InternetNZ Fellowships recognise members of the Internet industry who have made an outstanding contribution to the development of the Internet in New Zealand or the Society.

Fellowship - 2018

 Head shot of Di DanielsDi Daniels 

Di 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 Programme Director for the Digital Wings Trust and also as the Social Responsibility Manager for Remarkit Solutions, working to recycle 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.

Head shot of Keitha BoothKeitha Booth 

Keitha 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 returned to the public sector and established and led the NZ Open Government Information and Data Programme from 2008-2015 at the State Services Commission and then at Land Information New Zealand. While at the eGovernment Unit at the State Services Commission, she managed the .govt.nz Registrar. She led the development and implementation of the 2010 NZ Government Open Access and Licensing (NZGOAL) framework, the 2011 Declaration on Open and Transparent Government and the NZ Data and Information Management Principles. Since then she has been the Project Lead, Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand, and is the Open Government Partnership’s Independent Reviewer of the NZ Government’s Open Government Partnership commitments.

She has also worked with the OECD 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.

Head shot of James WattsJames Watts

James 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.

Heat shot of Nat TorkingtonNat Torkington

while a student at Victoria University, Nat 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.


Fellowship - 2017

Rick Shera

Rick is a leading New Zealand business, information technology and media lawyer (particularly internet business law).  He has a first class Masters degree in Internet and copyright law. He is the first lawyer to have obtained the IT Professionals, CITPNZ certification. He 

Rick Shera

combines this with high level corporate, commercial and business expertise derived from close working relationships with business clients for over 25 years, including in governance roles.

Augmenting his core legal practice, Rick has significant governance and business development experience. He is chair of NetSafe, New Zealand's world leading not-for-profit cybersafety and cybercitizenship NGO, which is also the statutory approved agency under New Zealand's "cyber-bullying" legislation, the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015. He is a founding director of Crown company, The Network for Learning Limited and has been an advisory board member of the National Library of NZ's DigitalNZ operation. Rick has also been appointed as an establishment board member to advise the Minister of Communications and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment on the formation and eventual structure of New Zealand's first CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team).

He is a past vice president of InternetNZ where he was part of the working group responsible for the introduction of New Zealand's current shared registry domain name structure. Rick also headed up the team responsible for policy development of New Zealand's domain name dispute resolution service. He was a founding member of the Auckland District Law Society's Technology and Law Committee. Apart from his membership of the above organisations, Rick is also a member of IT Professionals and a fully chartered member of the Institute of Directors.

Fellowship - 2015


Richard OrzeckiRichard Orzecki

Richard worked as an active member of InternetNZ over a number of years and, over his lifetime, made a significant contribution to the Internet and to society as a whole. He was one of the leading voices for greater Māori involvement in information and communications technology.

In 2011, Richard was part of a working group, appointed by the Minister of ICT and Minister of Māori Affairs, called Ngā Pā Waea. It was set up to assist in ensuring that Māori communities can be connected in a timely and efficient manner, and are able to maximise opportunities arising from the deployment of broadband.

Also in 2011, Richard volunteered as a member of InternetNZ's inaugural Nethui Advisory board. He guided us in Maori protocol matters and terminology, helped in organising the Mihi Whakatau opening ceremony and Poroporoaki closing ceremony and worked to engage a substantial Maori community to attend. Richard helped us to make the annual NetHui gathering such a successful and well attended event both in that year and the years that followed.

In 2013, Richard was involved with a series of successful events that we held with Tim Berners Lee, the inventor of the world wide web.

Richard was also well known in many other industries and served on two District Health Boards, was a member of the New Zealand Māori Council and had previously been chair of his iwi, Te Rūnanga o Raukawa.

Richard passed away in 2015 and was awarded a fellowship posthumously.

Fellowships - 2013

Don Stokes

Don has been involved with the Internet in New Zealand since it first appeared.  He worked at Victoria University, where he helped set up the network infrastructure for the national Universities network, which in those days was essentially the core of the New Zealand Internet. He was also involved in managing aspects of the .nz domain, until that responsibility was devolved onto Domainz.

