Danny de Hek is an connector, a person of influence, He is that guy who knows everybody.
Danny was born in Christchurch in 1970. He grew up there before choosing to leave school at 14, as academia was not his forte! Hence he decided to head out into the world of work. After sampling a variety of different jobs in the area, he favoured starting a four year apprenticeship with Ray Martin Limited, a local painting and decorating firm. After seven successful years, Danny felt that he wanted a new challenge. Also, it was clear to those around him that he had demonstrated entrepreneurial skills and flair from a young age.
Consequently, he decided to go into partnership with Michael Johnson and set up a painting and decorating business specialising in highly skilled, interior techniques. This proved to be a very successful joint venture. (The firm is still in business today). As an appropriate leaving present, Ray Martin (Danny’s ex-boss) gave him a digital diary. This was to be the start of his interest in computing and technology. As a direct result he purchased a P.C. for the business – a 486 SX25!
His current professional expertise of web site development was largely self-taught with the help of Internet chat rooms and personal contacts. He later went on to become innovative at making computing technology accessible to the general public. This came about as a result of a meeting with Peter Young, who required some design and decorating work for a new café bar. By grasping a chance opportunity and utilising additional space, in 1995 the very first Internet café in Christchurch was started. With Peter as his business partner they opened ‘The E-mail Centre’ on Worcester Boulevard.
Danny was determined to realise and succeed in his ambition to develop a business that, essentially, would promote tourism within New Zealand. With a backpack, laptop and a plentiful supply of Smarties, he first sought clientele for the business by hitchhiking throughout his beautiful home country of New Zealand, drawing upon a combination of his knowledge, creativity, charismatic personality and sheer effort.
After building up his clientele, he aspired to network them and went on to launch New Zealand’s Information Network, which to date hosts and promotes a large variety of tourism related services, products and other businesses. Collectively, the vast majority of users have found the sites to be both interesting and informative.
From those humble beginnings he has nurtured and developed his business into the successful, mature company it is today, specialising in professional website development, marketing, promotion and consultation.
For a few years Danny worked from his home office based in North Canterbury accessing the Internet from a satellite, then established an office based in the small rural town of Rangiora to later to move back into the city and he now works in Ferrymead at Evil Genius Co-working Lair & Bar.
Since starting the company, NewZealandNZ Ltd has gone from strength to strength and Danny has made numerous guest appearances on local Christchurch television. In February 2000, the nation’s highly respected ‘Holmes’ television show recorded a documentary piece featuring Danny, his business and the fight against Cyber crime.
Not content to let the grass grow under his feet, in October 2000 Danny embarked on a worldwide tour of 25 countries. His aim was to gain a wider understanding and knowledge of the International Market. He also wanted to satisfy his personal desire to extensively travel overseas, whilst promoting New Zealand tourism.
While travelling he wanted to expand on an exciting and unique idea for his business, by indulging his personal love of photography. Over the four month duration of his trip, Danny took over 15,000 photographs.
Today Danny specialises in building Content Management Websites, Online Shopping Systems along with this he also runs and owns a few online shops himself such as, NZ Electronics one of New Zealand’s leading independent electronics retail stores. He just recently started a Camping Gear website that supplies ultralight outdoor gear, including all things camping, tents, sleeping bags, sleeping mats, packs, bags & more.
On 12 March 2013 Danny took ownership of a Business Networking company called Elite6. He will continue with the mission set by the founder Ray Lindstrom back in 2006 to support small business operators through the business networking programmes and classified advertising website.