Get ready for the 11-20 August. 

Join us in solving pressing environmental problems using AI.

AI Forum NZ is hosting an AI for the Environment Hackathon Festival across Aotearoa and the South Pacific.

Do you have a passion for saving the planet, starting in our backyard?

The winners will pitch their solutions at the AI Summit on 21 September in Auckland.

This event is being held across multiple locations including Auckland, Waikato, Wellington, Christchurch, Taranaki and Fiji.

Auckland I

Auckland I

11-12 August (academyEX and She#)



14-15 August (Amazon Web Servies)



15-16 August (Callaghan Innovation)

Auckland II

Auckland II

15-16 August (NZME and Google)



15-16 August (PowerCo)



18-19 August (ANZ Bank)



19-20 August (UOW)

All locations

All locations

11-20 August (Online)

AI for the Environment Hackathon Festival 2023

Each hackathon within the Festival is a two-day challenge event focused on delivering real-life examples.

Our problems to solve are based on the 5 Key Environmental Outcomes (AI for the Environment Report 2022). We have expanded these to make them relevant to all participants in 2023.

You are welcome to bring your own problems to solve. If you do, we recommend letting us know so that we can do our best to help with data sets and technology support.

However, in case you are looking for ideas, we have found these ones for you – and some of the organisations involved will provide subject matter experts to help on the day.

Registration Details

Secure your spot today and join us in solving pressing environmental problems.

  • $15
  • Problem-solving for a sustainable future.
  • Student ID is required.
  • $25
  • Join the Hackathon Festival 2023.
  • Tackle environmental challenges.
  • $0
  • Forming and helping teams excel.
  • Focusing ideas and finding solutions.

Meet our 2023 International Judges

Our panel of expert judges will select four finalists who will present at the Aotearoa AI Summit 2023 in September.

HEAD JUDGE Managing Director Lynker Analytics

Learn more about Matt >

Strategic Advisor
Digital Economy
Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Learn more about Tim >

Senior Hazard and Disaster Risk Advisor. Senior Researcher at The AI Institute NZ

Learn more about Phil >

Executive Director
AI Forum 
New Zealand

Learn more about Madeline >

Meet our 2023 Regional Judges

Our regional judges will select an overall winner from their event. Regional winners are submitted to the international judging panel who choose four finalists to present at the Aotearoa AI Summit in September.

The regional judges for the Auckland hackathon event on 11-12 August supported by academyEX and She Sharp are:

Dr Mahsa McCauley  | Megan Tapsell  | Sam Ng 

The regional judges for the Wellington hackathon event on 14-15 August supported by AWS are:

Matt Lythe  | Prof Mengjie Zhang  | Tim Bradley  

The regional judges for the Christchurch hackathon event on 15-16 August supported by Callaghan Innovation are:

Sarah Sun Dr Phil Mourot

The regional judge for the Auckland hackathon event on 15-16 August supported by NZME and Google is:

Gabriela Mazorra de Cos

The regional judge for Taranaki hackathon event on 15-16 August supported by PowerCo is :

Maria Mingallon

The regional judges for the Waikato hackathon event on 19-20 August supported by University of Waikato are:

Dr Phil Mourot  | Glen Willoughby | Fraser Paine

Prizes 2023

Winning team of each region: $250

Overall Hackathon Winning team: The TAIAO Prize of $1,000. Plus each team member receives an ArcGIS for Personal Use license which provides access to ArcGIS for 12 months for personal, non-commercial projects. 

Prizes kindly donated by Eagle Technology.

Problems to Solve

  • Climate Change Mitigation: Reduction of greenhouse emissions, mitigating the effects of climate change including planning and recovery from natural disasters.
  • Reducing Pollution from our Activities: Substances or kinds of energy (noise, light, heat) that are harmful to the environment.
  • Protecting our Freshwater and Marine Resources: How we fish, the taking of water from waterways, and what we discharge into waterways. Real life problem: Seascape
  • Impacts of Changing Land Use: Changes to vegetation and land uses and the impact that has on the Environment, e.g. Biodiversity, Erosion and Climate Change, and use of land as an effective resource (e.g. Farming). Real life problems: Baring Heads , ReFood
  • Resources and Essential Kits

    Help us spread the word about the AI for the Environment Hackathon 2023! Download social media assets, images, and copy to use across your marcomms channels i.e. social media and newsletters. If you would like something specific, please email us at

    If you missed the bootcamp held on 12 July, 2023, or would like to revisit specific chapters and information, you can download or view the videos or explore individual chapters below:

    The mentor information pack is now available for download.
    This provides helpful information for mentors attending a hackathon event.

    Please check the website for the latest updates regarding dates, locations and sponsors as some details in these videos and documents may have changed. If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at

    Media Gallery

    Here’s some highlights from this year’s AI for the Environment Hackathon Festival, which took place in six locations on 11-20 August.

    Regional winners


    DeepWeed (Wellington)  |  Team Illegal Dumping (Waikato)  |  Tree Trackers (Christchurch)  |  Trap Feng Shui (Auckland)


    Find answers to frequently asked questions below.

    The only differences are the dates and locations. Both events are being held at quality venues with excellent support available and will be run to the Hackathon Festival’s rules. 

    The winners from both events will compete for the national award.

    The first Hackathon in Auckland is on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th August and is being hosted by AcademyEx at their Khyber Pass Road campus. Mentors from She Sharp will be supporting this event alongside others.

    The second Hackathon in Auckland is on Tuesday 15th and Wednesday 16th August and is being hosted by NZME at their iHeart Studios in Graham St in the CBD. This event is being supported by Google and others.

    Register as a normal participant but add to the notes that you will be participating online, or register as an online participant but add to the notes that you will be participating as part of a pre-formed team.

    You and your team can self-organise how you participate (e.g. via Slack / Teams / Zoom). You and your team must make sure that the organising team at the venue and the judges are aware you are contributing to the team’s work remotely.

    Solo online participants not registering as part of a pre-formed team will be assigned to a Hackathon venue. You will need to adhere to their dates and timings. 

    At the start of Day 1 of their Hackathon event you can join a team on the ground and participate with them throughout the event. You will need to self-organise online calls / interaction with your team. 

    You can organise to join your team’s pitch via a Zoom call.

    Once we receive your registration, you will be assigned to a Hackathon venue that is running a hybrid event. You will need to adhere to their dates and timings, and a mentor will be assigned to your team to check on your progress throughout the hack. 

    You will pitch to that Hackathon’s judging panel and be considered alongside those participating in person at that venue.

    There is no restriction on the technology used by teams.

    The evaluation criteria is available as part of the participant’s pack available here. Please note that this is not an academic exercise and hence detailed evaluation criteria will not be available.

    Teams can either choose one of the provided problems to solve or choose their own. 

    Each problem to solve must fit into one or more of the 5 key environmental problem areas outlined in the Problems to Solve pack here.

    If you are unsure about whether your problem to solve fits within the criteria please contact us with details by emailing us at or check with the team organising your event on the day.

    Please refer to the Bootcamp videos and other datasets information on the website here. 

    There are a variety of different datasets in different formats. Please refer to the Bootcamp videos and additional dataset information on the website here

    Proud Partners of AI Hackathon 2023

    Thank you to our incredible sponsors for helping support this year’s AI Hackathon

    Copyright © 2023 AI Hackathon. Presented by AI Forum NZ.