HackNelson 2018's Launch event was held on the 9th of August 2018 with over one hundred attendees. The first 8 confirmed businesses pitched their HackNelson 2018 sustainability problems which were recorded and are available to be replayed below. 


One of the most important parts of any hackathon is truly understanding the problem to be solved. HackNelson is no different and each team will spend at least Friday evening, if not Saturday morning as well, looking into the problem that has been posed and seeking fresh insights into customer needs, business value and potential solutions. In most cases the Lean Canvas planning tool will be used to aid this process.


Any problem definition that the sponsoring business or the HackNelson organising team has provided should be challenged as well as analysed. Therefore the simple problem statements provided below are offered as a starting point for your thoughts and investigations rather than a fixed or authoritative definition.


NZ King Salmon

In a business context where we have a clear understanding of the sustainable development goals that we want to target as well as existing investments in sustainability, what measures should we be using to quantify progress and how can we best engage and communicate with our stakeholders? NZKS is “walking the walk” but needs help with “talking the talk.”


nelson city council

One of the biggest challenges facing our region is the coastal impact of climate change. The council needs a two-way conversation with businesses, iwi and a variety of citizens. A successful and sustainable response to climate change depends on community engagement and NCC wants help with facilitating this engagement. NCC wants to learn from the community as well as share information with the community.



With responsibility for the CBD business environment, UN wants to help brick and mortar retailers thrive in a digital world. The aims are increased foot traffic in the CBD and collaboration between retailers to address their shared challenges, with the overall target of increased revenue. The proposed solution is a digital loyalty and customer experience program that spans dozens of retailers in the Nelson CBD.


With three trading divisions, a focus on whanau welfare and a very long-term organisational vision, Wakatū is truly focused on sustainability. The exact challenge to be presented to HackNelson is still being decided upon but is likely to involve capturing, using and communicating data about horticultural operations in a way that helps optimise land use for the long-term and not just for current production.



The challenge chosen by Sealord is how to prove authenticity throughout a global supply chain for a sustainably caught fish product. A consumer in a distant market needs to know that the product they are purchasing is actually what it appears to be. A possible solution approach would be to use distributed ledger technology such as blockchain.


Almond House backpackers

Large global demand-aggregators like, AirBnB and Uber are revolutionising markets. Whilst accommodation will always be needed (just like taxi-style transport), how do we sustain the livelihoods of small local providers amidst the price pressure coming from global giants? The challenge for Almond and Bug Backpackers is how to cope with loss of control and reduced margins forced upon them? Is there a way to strengthen direct connections with customers or to navigate the pricing and promotion algorithms from the big OTAs (Agoda,, Hostelworld, Expedia)?

Tasman bay food group

Like many businesses, Tasman Bay Food Group has a variety of resources left over as a by product of its operations. The challenge that Marina has posed is how best to dispose of these waste streams. There is commercial value in making better use of these waste streams and there is environmental value in finding ways for others to make productive use of resources that would otherwise be discarded. How can you help Tasman Bay Food Group to connect sources of waste with consumers of waste?




For decades the iSITE was the heart of the visitor experience, in NelsonTasman and around the world. How does an iSITE remain relevant and valuable in a digital world? What do tourists need and how can the iSITE replace the revenue that used to come from accommodation commissions? This is a great example of the challenge to innovate or die that faces many organisations. How can we help the iSITE to evolve its business model and remain economically sustainable?