Who is IT NZ: Andrea Hancox

If you’re going to focus on the NZ Tech sector then you better talk to NZ Tech. It’s all in the name right? We had coffee with the delightfully charming Andrea Hancox. A+ would coffee again.

Who is IT NZ is a feature of What is IT NZ that we talked about in an earlier post. We’ll meet you for coffee, ask you a version of the Proust Questionnaire and just hang out and have a nice time. Afterwards you introduce us to someone else so the chain keeps going.

What’s your business?

NZ Tech, it was created 9 years ago and our purpose is to create a prosperous New Zealand, underpinned by a vibrant tech sector.  We represent over 400 organisations in tech, not necessarily traditional organisations, we also have other organisations than are non-traditional tech companies and we represent them as well. So everything from major corporates and all the way down to start-ups and everything in between.

What’s your role?

My role is the national director of member and government relations. Anything where a member touches our business I’m involved with – I concentrate on account managing a lot of our major corporate members – to get across their businesses, the likes of HPs, IBMs and Dells; to get across them.

I’m involved with talking to a lot of Ministers, Minister Briefings etc.

What’s your 2 sentence elevator pitch?

To create a prosperous New Zealand underpinned by a vibrant tech sector.

What’s your favourite virtue?

Doing what people say they’re going to do – so committing to doing what you’ll say you’ll do. Not just saying XYZ then not deliver it. I think it’s accountability and being reliable.

What do you look for in a friend?

I know a lot of people. There’s not a lot of people I call true friends. To be a really good friend of mine is a journey. I think it’s one who knows me in depth and has got my back. My best friend is there regardless. You can pick up where you left off the last conversation no matter whether it’s been a week, 2 weeks, 2 months, we may not see each other for a while but she’s completely there for me and knows everything about me and is there to support me.

What’s your dominant characteristic?

I have to be in control. I wouldn’t say I’m a control freak. What I would say is that I like feeling that I’m in control. So things could be completely and utterly chaotic but if I’m in control….once I tip over and fall out of the boat and can’t swim then it’s all tits up.

What’s your biggest flaw?

Needing to be in control? I think that is my biggest flaw.

I asked if she was ok with her biggest flaw being her dominant characteristic…

I know. I get undone a lot by it. Maybe my biggest flaw is I say yes to everything. What happens is you get completely over-committed on everything and then you feel you have to meet all the commitments…and you achieve nothing.

What’s your favourite occupation?

I don’t think I have a favourite occupation. At anything I do I need a hell of a lot of variety, so maybe it’s a-bit-of-everything-occupation. Maybe every day I do something completely different and diverse. Every single day. It’s around having the knowledge to do all those things. I hate being bored. Constant variety.

At this point Andrea wanted to return to her dominant characteristic.

I’m an active relaxer. I have to be doing stuff. Moving the whole time. If I’ve got 5 minutes I’ll jam something into that 5 minutes.

What’s your idea of happiness?

My children that don’t fight, whinge and argue.

I said we didn’t accept the absence of a negative.

Content children. My youngest child had his tonsils and adenoids out 5 weeks ago and he hasn’t slept for the last 4 years and it’s been absolute hell. Makes for a very unhappy household. That’s why I say content children.

What’s your idea of misery?

My idea of misery is spending the day in bed sick. Some people love it. Sounds really strange…sleeping in. It makes me very miserable. Not being able to get the shit done that I want to do.

If you weren’t you, who would you like to be?

I don’t have a person. I just don’t … can we come back to this? I’ll have a think.

Where do you wish you could live?

Somewhere that’s maybe warmer than here? I wouldn’t want to live on a tropical island. I’m not a beach person. And I don’t want to be too cold. I don’t want lots of people. Just enough people. Where’s somewhere that’s warm and with not too many people?

Lou suggested Hawaii.

Ooh Hawaii sounds good. Or potentially parts of Thailand actually. Like Koh Samui.

What’s your favourite colour, and flower?

Easy. Blue. Considering I wanted to be a florist, I don’t have one particular flower I just like colour so … colourful flowers. A range of …I like more the creation of flowers. Like a bouquet. I find flowers by themselves quite boring. They’re all nice. But I don’t like them being solo.

Who’s your favourite character in fiction?

GI Jane. We’ll go with that.

We went back to “If you weren’t you, who would you like to be?”

This is quite bizarre. I’d actually kind of like to be a homeless person. The reason for that is because – not the fact that they’re homeless – but the fact they get to observe people, and have other people observe them and make judgements on what they are. Because then you’d see the world for what they really are and what they think. Just for a day. When I’m in networking events, sometimes I’ll just sit back and watch. I love observing people and how they do things and their mannerism. It sounds warped, but I’d like to be on Lambton Quay and observe people and the judgements people make and how sad it is. That’s a little bit out there isn’t it?

What’s your favourite swear word

Fuck. Or shit. I alternate. Shit. We’ll go with shit.


If you’d like to take part in Who is IT Wellington, fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch.



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