Te Rarawa, Board member IITP (Institute of IT Professionals), BSocSci (Computer Science, Maori), PGDip (Information Systems), Managing Director Paua Interface Ltd.
My contribution to a “better world through a better Internet” can be summed up as building bridges (and if you've seen the photo, by playing unusual music and getting it online). Successful Internet projects can be measured by people knowing that they've achieved something worthwhile.
I've managed an IT consulting company www.pauainterface.nz for 26 years. It has provided a strategic and technical insight that helps me to help others navigate through what many believe is a formidable sector. I've also been fortunate to be able to use the foundation of a formal computer science degree and my community linkages to help people find ways to leverage the Internet.
I'm in a rare position to volunteer IT skills and mentoring to groups that would otherwise not have access. Most recently, I initiated and project managed 'Mitimiti on the Grid' (http://thedownload.co.nz/our-stories/catching-up-with-the-rest-of-the-world-at-high-speed/).
Mitimiti on the Grid was driven by the belief that once a community is "fibred up", economic growth can be measured at the two year point. This collaboration brought fibre and mobile capability to a community that is six hours north of Auckland, and that was destined to be a telecommunications 'blackspot'. I asked, “What would it take to curb decades of population decline and to achieve economic growth in Mitimiti - and who will help?”
The location is so remote and the terrain and coastal conditions so challenging, that the sponsors and technical volunteers claim that "if you can do this in Mitimiti, you can do it anywhere!" The sponsors have gone 'above and beyond' and tech volunteers remain in service to the community making regular trips to fix, install and train the locals.
The community now use their fast Internet to live stream and connect with hapu members around the world, improve fundraising efforts, record important events, create more transparent engagement, manage their facilities off site, and much more. Next year we'll be measuring electricity consumption to find out what being 'on the grid' has meant economically.
Those of us in the IT sector are in positions to influence substantial changes in people's lives. While I've worked at the coalface, I've also served in governance roles including the National Health IT Board, National Maori Broadband Working Group, Digital Strategy Advisory Group and others. I have also recently been elected to the IITP's National Board (Institute of Information Technology Professionals).
I believe that the Board of InternetNZ requires us to contribute meaningfully to society and to do so with the utmost professionality, confidence and intent. I strive to exhibit a professional ethic that is informed not only by my work, but also by the communities being served. If InternetNZ's membership believes that diversity coupled with a professional IT background can bring a breadth of untapped experiences that will have an impact, then I can offer to help extend the Board's reach.