InternetNZ is boring, male and ageing: members

Member survey shows organisation is perceived as worthy but dull

InternetNZ’s objectives are “too boring”, say findings from membership submissions and consultation meetings in September.

Members think the internet administration and advocacy body should be more proactive, says a report on the consultation. It should seek better contact with the broader internet-using public and more strongly represent that constituency’s interests.

In particular, InternetNZ has failed to attract younger members — the digital natives — as well as women and Maori, respondents say.

One good approach to increasing membership in these areas, they suggest, might be through strengthening links with organisations representing these constituencies, such as the Unlimited Potential group for younger developers, rather than promoting membership to individuals.

Among the issues on which members suggest the organisation could be playing a stronger role are: encouraging use of broadband by highlighting comparative efficiency and possible applications; advising on security; and taking a more positive role in discussion of evolving ideas on digital intellectual property.

InternetNZ should keep up focus on the negotiation of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade agreement, the report states. These, it suggests, “represent attempts to shut down the openness of the internet”.

In regards to the internet protocol, “InternetNZ could push harder on [local adoption of] IPv6,” members say. While the IPv6 taskforce is doing good work “many organisations are still apathetic”. At a recent conference, working group head Murray Milner admitted the group was not yet spending its limited resources pushing such reluctant organisations.

“InternetNZ should lobby government for firm dates on IPv6 implementation, as India has done,” says the report. Government procurement and “border rules for imported equipment” could also be encouraged, so as to aid faster IPv6 adoption.

The organisation should also take a more active part in network issues such as the Ultra-Fast Broadband initiative and mobile data roaming charges, members say.

A paper should be produced on InternetNZ’s governance, say members. A way should be found of evaluating annually whether targets in InternetNZ’s plans for the year have been met.

An attempt was made at the 2010 AGM to put such a monitoring scheme in place, but discussion was defused with a promise by the chief executive to study governance questions.

The results of this month’s consultation were fed into a “group strategy day” held last Thursday. At this meeting, members of InternetNZ’s council and the boards of its subsidiaries (the NZ Registry and Domain Name Commissioner’s office) set out to develop strategic priorities for the 2011/12 financial year.

Members’ views and desired priorities will then be reflected in the draft InternetNZ Business Plan for 2011/12, says the original consultation request. Further comment on this plan will be sought in February next year.

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