The first GovHack was a government sponsored initiative from the Gov 2.0 Taskforce in 2009, and was run by John Allsop and Web Directions. Thank you John for kicking off a movement, and inspiring our imaginations!

GovHack was originally meant as a once off event, but in 2012 a group of geeks decided, with permission from John, to do another GovHack, largely due to concerns about the quality of hackfests governments were doing at the time and a desire to create a great experience for civic hackers wanting to do great stuff with government data. GovHack thus started out in Canberra in 2009, then Canberra and Sydney in 2012, in 2013 had 8 cities around the country and grew to 12 events in 11 cities in 2014. The inclusion of New Zealand will provide not only local flavour but an opportunity for international competition.

More information on the awesomeness displayed at past GovHacks can be found at:

A final huge shoutout to Yiying Lu who designed the original GovHack logo as part of GovHack 2009. She is also known for her rather famous Fail Whale artwork. We love your work!

GovHack has been Australia’s largest open government and open data hackathon, now attracting in excess of 1000 participants each year. First run as a small Canberra-based event in 2009, it has quickly expanded to a volunteer run two city event in 2012, to a national 11 city event with over 1300 participants and observers in 2014.

Now reaching into New Zealand, GovHack intends to extend it’s vision for a more participatory and effective democracy and public service, with events to be held in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

Check out the reports from GovHack 2013 (  and GovHack 2012 ( for more about the competition and awesome community efforts. GovHack was originally an Australian initiative by Web Directions. They ran the first GovHack in 2009 which was funded by the Gov 2.0 Taskforce as part of their MashUp Australia initiative.