Vikram Kumar [his new blog] announced his departure from Internet NZ earlier this year. He leaves behind an impressive legacy, highlighted for me by three very successful NetHuis. Vikram pushed hard to get these off the ground, working through objections of some within Council, including me. The tipping point for me was when he changed the name to NetHui from Internet Governance Forum. I was initially wrong as of course the NetHui results and engagement from a much broader stakeholder group were superb.
Vikram and the internal team with external help delivered a series of papers, briefings and submissions on a wide range of topics, including copyright law, UFB, and even the economic impact of the internet. He helped understand the concerns of, and put the facts as well as views based on our policy principles to people within Government and across industry, and lifted the bar for InternetNZ as we seek an Open and Uncapturable Internet.
Today we’ve announced that Jordan Carter will step in temporarily as the acting CE, and we are searching for a permanent replacement. Jordan has done some excellent work for InternetNZ already, in a variety of roles, and comes in fully ready to continue the good works. He is, however, an elected member on the board of the Labour Party and was on the party list for the last two elections (though much too low for someone of his talents). He’ll put that work aside for now and be formally inactive while he focusses on InternetNZ. He’s not saying or thinking about what happens next, but I for one would really like to see him high on the list and in Parliament in the next election.
We need a new leader
We are now searching for a new Chief Executive to run Internet NZ. It’s a relatively small team, well funded with an annual budget of around $3 million, but ability to spend more if you can convince the council and if NZRS and DNCL continue their great work. Our objects are lofty, and sometimes the amount of work that is done is daunting, but it’s a great challenge for the right person to take up and extend Vikram’s legacy.
Speaking for myself, I’d like to see us copy and extend some of the .SE work, fighting for and supporting financially a goal of 100% internet access for New Zealanders and for visitors here. I’d like to see InternetNZ be the go-to place for all statistics and facts on the Internet here, leading by example, and supporting things like the excellent WikiNewZealand site to present data well. We should be holding ISPs and Chorus and Government to account for average speeds, data caps, mobile coverage and prices, all of which we need to work through to get that 100% access. We should be smartly finding ways to increase revenue through a series of fairly priced and compelling products so that we can spend more money on achieving the objects. Finally we should continue to lead by example of how to operate a top level domain in a fair and open way, and continue to keep the work of DNCL and NZRS separate, and support them as required.
But that’s me. There are other councillors as well, we all have different and overlapping perspectives and part of the CEs job is to capture all of that. It’s a well-functioning group though, I have a lot of respect for the experience and talent around the table.
Interested? Get in touch (firstname.lastname@example.org) to find out more or have a chat. I’m part of the search committee, and we intend to release job descriptions and so forth soon. In the meantime there is a wonderful networked infrastructure out there to help you find out more. To start with you can see our accounts, our work, the Council documents and of course a trail of publicity.