Frank March elected president of InternetNZ

Suggestions for changes to election system deferred for further discussion

InternetNZ has announced the official results in this year's elections — and Frank March is the organisation's new president.

Interim results were announced at the society’s annual general meeting last Thursday, with final results now confirmed. There were 21 nominations for six vacancies on council.

March succeeds Pete Macaulay, while Jamie Baddeley has been elected vice president. Both will serve a three-year term.

InternetNZ has periodically agonised over whether it provides enough privileges for its members compared with other internet users to justify the membership fee.

“We don’t offer our members much at all, and we don’t exist to offer our members anything” said March last week following his election.

What the organisation does provide, he clarifies, is a framework through which the members can offer something — their knowledge, analysis and views — to society as a whole.

Among priority activities and significant debates for the society in the coming year are improving the security of the .nz domain-name system — with the proposed adoption of DNSsec, an authentication system based on digital signing of DNS requests and responses — continuation of the copyright legislation debate around illicit downloading and the question of wider voluntary adoption of the Department of Internal Affairs’ filtering system for objectionable online content.

Hamish MacEwan, Michael Foley, Judy Speight and Liz Butterfield have been re-elected to their councillor positions. MacEwan and Foley will each serve a three-year term. Speight and Butterfield will each serve a one-year term.

The election of Baddeley to the vice president’s position has created a vacant seat on council. The details of a by-election to fill this seat will be announced by Friday 7 August.

March says this year was one of the most keenly contested InternetNZ elections, with a pool of excellent candidates putting their names forward.

Executive director Keith Davidson also retired at the meeting. Following the unsuccessful attempt to form an executive board in March, more work is going into the governance structure of the society, currently presided over by acting CEO Richard Currey.

One significant underlying question, said Steven Heath at the AGM, is whether the society wants as large a membership as possible or whether it is content with the small membership typical of an incorporated society. March and several other members made the point during the evening that the natural constituency of the society has broadened considerably beyond InternetNZ’s original purview of technical internet specialists

Andy Linton suggested a number of amendments to the selection procedure for councillors and officers, including a clarification and possible review of the complex single-transferable vote system and reconsideration of the current “Presidential-style election”.

Under the current system president and vice-president are directly elected by the membership. Linton suggested the society consider the merits of an alternative system where council is elected and then chooses the officers from among themselves. He also suggested the formation of a nominating committee to put forward names for council when those people would not have necessarily thought of standing themselves.

Linton’s batch of proposals could not be put as a motion, because the constitution does not allow matters that impact the membership as a whole to be voted on by the restricted attendance at an AGM — though this was one of the largest attendances of recent years.

Instead the proposals were put forward as a recommendation to council, giving an opportunity for wider discussion.

The new-look InternetNZ Council is:

President:

Frank March

Vice President:

Jamie Baddeley

Councillors:

Chris Streatfield

Donald Clark

Hamish MacEwan

Jonny Martin

Judy Speight

Liz Butterfield

Michael Foley

Michael Wallmannsberger

Neil James

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Tags jamie baddeleyelectionfrank marchinternetnz2009

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