Wireless Forum merges into NZICT

Move descibed as a 'common-sense' rationalisation

The NZ Wireless and Broadband Forum is set to become one of the first formal constituents of industry umbrella organisation the NZICT Group and is winding up as a separate entity.

Forum president Malcolm Fraser says the move is a “common-sense” rationalisation. It removes the duplication of resources between the two organisations, he says, and enables the Forum to utilise the shared services of NZICT and “leverage the lobbying power and international banner” of the larger organisation.

“We have a strong constituency and we’ll continue to represent them as the NZICT Wireless Forum,” he says. The move will by no means see the Forum lose its separate identity.

NZICT CEO Brett O’Riley emphasises that winding up of member organisations is not an NZICT requirement. The group is not attempting a takeover of its constituent organisations as its unsuccessful predecessor ICT-NZ attempted to do.

“Our whole approach is to preserve the identities of our communities of interest; we appreciate that a lot of them are quite specific and we couldn’t meet all their requirements.”

NZICT aims to provide “cohesion” across the industry and present a unified face, particularly to government, but not to the extent of subsuming existing bodies, he says. There are a number of thriving organisations meeting the needs of their members “and we’re trying not to reinvent the wheel”.

In an attempt to establish a presence in the South Island, the umbrella group is proposing to involve the newly established Christchurch-based NZ ICT Innovation Institute (NZI3), precisely because it’s easier to break new ground on the basis of an existing organisation in the area, O’Riley says.

Arrangements for the first three organisations, including the Wireless Broadband Forum, to commit to joining NZICT will be finalised in the next two weeks, O’Riley said on June 8. “We’re talking to about a dozen others.”

A special general meeting of the Forum was to be held on June 17 in Auckland, to be followed by the winding-up meeting.

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