He was involved in the establishment and operation of Netlink, an ISP spawned off by Victoria University.
Don has contracted directly or indirectly to Domainz, and more recently NZRS, to manage and maintain the .nz name servers in New Zealand – a role he is still in today.

Don was involved with ISOCNZ since its inception, and has maintained the relationship through its morphing into InternetNZ.  Don has provided considerable input to InternetNZ on policy and technical matters, most notably through his membership of the Hine commission, which gave rise the .nz Shared Registry System.

Most of Don's contributions to the Internet and to InternetNZ have been in "back room" roles, which are not highly visible.

Among his accomplishments:

  • Formation of VUW Internetworking Group, 1992
  • Formation of NetLink and expansion of services from Internetworking Group leased lines operation to include dial-up, web and email services etc, 1994/1995
  • Volcano Cam: installing an Internet Camera to cover the eruption of Mt  Ruapehu, 1995
  • NetLink expansion into Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin, 1995/1996
  • General Election web coverage, one of the world's first successful  official election results web sites, 1996
  • Design of VUW switched fast Ethernet backbone, 1996/1997
  • Initial development of IP traffic accounting package for Paradise Net 1998
  • Member of InternetNZ Registry Review working group that recommended that NZ move to a shared registry implementation, 2000
  • Implementation of independent NZ DNS infrastructure for Domainz, 2000
  • Convener of InternetNZ committee investigating the "0867" dialup Internet interconnection arrangements, 2001
  • Implementation of DNS infrastructure for .NZ Registry Services for NZ TLD operations, 2002/2003
  • Development of Domainz Ltd web and email services, 2003
  • Submissions to TelstraClear Wholesale Bitstream Service Determination, 2005
  • Architecture and deployment of Enable Ethernet layer 2 switched network, 2009

Fellowships - 2012

DeanPembertonDean Pemberton

Dean has worked on the front-line of Internet-related technical policy for much of his career and is widely regarded as possessing an unmatched level of excellence in the internetworking field.

With experience gathered through endeavours such as positioning New Zealand government departments among the first organisations to peer over local Internet exchanges, Dean has a long history of being an influential member of the New Zealand Internet community.

After holding senior network engineering positions at a number of multi-national organisations, Dean returned to New Zealand to share experiences gained from his familiarity and understanding of some of the world’s largest networks. Dean continues to provide knowledge and leadership to the New Zealand Internet community through board and trustee positions with the New Zealand Network Operators Group, the New Zealand Internet Task Force, the New Zealand IPv6 Task Force, and the Wellington Loop. This community involvement is complimented by his role as a senior ICT consultant who specialises in assisting organisations make strategic decisions on the adoption of emerging network technologies.

On a global scale, Dean has represented New Zealand’s interests at APAC TEL and APNIC meetings and strives to ensure that New Zealand’s views are represented in global Internet policy forums. 

Donna Hiser

Donna was highly involved with InternetNZ, in both management and governance roles. A driving force for many years within the organisation’s subsidiary company NZRS, she played a pivotal role in implementing New Zealand’s Shared Registry System and has been a steady hand and a party to bringing stability and sensibility to the overall operation of .nz. Donna passed away in 2014.

Fellowships - 2011

Keith Davidson
Keith has a long period of distinguished service to the Internet, not only in New Zealand but also in the Pacific. For many years he has been deeply involved in international bodies the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the Asia Pacific Top level Domain Organisation (APTLD) and the Internet Governance Forum (IGF).

Keith was elected to the Council of InternetNZ in 1998, became President in 2001 and then Executive Director in 2005. As Executive Director, Keith organised the highly-successful ICANN Wellington meeting in 2006. He tirelessly pushes a sane, Internet-based agenda and is totally unafraid of standing up to vested interests.

David Farrar
David has a long history of distinguished service to InternetNZ. He was elected to the Council in 1998, and served as Vice President from 2003 to 2007. He was one of the principal architects of the current governance framework for .nz and was particularly successful in negotiating the sale of Domainz to Melbourne IT in 2003. He served for many successful years on the NZRS board and presently serves on the DNCL board.

David has been crucial in much of the policy and advocacy work of InternetNZ. His seemingly boundless energy is used to lobby consistently for the Internet in New Zealand. In addition he is arguably New Zealand’s most widely read and quoted political blogger.

