Trust spreads beyond capital

The 2020 Communications Trust, previously a Wellington organisation, is to encourage the evolution of parallel trusts in other centres around the country.

The 2020 Communications Trust, previously a Wellington organisation, is to encourage the evolution of parallel trusts in other centres around the country.

The trust works on a variety of telecommunications and IT projects for the benefit of the community. Perhaps its best-known project is the annual NetDay, when volunteers turn up to install and hook up donated and discounted computers and communications equipment in schools. The trust also holds a variety of talks on topical IT subjects.

Aucklanders are already setting up their own branch of the trust, but Bill Dashfield, chair of the steering group for the national expansion plan, says the organisation would be particularly pleased to see trusts springing up in rural areas, which have specific telecommunications and IT problems.

The national spread of substantially independent branches will be reflected in a formation of a new Wellington 2020 Trust. As the existing Wellington organisation expands to national coverage, in co-operation with the regional organisations, the new organisation will take over specifically Wellington projects.

Why not simply form a new national 2020 Trust? “We could have approached it that way, but I think it’s six of one and half-a-dozen of the other,” Dashfield says. The existence of the current name, which does not suggest any Wellington association, was a factor in deciding to restructure in the way the trust has, he adds.

The national group will be able to work more effectively with bodies that also have a national spread, such as the Ministry or Education, says Dashfield. He emphasises that there will be a “peer-to-peer” structure among the regional and national trusts. “It’s not a question of regional trusts reporting to the national body.”

To bring the new structure quickly into order, the trust was to hold a meeting in Wellington tonight to “brainstorm” ideas. “We’re working to have a concrete proposal, with all the i’s dotted and i’s crossed to put to the AGM in October,” he says.

Those who want to attend should notify Dashfield beforehand at bill.dashfield@xtra.co.nz.

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