AI Hackathon, 11-20 August 2023

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

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

The event was 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 was a two-day challenge event focused on delivering real-life examples.

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

Participants were also welcome to bring their own problems to solve.

Registrations open

28 June 2023 | Register for one of the Hackathon events located around the country. If you are an experienced hacker you can join the event online.


12 July 2023, 5pm - 6pm - a pre-recorded session for participants, which outlines the Hackathon, the problems to solve, planned venue and logistics, datasets and technology.

Live Q&A Session

24 July, & 7 August 2023 - for participants to clarify questions about the hackathon - from rules of engagement and ideas to datasets and technology.

AI Hackathon

11-19 August - each site runs their own hackathon over 48 hours to the same general time frame and within the rules set out. All pitches are recorded and each event selects an overall winner. Each winning pitch is then submitted to the international judging panel.

Judging Day

22 August 2023 - our judging panel will assess the recorded presentations from all of the regional event finalists and winners to select the four teams who will go on to present at the Aotearoa AI Summit in September 2023. (This is an online event for judges only).

AI Summit 2023

An international judging panel will select the four best solutions who will then have the opportunity to pitch to the AI Summit 2023 in Auckland on 21 September. The audience at the Summit will vote for the overall winner of the Hackathon Festival.

2023 International Judges

Our panel of expert judges selected four finalists who presented 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 >

2023 Regional Judges

Our regional judges selected an overall winner from their event. Regional winners were submitted to the international judging panel who chose 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 were:

Dr Mahsa McCauley  | Megan Tapsell  | Sam Ng 

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

Matt Lythe  | Prof Mengjie Zhang  | Tim Bradley  

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

Sarah Sun Dr Phil Mourot

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

Gabriela Mazorra de Cos

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

Maria Mingallon

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

Dr Phil Mourot  | Glen Willoughby | Fraser Paine

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)

Overall winner

Deepweed (Wellington)

The winning team received the TAIAO Prize of $1,000. Plus each team member received an ArcGIS for Personal Use license which provides access to ArcGIS for 12 months for personal, non-commercial projects.

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.