Simon Riley
Simon has made an enormous contribution across a wide range of fields over many years. He has a long history of IT and Internet activism, especially in Wellington. He was one of the primary movers behind Fran Wilde's InfoCity strategy for Wellington. He was one of the people behind the creation of CityLink and establishment of the E-Vision Centre in Wellington. He influenced the commissioning of the Zwimpfer Report that lead to the formation of New Zealand’s Advanced Research and Education Network (REANNZ) and was a founder of the 2020 Communications Trust. At present, he is a major motivating force within the New Zealand IPv6 Task Force.

Simon was a very active member of the InternetNZ Council from 2001 to 2007 and was responsible for many other initiatives that have come out of InternetNZ, including the Cyberlaw Fellowship in partnership with Victoria University of Wellington.

Fellowships - 2010

Colin Jackson
Colin Jackson has been involved in the Internet in New Zealand since 1990. He was the government's first advisor on the Internet and worked to build the first New Zealand government web site. He is a founder of InternetNZ and a former president of InternetNZ.

Colin is a technology consultant and commentator. He frequently contributes to the media and is often called upon to explain technology issues for a general or business audience. Originally a developer, Colin has worked in the private, not-for-profit and government sectors. His work now mostly involves the strategic use of ICT.

Laurence Zwimpfer
Laurence Zwimpfer runs a consulting company in Wellington, New Zealand, specialising in the use of information and communication technologies in education.

Since 1997 he has provided consulting and project management services for the Ministry of Education and other government and private sector organisations. Prior to that he worked for Telecom New Zealand in a business development role.

He is a Harkness Fellow with degrees in Engineering from Canterbury University, Public Policy from Victoria University of Wellington, and Technology and Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA.

In 2006, the Institution of Professional Engineers in New Zealand (IPENZ) awarded him the Rabone Award for ICT, a Supreme Technical Award for Engineering Achievers and the William Pickering Award for Engineering Leadership. 

Fellowships - 2008

Peter Dengate Thrush
Peter Dengate Thrush has a long and distinguished record of contribution to Internet policy issues both nationally, in particular to InternetNZ, and internationally.

He provided advice to the Council of InternetNZ from 1995 on management of .nz and represented InternetNZ on the landmark Oggi court case which validated the first-come-first-served policy.

Peter was President of InternetNZ from 1999 to 2001. His international contributions date from involvement with consultations by the US Government from 1997 which lead to the formation of ICANN.  He was Chair of APTLD from 2004 until 2006 when he was elected by the ccNSO constituency to the ICANN Board.  He succeeded Vint Cerf as Chair of the ICANN Board in December 2007.

Fellowships - 2006

Liz Butterfield
Liz was the Managing Director of Hector’s World Ltd, a charitable
subsidiary of NetSafe, from 2006-2010. Hector’s World is now a respected online digital citizenship resource for children 2-9 years old. This animated resource is used by New Zealand schools and several overseas government partners. Previously, Liz managed NetSafe, (from inception in 1998 to 2006) as it built a reputation for innovative online safety and security education.

Liz initiated national and international cybersafety conferences (including one in 2005 at the University of Oxford). She has also written two book chapters and many articles for NZ and overseas journals, and presented at Pacific, North American and European conferences. In 2003, Liz was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her work in the field of Internet safety, and was awarded the NetGuide ‘Living Legend’ Web Award for her contribution to the Internet industry. She also served on the Council of InternetNZ for two terms.

Fellowships - 2005

Joe Abley
Joe runs a small consulting company, providing network operations and architecture support for various Internet companies. He was once Network Architect at CLEAR Communications and has worked as a consultant for various other Internet companies in Auckland and Wellington; he was also one of the founders of the Auckland Peering Exchange, and one of those responsible for GEEK.NZ.



Fellowships - 2004

Mark Davies
Mark has been involved in the development of the Internet in New Zealand since the first dial-up connections between VUW and the University of Calgary in 1986. Three years later he, Andy Linton and Jonathan Stone established the initial fixed internet links from VUW and Massey University to the CSnet international gateway at the University of Waikato (using a modified SLIP over DSIR circuits).

