Isocnz refuses comment on Mott's departure

The Internet Society (Isocnz) is refusing to comment on the resignation of Auckland ISP director Peter Mott from both the society and its governing council. Mott cites accountability issues, including the Isocnz council's decision to spend 'a very large percentage of the society's funds on an event for which no measurable outcome has been identified' - this Friday's National Summit at Auckland's Ellerslie Convention Centre.

The Internet Society (Isocnz) is refusing to comment on the resignation of Auckland ISP director Peter Mott from both the society and its governing council.

After being contacted by @IDG yesterday, Mott provided an email statement in which he cites accountability issues, including the Isocnz council's decision to spend "a very large percentage of the society's funds on an event for which no measurable outcome has been identified" – this Friday's National Summit at Auckland's Ellerslie Convention Centre.

Mott, director of 2Day Internet, also says he was "concerned that management information such as monthly accounts and membership statistics were not available prior to or even at council meetings.

"Questions relating to any matter that helped me ensure members' funds were being applied to the society's objectives were met with either silence or abuse."

Mott criticises the council's endorsement of the decision to stage the summit "by way of an informal on-line vote … I have no doubt that this would not have occured if council had been spending their own money or that of its members. The fact is that Isocnz funds are derived in the main from domain name registration fees collected by its monopoly registry company Domainz.

"I considered endorsement of the event without measurable outcomes to be both reckless and irresponsible and decided that council obviously had no need for a business minded participant, so I resigned."

Mott's departure marks another stage in a stormy relationship between himself and some council members, and Domainz chief executive Patrick O'Brien. Earlier this year, Mott pulled 2Day out of its role as a billing agent for Domainz, claiming the registry's terms were untenable.

Isocnz chairman Jim Higgins says he has responded personally to Mott over his decision but will be making no public comment on it.

"Why should it be public? I know of no other organisation that prints public responses to resignations. It would actually probably be a breach of the Privacy Act – and you don't expect me to break the law do you? I can't comment on it – absolutely not."

In response to a lot of money for an outcome that's unclear?

"Of course the outcome is unclear. We haven't had the meeting yet. No one knows what the outcome of the meeting will be until you have it. Do you not understand that?"

Higgins is declining to discuss the reason for the summit, pointing to the Isocnz Website (http://www.isocnz.org.nz), which cites the fact that changes to Internet governance currently being shepherded by ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) "shifted gears unannounced" last month "and changes are being made which we must have input into. You, your business, your children's future, and the future of New Zealand are at stake."

The summit is being sponsored by Ihug and Ernst and Young and speakers include Labour IT spokeswoman Marion Hobbs, Reg Hammond of the Ministry of Commerce IT policy unit and Andy Linton of Netlink.

Ihug director Tim Wood says he has business in Sydney and will not be attending, but Steven Heath, senior manager of electronic commerce at Ernst and Young will both chair and speak at the meeting.

The final item on the agenda is "Where to from here: establishing a New Zealand Position for Berlin Meeting". ICANN's next series of meetings, at which Isocnz will be represented, takes place in Berlin May 25-27.

Meanwhile, apparently in response to a low number of registrations, the $15 late for registration has been waived, leaving the charge to attend the day-long summit at $20 for Isocnz members and $75 for non-members. The summit will also be "audiocast".

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