to this week’s curator: . I’m really looking forward to seeing her perspective, so I hope you’ll be as welcoming to her as you have been to me. Finally, thanks to for kicking off this great initiative. Over and out.