Jacinda Ardern makes hologram debut

Jacinda Ardern has made an appearance at Techweek NZ, without setting foot in the building.

Instead, the Prime Minister introduced Monday's Meet the UpStarters event at the ASB Waterfront Theatre in the form of a hologram.

"I was disappointed I couldn't make it to Tech Week in person so this morning I come to you as a hologram instead, which given the focus of this week, seems appropriate," said the hologram Ms Ardern.

Techweek NZ is an annual festival, with more than 500 events being held around the country this year.

Before this year's event kicked off, NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller said the holo-Jacinda was possible thanks to new advanced technology.

"What it will look like to people in the room is the Prime Minister will be there," he told Newshub on Saturday.

"She'll walk out, she'll do her normal announcements - it'll just look like she's there. But if you're watching closely there's probably going to be a few glitches, because it's actually a projection."

Anyone unsure whether the mother-to-be was there in the flesh wouldn't have been fooled for long - at the end of her short speech, Ms Ardern dissolved into thin air, like Captain Kirk being beamed off the Enterprise.

Jacinda Ardern beams out of Techweek.
Jacinda Ardern beams out of Techweek. Photo credit: Techweek NZ/supplied

Speakers at Meet the UpStarters include Rocket Lab founder Peter Beck and Vic Crone, chief executive of Callaghan Innovation.

Technology is one of New Zealand's fastest-growing sectors, with overseas earnings now up to $7 billion annually, according to the Technology's Investment Network's latest figures

"Our isolation, rich environment, small size, and open diverse culture are critical enablers of this success," said Greg Shanahan, managing director.

"Understanding our tech and innovation story helps creates trust in New Zealand brands and explains the uniqueness already evident to some global customers."

Techweek began on Saturday, and runs until Sunday, May 27.