InternetNZ is initiating a meeting of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the ICT industry at its NetHui on July 11 at SkyCity in Auckland.
The meeting will provide a platform for NGOs to acquaint one another with their plans and “identify areas of common interest to make the most of our limited resources” but there are no hard-and-fast aims set out, says InternetNZ CEO Vikaram Kumar. “It’s up to [the participating NGOs] to figure out what they want from the meeting,” and whether they want it to be repeated in the future, he says.
So far, InternetNZ has actively consulted the NZ Computer Society, Tuanz and NZRise, but any organisation in the sector is welcome to attend the meeting, with the definition of ICT as wide as they care to interpret it, Kumar says.
The number of organisations catering for various subsets and facets of the ICT industry periodically comes in for criticism – it has been estimated that there were once more than 90 of them – and there have been at least two efforts to organise them into a more-or-less cohesive network or umbrella organisation.
An initiative in the first decade of the 2000s to organise a single body under the banner ICT-NZ foundered in 2007 with the withdrawal of government funding. This was succeeded by the Digital Development Council and Digital Development Forum – a collaboration framework for several of the existing organisations and for public ICT interests. This in turn has the plug pulled on it by the National-led government after the 2008 election.
NZICT, which evolved separately and was to have been a member of the DDC, survives.
Last year, the NZCS – considering changing its name to the Institute of IT Professionals – made its own overtures to other industry organisations for closer collaboration.
“We have learned some lessons” from those past initiatives, Kumar says and it is to be hoped that these will contribute to the new exchange of views across the industry.
NetHui will take place from July 11 to 13. “InternetNZ is encouraging people and organisations to take advantage of NetHui as a platform to organise open, internet-related meetings,” Kumar says.