Flirtey director NZ Samantha Sharif and Domino's NZ GM Scott Bush
We were delighted to host Samantha Sharif of the international Flirty organisation at our club. Flirty was founded in the US as one of the first companies to offer drone deliveries in 2013 and made the world's first Pizza delivery by drone on the Whangaparoa Peninsula in August 2016. Samantha spoke on the opportunities that drone deliveries can offer an economy, in times of crisis and generally, as well the stimulus this industry could provide to our post Covid 19 economic recovery.
Drones can be an integral part of NZ’s crisis management plans – providing resilience and humanitarian benefits. In a crisis, such as the current pandemic, or e.g. earthquake – we may not want or be able to use our usual ground-based transport networks.  
Countries around the world are trialling drone deliveries of medicines, PPE and groceries. In addition drones are providing surveillance data on curfew breakers and fever symptoms. Ireland, Scotland, the US and Chile are among the countries where drones are already being used to provide contactless delivery or delivery to hard-to-reach locations. 
In this way drone delivery could become an integral part of future crisis management plans. “It is not currently part of our national crisis management plans, but with a pandemic, where you are trying to limit face-to-face contact or an earthquake where  ground-based transport infrastructure could be taken out drones offer a greater potential in terms of alternative transport and crisis resilience.”
Drones can also present NZ Inc with a Post Covid opportunity to review and reset how we operate our economies and supply chains as well as embrace the potential to be more sustainable and resilient. Drones (as part of electric aviation) offer this – as well as safety, efficiency, productivity, congestion and environmental benefits.  The drone sector could be worth $7.9 bn to NZ.
This is especially true for so called “last mile delivery”. Click and deliver dominates retail and has transformed how we shop - but we have not taken the opportunity to transform how we deliver. Last mile deliveries represent more than half of the cost of the average delivery and is an industry worth upwards of $100 billion. There are 220 billion personal vehicle trips taken a year in the US. Use of drones could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 90% and significantly reduce the road toll.