New Zealand 2040 – Looking towards the future

22nd January, 2015

Simon in the MYOB office

Have you thought about the fact that your conversations are increasingly with a screen? Sure, there’s a person at the other end, but you’re talking to a screen, and it’s really normal. As time goes on, we’re going to be looking at more than screens; exactly what and when, we’re not totally sure. But in 2040, who knows? Your coffee chats could be replaced by holograms and drones.

What is New Zealand looking forward to?

Mind control, new currencies, always available insights to drive smart decision making, drones, holograms, self-driving cars, remote working without negative impact, and so on. These changes, that will eventually come, are going to impact more than the way we do our jobs, but they will drastically change how we live our lives and engage with each other. For Kiwis, this will create massive opportunities with technology removing barriers while enabling better collaboration, locally and abroad. For New Zealand in 2040, with an estimated population of 5.5 million, this combination of being remote and highly connected will make New Zealand a highly enviable place to live. But success requires change, and people have to not only welcome change, but drive it. Futurist and keynote speaker, Tim Longhurst, says “One of the big opportunities over the next 25 years for local businesses and all of us, is to recognise there are more opportunities, more work, more fun and more life, that can be had within a five-kilometre radius of where we live that we would know what to do with”.

3D printing is only starting to surface in to thoughts of early adopters, but as time progresses, it will revolutionise manufacturing, architecture, design and more. MYOB’s Chief Technology Officer, Simon Raik-Allen, explains, “Banks of 3D printers would be continually churning out products ordered by the local community.” Rather than shopping around for what you need, you simply download the design, and what you need made on the spot. This is just in time, local, and amazingly convenient. Just think about how that is going to change the supply chains. Kim Campbell, Chief Executive of Employees and Manufacturing Association agrees, “The nature of work itself will change too. Advances in automation and such as 3D printing will see a lot of backbreaking labour disappear. The labour cost I car making is already five percent compared with 50 percent in the past, with material costs 70-80 percent.”

How do we know what’s coming?

“We’ve still not managed to invent a crystal ball to see what the business world will look like in 25 years’ time. If we did, I expect it would become the bestselling gadget of all time.” says Russell Craig, National Technology Officer, Microsoft New Zealand. So, while we don’t know with certainty, Russel indicates that looking at the past is the best method to paint an picture of the future. 1) People are evolving in their use of technology, 2) people and their data is moving online, and 3) the manufacturing industry is in need of a shake up; hello 3D printing! Disruptive is the new normal, these three observations are going to be key factors leading to 2040.


This, and all sorts of other amazing ideas have been compiled in MYOBs special “Future of Business Report – New Zealand in 2040”, part of our MYOB Business Monitor series. Featuring Tim Longhurst, Simon Raik-Allen, Kim Campbell, Russell Craig and Nick Clark, it’s got some big thoughts that you might love, or think are just crazy. If you’ve got your own ideas on how 2040 will look, or to see what’s bouncing around on Twitter, get on to #2040thefuture