Four new Fellows to InternetNZ

Jamie BaddeleyA blog post by Jamie Baddeley, President of InternetNZ

Last night we held the 2018 InternetNZ AGM. I was very honoured to announce and acknowledge four outstanding people who we made Fellows of InternetNZ.

Infrastructure, accessibility, impact and openness. These words represent this years inductees as Fellows of InternetNZ. These words are also representative of the things that this organisation as whole considers every day, and they are matters and issues we care very deeply about.

It is for this reason that the organisation wishes to recognise the work of these people who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to do the right thing. The span of time of their commitment to the things they are passionate about is measured in decades.

And it has been unwavering, consistent, and throughout the years, they have acted with integrity and in councils view have remained true to the cause of keeping the Internet open and uncapturable and they have all sought to make the world a better place through delivering, improving or making available a better Internet.

With that I would like to announce 2018's InternetNZ fellows.

James Watts...is a broadband pioneer having established Inspire Net in 1998 which continues to provide reliable, fast Internet to the Manawatu and surrounding areas. He lead the way in community-based broadband through mucking in, digging ditches and doing whatever it takes to provide broadband services in spite of a highly sceptical telecommunications establishment.

He has been a fantastic advocate and practitioner over many years for connecting disadvantaged communities and has never allowed organisational structures or commercial interests get in the way of doing the 'right thing,' be it helping out a peer service provider with technical help, or finding creative ways to getting decent service info "uneconomic" communities.

As well as his Inspire Net, he has been a long time supporter of the technical community, a long term sponsor of New Zealand Network Operators Group, both financially and providing his staff to support the 'NOG.

Di Daniels...has a Masters Degree from Victoria University with majors in Maori education, and Education for the Indigenous Peoples of the Pacific. During her career she has specialised in a number of educational and teaching roles, none more relevant to an InternetNZ Fellowship than the 14 years she spent as the National Coordinator for the 2020 Communications Trust Computers in Homes project, until September 2016. This project saw thousands of families provided with computers, Internet access, and education to become competent users.

Di is now engaged as the Social Responsibility Manager for Remarkit Solutions, essentially recycling corporate computer equipment to challenged communities. Di was recognised in the Queens Birthday honours list last month, as a Member of the NZ Order of Merit for services to digital literacy and education.

Nat Torkington...while a student at Victoria University, developed New Zealand's first website. He assisted in setting up the first NZ government website at www.govt.nz. He has continued to contribute across a wide spectrum of Internet and related issues. He worked at an ISP startup in Colorado and worked for O'Reilly Media where he chaired the Open Source Convention (OSCON) for a decade.

He runs Kiwi Foo Camp, an informal invitation-only meeting for technology, business, media, arts, and politics in New Zealand. He has been a high profile media commentator on Internet related issues and an advisor in various guises to the government. He has also served as an InternetNZ Councillor.

In addition, He also is reputed to play the banjo.

Keitha Booth...is an independent advisor and commentator. She has had a very successful career working in the private and public sectors at the intersection between technology, information and policy.

After working in BECA Group as a researcher for a number of years, Keitha shifted to the public sector and eventually established and led the NZ Open Government Information and Data Programme, now at Land Information New Zealand, and she managed the .govt.nz Registrar. After developing and implementing the 2010 NZ Government Open Access and Licensing (NZGOAL) framework, she then developed the 2011 Declaration on Open and Transparent Government.

She has also worked with the OECD, the Open Government Partnership, and many governments around the world have learnt from her about New Zealand's open information and data achievements. She has also been a member of the Digital New Zealand Advisory Board and the Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand Advisory Panel.