NZ On Air, formally known as Irirangi Te Motu, is set to welcome a new Programme Director for its NZ Game Development Sector Rebate (GDSR) scheme, Chantelle Cole. Currently holding the position of CEO at the award-winning game studio, Dinosaur Polo Club, Cole is a strong advocate for the games sector and offers significant industry experience.
The position involves leading the developmental and administrative aspects of the GDSR. Cameron Harland, Chief Executive of NZ On Air, stated they were "delighted to have a leader of Chantelle's calibre join our team." Harland praised Cole's record of success and commitment to diversity, workplace health and the continued growth of game development in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Cole has previously pushed the boundaries of game development as CEO of Dinosaur Polo Club (DPC), an internationally recognised studio. Under her stewardship, DPC achieved globally recognised recognition, became a finalist at the respected Independent Games Festival, and earned the 12th position on Deloitte's Fast50 index. Moreover, Cole's exemplary leadership saw DPC crowned as the supreme award winner at the NZ Game Awards and a finalist for Best Emerging Business at the International Business Awards. The team also gained local recognition, winning the fastest-growing exporter in Wellington and received the Creative Gold award at the Wellington Gold Awards.
In addition to her remarkable business achievements, Cole received personal recognition as a leading woman in the tech industry in 2020. Selected by Apple for International Women’s Day, alongside DPC's Chief Operating Officer, Niamh Fitzgerald, she was regarded as a global representative for women in the tech sector. The next year, Cole was shortlisted for the Inspiring Women Leaders category at the NZ International Business Awards.
Upon her appointment, Cole expressed her eagerness to embark on this new role. She believes that the role will allow her to offer greater support to the industry and is thrilled about "playing a key part in building on the support that the rebate scheme can offer the industry." She lauded the game development sector of Aotearoa New Zealand for its collaborative spirit. She further added that "with enhanced support, the potential accomplishments of this community are bound to be incredible."
Throughout her tenure at DPC, Cole demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the gaming industry as a whole. She committed personal time to advocacy efforts and volunteer work for the NZ Games Festival, NZ Game Development Association (NZGDA), and Centre of Digital Excellence (CODE).
Harland further noted that Cole’s "extensive experience and extensive network spans both the public and private sectors, game studios in Aotearoa and overseas, and international giants such as Apple, Google, Disney, Tencent and Nintendo." With confidence, he stated they have "no doubt that Chantelle will have a huge impact on taking the GDSR forward and help to further support the ongoing growth and expansion of game development in Aotearoa New Zealand."