Mark has been a councillor of the Internet Society of New Zealand  (1997-98) and served on several technical committees. In the early days he worked tirelessly to promote the Internet at many NZUUG and UniForum conferences. He continues to provide technical assistance to those that ask for his help.  Mark has maintained a list of New Zealand organisations that are connected to the Internet since the end of 1993 (when there were 242).

Roger Hicks
Roger was elected in May 1995 to chair the interim Council that established the Internet Society of New Zealand. He was instrumental in establishing the principles that still guide the Society nearly a decade later. In six months he guided a concept into an incorporated society which asserted responsibility for the well being of the Internet in New Zealand and for promoting New Zealand's interest in the international Internet community. The first six months saw the concept of an ISP Code of Practice introduced and legal work around the DNS begin. Roger followed on as the first Chair of the Incorporated Society through the end of 1996 and he guided ISCONZ through the first traumas of "domain name capture".

Jim Higgins
Jim was elected in May 1995 to the interim Council that established the Internet Society of New Zealand.  He was then elected as the second Chair of the Society serving from 1997 to 1999.  This was a period of dynamic growth in the Internet. Jim was faced with trying to develop the management of the NZ domain name space at a time when registrations were growing rapidly. There were inevitable problems that arose from the unpredictable external pressures the Internet growth generated. Jim's tremendous drive and energy saw the Society through this difficult period.

Jim vigorously represented NZ internationally at a time of significant restructuring of Internet governance. He established strong relationships with ISOC.  His high profile in the IT world developed through his many public activities helped the Society to raise its profile both domestically and internationally.

Andy Linton
Andy has over 25 years experience in Internet networking. His initial experience was as a researcher and programmer in the university sector at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and Victoria University of Wellington and then with a number of Internet Service Providers such as AARNet, connect.com.au, Telecom NZ, Netlink, Telstra and CityLink.

He has been on the board of the Public Interest Registry which manages the .org domain, the council of InternetNZ and is on the board of New Zealand's Domain Name Commission which manages the .nz name space. Andy is also a trustee of the NZ Network Operators' Group Trust and is a member of the program committee for the APRICOT 2011 conference.

Andy has done work for APNIC, RIPE and ICANN building software systems, networks and undertaking structural reviews.

He is one of the 14 global Trusted Community Representatives who oversee the key ceremonies where the cryptographic digital keys used to secure the Internet DNS Root Zone are generated and securely stored.

Andy has travelled as a volunteer on a number of occasions to teach at the PacNOG Internet infrastructure computer workshops in Pacific countries such as Samoa, Vanuatu, Tonga, Fiji, Cook Islands, Solomon Islands, French Polynesia and American Samoa. 

Andy resigned his fellowship of InternetNZ in 2016, wishing to draw a line under his involvement in all forms of Internet governance.

Fellowships - 2003

Nevil Brownlee
Nevil Brownlee is well known in New Zealand having guided Auckland University's networking endeavours for nearly twenty years. Nevil was a key contributor to Kawaihiko, the early university network, and Tuia, the consortium that brought together the interests of both the university sector and the CRIs.

Nevil and his staff at the University of Auckland provided the majority of management support for Kawaihiko, minuting meetings, managing its funds and producing periodic reports on traffic.

Nevil made his international reputation in the area of network measurement. Nevil developed NeTraMet - a real­time traffic flow measurement architecuture - for Auckland University in the early 1990s. The current version of NeTraMet is used by 200 organisations around the world.

John Vorstermans
John Vorstermans is widely known throughout the New Zealand Internet community. He has combined technical competence as demonstrated through participation in the NOG with a social conscience and deep belief in the ability of the Internet to improve lives.

John co-­founded Actrix - New Zealand's first commercial ISP - which originally operated out of a spare room in John's house. He has been a consistent and ardent supporter of the concept of the Internet as an open network for the entire community. Under John's guidance Actrix has provided a high level of support to Wellington community groups.

John was also instrumental in the formation of The Internet Society of New Zealand, serving on Council from its inception until 2000. He participated in writing the ISP Code of Practice and served as an inaugural member of the board of NZIRL.

