Society honours three pioneers of the Internet

The Internet Society of New Zealand (ISOCNZ) has honoured three people it feels are pioneers of the Internet in New Zealand.

The Internet Society of New Zealand (ISOCNZ) has honoured three people it feels are pioneers of the Internet in New Zealand.

“These are the inaugural fellowships, so it’s quite an honour for them. You don’t often get to be first,” says ISOCNZ executive director Sue Leader.

The three recipients, John Houlker, Richard Naylor and John Hine, were singled out as unsung heroes of the Internet scene in New Zealand and for “going that extra mile” in helping to establish the Net as part of New Zealand society.

“We wouldn’t have an Internet but for people like these,” says Leader.

The fellowships were established so that ISOCNZ could recognise the work of people who don’t necessarily seek the limelight, but who put in the hours needed anyway.

“Nominees don’t need to be society members. Once their names are put forward, the fellowship committee will look at the applications and decide from there.”

The awards were handed out at the ISOCNZ annual conference in Wellington.

Houlker was honoured as the main driving force behind New Zealand’s first gateway to the outside world — a 9.6Kbit/s link to Hawaii in 1989. He then worked with the University of Waikato to ensure our first gateway met the needs of the fast growing number of users.

Naylor, IT manager for the Wellington City Council, has been working behind the scenes since 1989 to ensure that the WCC had a presence on the Net. His work is recognised as being the first governmental information on the Internet anywhere in the world.

Hine introduced the first Usenet news service to New Zealand in 1985 and helped build the backbone for New Zealand’s Internet access.

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