“We think there is no better place in the country to be a tech person than in Northland.”
– GovHack Whangarei
Starting today, each week we’ll be showcasing one of the GovHack NZ locations for 2016. We decided to start at the top of New Zealand and work our way down, which means this week is all about Whangarei!
Explains Nick Williamson, organiser of the Whangarei event, “I love my home province of Northland; GovHack is a great opportunity for growing the technology sector and connecting people with an interest in all things digital”.
This year, GovHack will be taking place in Northland:
NorthTec, Whangarei Campus
51 Raumanga Valley Road
Nigel Studdart, STEM Project Manager at NorthTec, told us that “GovHack is a fantastic opportunity to bring together teams of talented and creative individuals. NorthTec is again looking forward to the 29th of July and we are very proud to host this event for its second year.”
He goes on to say, “This year we will welcome students from our Vision Matauranga project in ‘Digital Tikanga’, as well as groups from high schools, business and industry. GovHack appeals to app developers, artists, project managers, gamers and problem solvers.”
Kiwis like to tinker. We love modifying, personalising and playing around.
And we reckon it would be great to hack the GovHack NZ logo.
If you’ve got a great idea for how to make the logo more representative of us – the New Zealand GovHack community – we’d love to see it.
It needs to stay recognisable as a GovHack logo, but that’s the only requirement. If you’re wondering how to change a logo yet make sure it stays instantly recognisable, we recommend checking out how Startup Weekend and Global Design Jam events do it.
Last year, the national awards for GovHack NZ were held in Wellington, at Te Papa Tongarewa, our national museum and art gallery. Obviously, it was awesome.
This year, we thought we’d do something a little different. After all, that’s what GovHack’s all about, right?
So we’re opening the floor up to all of you for ideas on where to have the awards night. Sensible ideas are welcome. Mad, wacky, in-the-spirit-of-GovHack ideas are, too.
Think it would be fun to hold the awards on a train as we speed through the Alps? Want to have them soaking in a hot pool? Think Napier would be the perfect spot for some awards-night goodness, or the (in) famous Mussel Inn? Do you think your town’s community hall would be the best spot? Want to fly somewhere directly*, or sort a roadie?
There’s a buzz of activity happening behind the scenes all over the country, and you’ll have noticed changes to our website which reflect this.
Our new “information packs” section contains all the information we’ve been preparing/will prepare for sponsors, event heads, and the other legends involved in GovHack. There are two info packs up already, and we’ll pop new ones up as we finish them – if you’re inspired and want to get involved in any way, do get in touch!
You’ll also have seen the website’s new “2016 events and info” section, devoted to each of the local NZ events. Our local event heads have also been dashing around their cities sorting out venues, and we’ll be posting them to these pages. We’ll also be including posters, relevant links – anything that we think you might find useful!
Thanks to everyone who’s already engaging with us, and we look forward to getting to know you all. For those of you who’ve indicated you’d like to be involved in organising local or national events – we’ll be in touch very soon!
Happy new year to all you, dear GovHackers – we hope it’s your best year yet :)
GovHack 2015 – NZ’s first GovHack – was great. So great that we’re doing it all over again this year, and we want to make it even more awesome. And we’d love your help.
First up, we have a super-quick survey for you – we invite you to fill it out whether or not you came to last year’s events, or were involved at all. It’ll help us understand who wants to be involved this year, how, and steps we can take to make things even awesomerererer.
Secondly, we’ve got a mailing list you can sign up for. It’s linked to below, and also in the survey. Please note: It’ll be the mailing list we use from now on, so please sign up if you want to stay up to date and informed!
You can register for the Wellington event here, and the rest are here.
Who should come along?
GovHack is open to everyone and anyone. From data vis, graphic designers, journos, digital media dabblers, budding entrepreneurs, OpenGov enthusiasts, and user experience peeps, through to web developers and hard core application developers. Pull a team together with a mix of skills to raise your chances of winning! GovHack is about having fun and learning, regardless of your level of expertise. From high school and 1st year university students through to hardened developers, everyone who gets involved will come away from the weekend with something new, whether it be code, content, an idea or new contacts.
What’s in it for me?
Aside from having the opportunity to interact with your peers, get mentored by experts, or show off your skills to a community who loves this kind of stuff? Hack Days rock. They rock because when you get cool people in a room they do cool stuff. The essence of a Hack Day is achieving something remarkably amazing — awesome — in a very short period of time.
You will also be in the running for prize money and grants for the best work undertaken with government data across a number of major and minor categories. The categories will be announced Friday night. You can probably somewhat infer the categories from who our data and prize sponsors are, but GovHack is about what you can develop from Friday night till Sunday afternoon, and that work is what the judges will take into account. GovHack days provide an opportunity to get exposure to new ideas from different perspectives about technologies and approaches you may never get to experiment with in your day to day job or at university. This is an opportunity to test run those ideas you’ve had, but never had the chance to partner up with someone or had the dedicated time with experts around you to make the idea a reality.
What is the format?
You will arrive 5pm Friday evening. There will be snacks and drinks, and this will be the opportunity to mingle, create teams and begin generating ideas.
The official opening of the competition is at 7pm. Once the competition has begun, you and your team find a workspace and decide what direction you will take, what tools you will use, what data you want to use, who will do what. You will need a team name.
You must leave in the evening. Go home, ruminate, relax – you have a big weekend ahead of you!
Arrive back at the venue, refreshed and ready to go on Saturday morning, work all day and long into the night.
Go home, it’s late.
Arrive back at the venue, refreshed and ready to go on Sunday morning, tie up the loose ends of your project and work on your 3 minute presentation video. This must include the team members, what your objective was, what data you used, what each team member did.
The competition will finish at 5pm on Sunday. You have to submit your team page, 3 minute video of your concept and any code/source materials by close of play.