InternetNZ’s Farrar steps down from Council

But he still plans to contribute to a number of ongoing projects

Outgoing InternetNZ vice president David Farrar says he plans to leave the organisation’s Council, after almost nine years onboard. Farrar joined the INZ Council in 1998, and has served the last four years as vice-president.

Therefore, he is no longer eligible to be elected to that role. This, Farrar says, is the main reason for his departure.

Farrar says he is also very busy and, for a volunteer role, the vice president’s position “has taken up a huge amount of time”.

However, he still plans to contribute to a number of ongoing projects, including campaigning over spam, copyright law and the Digital Summit. He will also remain on the .nz registry board, he says.

The role as a vice president was fairly limited, Farrar says, adding that it was in his role as chair of the public policy committee that he did most of his work. He says he has chaired or been a member of 27 taskforces, working groups and standing committees. Almost all of these achieved what they were set out to do, he says.

Farrar points to successfully setting up of the competitive shared registry system for .nz as one highlight of his first term. There was also the successful campaign to see the operational separation of Telecom, he says.

Looking back, Farrar says it is “quite amazing” how InternetNZ has changed. Up until about 2002, most of its work involved sorting out the .nz mess. This saw InternetNZ’s Domainz taking over from Waikato University, which had managed the .nz registry system until then.

This culminated in 2001, with Domainz’s chief executive, Patrick O’Brien, departing with a golden handshake, after successfully suing Manawatu internet services operator Alan Brown for defamation. The Domainz saga was widely seen as unbecoming for a national domain name registry.

Now, however, Farrar says less than 10% of InternetNZ’s time is taken up by .nz issues, as the registry is working so well.

Farrar wouldn’t be drawn on who will succeed him, but he expects the role will be hotly contested.

InternetNZ’s president, Colin Jackson, praised Farrar’s work, saying, “David has driven our policy agenda to a large extent.” Farrar has also worked hard to create the body’s current structure which, says Jackson, has “worked spectacularly well”.

“I think he’s made a huge contribution to InternetNZ and I believe all New Zealand internet users owe him a debt of gratitude for the work he’s put in,” says Jackson.

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