Fellowships - 2001

Rex Croft
The father of the DNS in New Zealand, he 'put it to bed' every night for many a year. Rex, with the assistance of other Network Operators, demonstrated that an industrial class service could be run with dedication rather than large dollars.

Sometimes described as the "DNS saint" Rex negotiated policy that angels feared to touch without a ruffled feather. Rex also provided much of the support for the NZGate billing system that was a key to sharing the cost of New Zealand's overseas link.

Frank March
Frank was a member of the group that founded ISOCNZ (InternetNZ) and served on the Council for a number of years, including several as Secretary. He has been involved in the development of the Internet in New Zealand since its beginnings.

As Director of Information Technology at Victoria University of Wellington he was involved in the Tuia Society and Kawaihiko (the early university network).  He encouraged early Internet take-up among government agencies and businesses in Wellington.

Frank is a senior specialist advisor in the IT and Telecommunications Policy Group of the Ministry of Economic Development and has a continuing interest in public policy issues with regard to the Internet.

Donald Neal
Donald was the first Secretary of the Society and was responsible for drafting many of its rules. To this day he often drops into a discussion with a "point of order".

His contribution to the Society was not all. As a member of the system development group at Waikato University he was instrumental in the provision of the archie.nz service for years, the development of a distributed web caching strategy, and was a strong supporter of NZNOG (the New Zealand Network Operators' Group). He made further contributions to SunSite and to UniForumNZ.

Neil James
Not unlike Jon Postel in appearance and demeanor (but without the ponytail), Neil carried an important mantel in the earliest days of organising the NZ Internet Community.

First, there was the TUIA Society. TUIA was composed of the Universities, the then DSIR, and MAF, and was responsible for developing the collaboration necessary to develop the NZ Internet at the turn of the decade (1989­/1990).

Neil chaired TUIA for many years, winding his way through politically troubled waters. He was then instrumental in forming ISOCNZ and spent a few years on Council.

Fellowships - 1998

John Houlker
John's principal legacy from the Internet's early days in New Zealand was that he provided the key early linkages between TUIA, the consortium set up to manage the New Zealand Internet backbone, and the US-­based Internet services while these were provided by the US Government.

He negotiated an arrangement with PACCOM for 50% subsidy for NSA money for a 19.2K link from New Zealand to Hawaii, in 1989. After the link (initially 9.6K) was installed, he provided the main driving force at Waikato University for the services required for the New Zealand Internet gateway.

He also played a key role in ensuring that NZGate could meet the needs of other users, such as the DSIR, who used non­-IP protocols in the early days. When, from 1995 onwards, Internet connection services passed to the main telecommunications providers, he negotiated the NZgate connections ensuring a smooth transition.

He acted as the go-­between for many of the early users of the Internet for IP address space, first with IANA and later APNIC, and held the official delegation for the .nz ccTLD from 1989 until this was passed to InternetNZ (then ISOCNZ) in 1996.

Richard Naylor
Richard has promoted a vision of a networked city networked world. He has taken every opportunity that provided itself as a means of extending people's access to networking and the Internet.

As IT services manager for the Wellington City Council, Richard ensured that he linked the Council to the Internet through Victoria University as early as 1989, first for the Usenet News services but later to provide information about Wellington to its own citizens and the world.

This is now recognised internationally as being the first governmental information in the world to be made available on the Internet. Because of his work, Wellington had the world's first local government Gopher server and the first Web site. Wellington also provided one of the world's first free nets, providing citizens with access to Internet services at the cost of a local phone call.

John H Hine
John's farsighted policy of extending access to Internet services enabled the New Zealand research community to take rapid advantage of the Waikato University PACCOM link when that became available, ensuring its financial success from the outset.

John used his connections with North American universities to introduce the Usenet News service to New Zealand from 1985 onwards, initially on behalf of the Computer Science community, but quickly extending this to anyone needing access to the service.

The Computer Science Department at Victoria University, of which John was head and Professor, ran what amounted to a semi­-commercial News service over international PACNET and for several years provided an invaluable service to the New Zealand research community. This service, along with international email services, built the foundation for today's Internet.

From the early 1980s, he played a leading role in establishing the initial inter­-university network which, after 1988, evolved into the backbone of the New Zealand Internet until it was replaced by commercially available services from early 1996.