Don Stokes - election statement

Don StokesI am a founding InternetNZ member, InternetNZ Fellow, former Councillor and member of the "Hine Commission" that defined how InternetNZ operates the NZ domain. Outside of InternetNZ, I have founded two Internet service providers (one of the first in NZ), built a significant domain hosting services platform and provided technical leadership in DNS operations, industry competition and open access fibre/layer 2 distribution network architecture and specification, including UFB development. 

A quarter century in this game gives me a strong "feel" for how the Internet services are provided and operate and the issues faced by the industry, ranging from the commercial and policy overview down to bits on wires.

I believe strongly in level playing fields and maintaining low barriers to entry, as I believe these are essential to ensuring an efficient, competitive and innovative industry. I have a solid track record of influencing the industry in this direction.

As a prospective InternetNZ Councillor, I seek to continue this influence, and to be able to assist Council with technical viewpoints, in a Council now dominated my non-technical interests. Being able to understand what goes on under the hood is vital to being able to accurately comment and direct policy efforts in the service provision space.

Outside of the access space, I am particularly interested in how Internet services are used and funded, and how the services we enjoy today are sustainable in the long term, how the rise of a small number of dominant players in the market distorts how the industry operates, how the industry and consumers will react to these challenges and of course what we need to do to make the Internet better in the face of these issues. 

Having been at the sharp end of NZ domain policy during its development, I do want to ensure that sight of the issues raised at the time are not lost in the rush to streamline the organisation. NZRS was separated from InternetNZ to ensure NZ registrars had a stable, focused organisation with which to deal with and to contain commercial risks, and I believe it is essential not to lose sight of that in a reorganisation. I hope that by being a part of that reorganisation, I can assist in ensuring that that the essential character of NZ domain management is preserved. 

As I am not currently a member of the Council that has proposed the organisation changes, I can bring an fresh, independent viewpoint to the subsequent development of the new structure.