$100,000 granted to make the Internet better in NZ

Vanisa DhiruA blog post from Vanisa Dhiru, Acting Community Programme Director at Internet NZ
7 December 2016

Kia ora koutou

I'm filling in for Dr Ellen Strickland during maternity cover. I am pleased to join InternetNZ for a few months, and get involved in work to support and build the community and research sector. My name may be familiar to many given my previous work with various community organisations and funding agencies, so I hope to slip in and keep the team afloat until the middle of next year.

With the giving season just around the corner, we are thrilled to be able to announce the successful applicants for the latest Internet projects grants. We're giving $100,000 to people who will work on projects that will support more widely available access to the Internet and deliver greater or better use of the Internet for New Zealand.

The InternetNZ project grant round for 2016-17 was launched in July and we received 43 applications. It was fantastic to receive so many high quality applications - from people who all have a passion to use the Internet for the better of our country.

After careful assessment by the InternetNZ Grants Committee and decision by InternetNZ Council, we are very pleased to announce the following recipients:

Cheryl Smeaton for WestREAP ($35,086.50)
WestREAP will establish a WiFi Internet connection for families residing in the South Westland communities from Fox Glacier through Paringa and with priority to the whanau of Te Tauraka Waka a Maui Marae based in Bruce Bay. About 50 households in this isolated area will directly benefit from this project.

Novia Ng for Gather workshops ($22,500)
These Gather workshops will visit as many rural and low-decile schools as possible. They give young New Zealanders the opportunity to get hands on with tech, and encourage them to consider a career in the high growth tech sector.

Chris Rowse for Project De-Vine Trust ($16,450)
Project De-Vine Trust is a charitable trust established to eradicate or progressively control noxious vines and other invasive plants throughout Golden Bay. This fund will see a purpose built integrated geospatial system to become a core management tool. It will address inefficiencies with current processes around planning, surveillance, control and reporting.

Matt Hampton for Community Wireless Trust ($15,000)
This project focuses on connectivity for the Waimate community. Work could see an FM radio station, a collaboration space for community groups to share local information, free wifi throughout the main business area and the utilisation of CIP cameras to give live streaming of events such as Waimate 50, Strawberry Fair and Waimate Rodeo.

Brittany Travers for Homely New Zealand Ltd ($5,000)
Homely is a cloud platform service that links donors with registered recipients, to source household donations for new refugees' state houses. Homely maps out the placement of refugees across New Zealand in order to create an impetus on people living in those regions to donate to charities and furnish houses that refugees are about to arrive in.

Brent Wood for New Zealand Open Source Society ($5,000)
This project will build a central discovery service so Internet users can find environmental data that is now available across a wide range of agencies. This project promises more effective use of the Internet to access open geo data.

Brent Wood for New Zealand Open Source Society ($4,500)
Government agencies and councils make extensive use of the open source statistical and modelling tool "R" to model and plot/graph/visualise data. A new R based technology - Shiny - allows R outputs to be interactive web graphics, rather than static images. Interactive data visualisations can be embedded in web pages directly by researchers, with no need for web designers, developers or java programmers. This fund will be used to establish and maintain a NZ Shiny server so individuals and agencies can develop, showcase, share and deploy production instances of Shiny visualisations.

Meri Kirihimete and all the best for the upcoming holiday season.