Ryan's invention appears to be a device for separating moisture from food scraps in domestic waste disposal systems. The scraps are removed to a container where they are aerated and eventually form a compost. According to the report, Ryan was fed up with taking out the compost, so he invented a machine that would do it automatically.
Considering its tiny population and remoteness, NZ has contributed more than most countries to science and technology. Ernest Rutherford, of course, but also the inventors of disposable syringes, aerial top dressing and bungee jumping to name just a few.
Rutherford did his best work in Manchester. Manchester Inventors Group (the average age of which is somewhat greater than 9) has set up a working party to "make the most of their creative and innovative skills". One of its proposals is a competition similar to the one that Ryan won at home. Should Ryan follow the footsteps of his illustrious compatriot to one of the world's greatest universities he should find a lot of like minded contemporaries with whom to compete and collaborate.