Umbrella industry group ICT-NZ is optimistic it will soon obtain funding from government to be able to offer real benefits to prospective members, says Garth Biggs, who heads the group.
ICT-NZ has experienced difficulties in convincing some existing industry organisations to join.
“Till we have the resources we can’t promise to offer benefits, so it’s harder to attract [other industry organisations],” Biggs says, especially as they don’t know the “terms and conditions” of membership. These have not had a chance to evolve to final form, precisely because of the hesitancy about joining.
“We would like to see them inside the tent” says Biggs, so they would have more of a chance to help define the way the organisation is run.
Biggs rebuts fears expressed by organisations such as the NZ Computer Society that they would be absorbed into ICT-NZ, lose their own identity and compromise their missions and international links. Both the NZCS and InternetNZ are incorporated societies, as is ICT-NZ, and there is no legal way for one incorporated society to absorb or control another, Biggs says.
NZCS, with 1,000 or more members has potentially more influence than ICT-NZ or the other organisations more committed to joining.
“They could effectively be setting the tone and direction of [ICT-NZ],” he says. He certainly sees NZCS setting the course of the professional qualifications side of ICT-NZ if it joins the group.
“I appreciate that InternetNZ is worried about [its .nz domain space delegation from the international Internet Society] as the Computer Society is concerned about some limited liability companies it runs and about its international connections. All these would be protected under memoranda of understanding [MoUs],” he says.
Biggs calls for the NZCS to put the matter to a referendum of its members, and disputes a suggestion that confidentiality of a draft MoU was preventing membership being fully consulted, as Wellington NZCS members suggested.