Auckland firm wins police GPS deal
Up to 3000 police cars are set to be fitted with GPS tracking devices by Auckland company Imarda in a contract that similar deals suggest will be worth several million dollars.
Imarda said Police had chosen it ahead of 14 other vendors to be the "preferred supplier" for its GPS vehicle tracking system, subject to the approval of the business case for the investment.
The company employs about 35 staff and is majority-owned by New Zealanders, though through an Australian holding company.
Vice president Kevin Roberts said the deal would be "significant" but smaller than some contracts Imarda had won in the United States.
Police first fitted GPS systems to 38 Auckland patrol cars in a 2004 trial, but have been slow to roll-out the technology widely. The vehicles involved in the Auckland trial communicated their location back to police's Northcom communications centre via Telecom's now defunct CDMA network.
That let dispatchers guide police cars to incidents and on one occasion enabled them to quickly recover a stolen police car. GPS data can also be stored and looked at later, for example to review the conduct of police chases.
Imarda has so far sold more than 70,000 tracking systems to customers including Woolworths and Boral in Australia and "one of the world's largest freight carriers in the US".
It won a US$10 million contract to provide 12,000 tracking units to the freight company in 2008 and last year announced a US$3.5m "follow-on" contract for a further 3000. Imarda chief executive Selwyn Pellett won a "Flying Kiwi" award in 2009.