Breaking brands: How One NZ says it’s going to invest in Aotearoa

One NZ says breaking away from the Vodafone Group brand will mean there is more money in the purse for improving networks, services and technology solutions. So what can Kiwis expect to see?

Vodafone had been in the New Zealand telco market for 25 years before a change of ownership in 2019 saw it sold to utilities investor Infratil and Canadian investment firm Brookfield Asset Management for $3.4 billion.

Since that time, there has been a commercial arrangement with Vodafone Group that allowed Vodafone NZ to continue using the brand name in New Zealand – but at a commercially sensitive cost.

Last September, the rebrand to One NZ was announced, which means the money it was paying to Vodafone Group will now be invested back into New Zealand, senior communications lead Matt Flood told 1News.

“This move means we will have even more money to invest into our networks, onshore service, and technology solutions for our customers in New Zealand,” he said.

“The change from global to local means we can focus on better connecting Aotearoa, creating products and services that meet local needs.

“For example, One Good Kiwi, our digital giving platform where users – who do not have to be One NZ customers – will get to choose how to distribute the $1.2 million that we donate each year to support positive change for rangatahi (young people), and One Plan, New Zealand’s best priced unlimited max speed data mobile plan.”

Flood says One NZ has been “overhauling the way we sell and serve, bringing most of our call centres back home to New Zealand, forming local teams of experts and bringing all our retail stores under full ownership”.

“We have also been upgrading our legacy technology to make it easier for teams to help customers.

"While customer experience is better than it has ever been, One New Zealand will be on a mission to become world-famous for its service, dedicated to providing more locals helping locals, and great service where and when needed, in stores, via call centres or online.”

One NZ and TVNZ in talks

Vodafone NZ rebrands to One NZ.

The change, however, has not come without challenges. The branding announcement last year prompted TVNZ to file an opposition claim against Vodafone's decision to trademark the name One NZ.

A spokesperson for TVNZ says the two companies are still in talks.

“TVNZ is in discussions with Vodafone about its trademark process for One NZ. TVNZ 1 and 1News are reputable, valuable and iconic local brands and we’re keen to protect them.

“Given these discussions are ongoing, we are simply exercising our rights until the parties reach a position they are comfortable with. We continue to partner with Vodafone commercially and on a range of projects."

But Flood told 1News it’s business as usual for the company.

“There is no issue about whether One New Zealand can exist as a brand and we are progressing with our transformation. The remaining issues are minor and we continue to work constructively with TVNZ to bring the matter to a satisfactory close to both parties.

“We don’t foresee any changes to our rollout plans. We’re really excited to start showing up as One NZ for our customers and all the benefits it can bring Aotearoa.”

Flood says there are 60 stores going green across the country.

“We’re in the process of transforming our retail stores to One New Zealand. Circa 60 stores are changing from red to green, with seven stores getting a full refit for the launch.”

One NZ emailed its customers on Thursday, saying all billing, app and email communications would change from Vodafone NZ to One NZ by the end of March.