KEITHA BOOTH - Election Statement (Council)

Keitha Booth

I am an independent advisor and commentator, living in Wellington. I’ve had a very successful career working in the private and public sectors at the intersection between technology, information and policy. My previous employers include the Beca Group, Ministry of Economic Development, National Library of New Zealand, State Services Commission and Land Information New Zealand.

My involvement with the incipient Internet started way back in 1979 when, as a Beca Group researcher, I dialled up through the then NZ Post and the DSIR (via NASA) to access online content. The importance of an open and uncaptureable Internet was very clear then. Today, even more so, as it is an essential structure for happy and flourishing societies.

I want all New Zealanders to be confident they can use the Internet safely now and in the future. InternetNZ’s current priorities resonate strongly with me, particularly, ensuring the openness of the Internet, copyright review and work which enables a world without mass surveillance.

My work has relied on the Internet, its resilience and smooth operation and I’ve been privileged to contribute fully to government’s work in this area for many years. I established and led the NZ Open Government Information and Data Programme, now at Land Information New Zealand, and I have managed the Registrar. I developed and implemented the 2010 NZ Government Open Access and Licensing (NZGOAL) framework, and the 2011 Declaration on Open and Transparent Government. I’ve also worked with the OECD, the Open Government Partnership, and many governments have been keen to learn from me about New Zealand’s open information and data achievements. Recently I was accepted as an Associate of the UK Open Data Institute.

I am experienced in the governance of cross-government programmes as a member of the Digital New Zealand Advisory Board and the Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand Advisory Panel.

I also have governance experience at the community level, having chaired a primary school board for six years, a sports committee for several years and as a member of the Standing Committee of the former Society for Research on Women in New Zealand.  For me, governance groups work best when they are actively in tune with their communities and they work together to address complex issues and make difficult decisions.

I believe that my experience in the government sector and my broad understanding and use of the Internet ecosystem would bring much of value to the Council. I would work hard to accomplish InternetNZ’s vision, principles and priorities.