About this time last year I stood for the Council for Internet NZ. The field was large – 12 candidates from memory, and all members had to go on were the candidates personal statements – and what we could find on Google.
This year, so far, we have 6 candidates. Four of them are current councillors, and I endorse them all. The Council, under the leadership of Frank March, has been an increasingly well performing group. It helps that we have a strong CEO in Vikram, and it helps a lot more that NetHui was such a success, following on from a year of important work on issues ranging from Copyright to IPv6.
We now look towards an uncertain future where the number of top level domains (gTLDs) will expand, presenting potential problems and opportunities for the curators of dot nz. We stand on firm ground with very well running institutions, but ahead are certainly interesting times.
So – on to the candidates for 2011.
First up we have Donald Clark, current head of REANNZ who I’m afraid I cannot recommend as I’m conflicted from doing so due well-known on-going negotiations between Pacific Fibre and REANNZ. Sorry Donald – but here you can read Donald’s statement.
Next there is Dave Moskovitz, from WebFund in Wellington and a certified geek and business guy. He’s been on the Council for as long as I have, and we are currently heads down trying to figure out investment strategies so we don’t squander the pre-payments assets on finance companies (we won’t). Dave is a pleasure to have on the council and understands the challenges ahead.
Nat Torkington, Foo camp convener and the only councillor mentioned by name by Hon Bill English at NetHui, should be well known to most. Clearly Bill is still chuffed at being invited to Foo two years ago, even if he didn’t make the list last year. The grapevine whispers that Nat was also the person who reached out to Larry Lessig, who was outstanding at NetHui. Nat’s been his usual insightful and direct self on the council, and we are lucky to have him.
Michael Wallmannsberger is the InternetNZ representative on the NZRS and is a Councillor for Standards New Zealand. He has all sorts of psychology degrees, works for ASB and is a security consultant. Gulp – I never put all that together before. He’s been around for a while and is very sharp – and is an important player as we grapple with what to do with TLDs.
Richard Orzecki would bring his Ngati Raukawa ki te tonga iwi heritage to the table, and Maori representation is something the council lacks. Richard is Chairman of that iwi and has been on several other boards for iwi and social-based organisations. He has a career as a programmer and was on the NetHui advisory board.
Dave Mill is the other new contender. Dave is an NZNog fan and an ISPANZ member – so he’s offering a technical orientation to the council. He works for Manawatu ISP Inspire.net.nz as “an internet geek”, and so will know a lot about IPv6 – indeed he is part of a couple of groups driving for change.
Still pondering? As I was writing this I marvelled at how many distinctive names (Wallmannsberger, Orzecki etc) we have. So purely in the interests of science, and as I was Googling the new folks anyway, here is the ranking of internet presence for each person:
So by this measure Nat, Donald, Richard and DaveM would make the cut for the four positions available. However I’m not shocked at how little presence that, say, Dave Mill and Michael Wallmannsberger have managed to have, as I suspect that this isn’t unplanned. Many people have significant activity under different handles, especially when it is from the early days.
Now your method of selecting who to vote for may be quite different, as I suspect mine will be. Hopefully by now you have spent your $21 and joined InternetNZ, but the bad news is that only people who joined at least three months ago are eligible to vote. There is some entertaining (in retrospect) history behind this rule.
But wait – there is more. It’s only early June and nominations are taken up until the 26th. We don’t have any women candidates yet and nor do we have any lawyers – either on the council or standing. We don’t have anyone from big Telco either. We do have geeks and business people, and combinations thereof, and we do have representatives from ISPs, from government, business, education and of course end users. But if you want to stand, then please do read on.
If you are considering standing then read the job description, have a look at the business plan and scan the inputs and outputs from recent Council meetings to see the sort of stuff covered. Then talk to others, and find out how the council works in practice. You can even hunt down audio recordings, if that’s your thing. Get nominated and write a great election statement that covers who you are, what you will bring to the table and why we should vote for you.
What we, and every board or council needs, are a healthy mix people that can bring different perspectives, that can run at the same speed, operate professionally, understand enough of the technical, business, accounting and legal issues to contribute and who have a strategic outlook. The Council has some good challenges ahead this year, but the institutions of InternetNZ are strong. Please support us by standing, voting or joining.