NetHui is one of the banner events in the New Zealand technology calendar, and TCANZ and NetHui together want to encourage technical communicators to get involved.
I’ve attended two NetHui conferences, one in Auckland in 2012 and one in Wellington in 2014. The Auckland 2012 conference made a political splash after Judge Harvey, keynote speaker, stepped down as the judge in the Kim Dotcom case. (A contributing Tweeter speaks out here.)” As a resident of New Zealand engaged in technical delivery of information, I felt right at home, participating in discussions and spontaneous sessions.
Interestingly, while there were many web content creators present, I didn’t meet any other professional technical writers either year. This is perplexing, considering the goal of NetHui is to provide a space for New Zealanders of different backgrounds to come together and discuss internet issues in New Zealand. See this report from the 2014 NetHui, which discusses diverse participation and flattening power hierarchies.
The InternetNZ organisation presents its own perspective here, in Why do we, NetHui? Plenty of IT movers and shakers attend, along with lawyers, Creative Commons representatives, teachers, health care professionals, and many librarians. Politics is potent, with international law, open government, and Internet freedom discussed by MPs. For many like those librarians and teachers, a major topic was and remains the lack of quality internet access throughout NZ, and what the growing tech sector can do for troubled rural areas.
What all NetHui attendees share is passion about what Internet policy and access can do for New Zealand, and a love of growth and good discussion. Technical communicators, with our varied experiences, have a tremendous amount to contribute.
NetHui is always priced affordably – past NetHuis have had registrations under $50. NetHui South will be a great way to recover from any post-TCANZ conference blues, and to gain new ideas for 2015. And in 2015, those of us in Wellington look forwards to another NetHui here.