aimee whitcroft
GovHack NZ National Lead 2017

After studying molecular biology, neuroscience and business, she’s worked in everything from strategy and management consulting to futurecasting to science/tech/govt communication. These days, she’s the founder and principal of comms and engagement consultancy Syntropics and can generally be found building spaces for people to learn and create in.

She’s driven the Mongol Rally, is founder and host of Nerd Nite Wellington (the Southern Hemisphere’s first Nerd Nite chapter), co-founder and ex-blogger/podcaster at Sciblogs, and has been involved with TEDxWellington, Startup Weekend Wellington and more besides.

aimee loves everything that GovHack represents: bumping government up against civil society to make awesomeness happen. Open data and open government are two of her very favouritest subjects, and getting to work in their service is a huge honour and source of happiness for her.

When not plotting and scheming, aimee likes to go for long trail runs/walks with her dog, quaff beer and single malt scotch, ride motorcycles and get up to Adventures. She also loves chatting with people, so feel free to ping her anytime for a beverage and catchup!

Connect with aimee on LinkedIn



Nick Williamson, 2016Nick Williamson
GovHack NZ 2IC and Sponsorship Lead 2017

With a background in spatial planning, and extensive experience engaging with communities, Nick has thrown himself into the emerging field of geodesign. He has a passion for open data, open government, and civic technology, and helps Council and technical people speak human to ordinary people.

Nick is a regular at Startup Weekend and has organised hackathons and Global GovJam service design events. As well as being on the GovHack NZ national organising team, he is 2015 and 2016 host for the Whangarei event. It’s safe to say Nick would spend all his time around the hackers and makers if he didn’t have bills to pay. Having a diverse bunch of people from different backgrounds makes for a great Hackathon, so Nick is constantly sharing the love with government types to get more of them involved.

Nick loves his home province of Northland, and sees GovHack as a great opportunity for growing the technology sector and connecting people with an interest in all things digital.

When not racing around talking lots and waving his arms around, Nick can be found on a motorcycle, where talking lots and waving arms around have far less of an impact (to the relief of people who prefer peace and quiet).

See Nick’s LinkedIn profile



Cherie Ellis, 2016
Cherie Ellis
GovHack NZ Auckland event head

Cherie is looking forward to hosting GovHack Auckland again this year.
This is Cherie’s 3rd year with GovHack and it has been a joy to see the event grow and develop the way it has.

GovHack is a super busy time for everyone involved, and the reward is seeing creative, visionary and useful ideas being given voice.

Cherie has been in the Open Source tech community for some years now. Getting involved in events and conferences is what she does best.

Find Cherie on LinkedIn




David Nichols, 2016David Nichols
GovHack NZ Hamilton event head, 2015 and 2016

David Nichols is a senior lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Waikato. He is originally from Britain and was educated at Lancaster University.

His research interests include digital libraries, human-computer interaction and the usability of open source software.

David is the 2015 and 2016 event host for GovHack Hamilton; he hopes that regular GovHacks can encourage more collaboration between the university, industry and community.

David enjoys being irritated by the poor design of software, appliances and doors.

Read about David’s teaching, research and publications




Phil Wheeler, 2016Phil Wheeler
GovHack NZ Dunedin event head, 2015 and 2016

Phil Wheeler is a web professional, speaker and technology ambassador for Dunedin.

He has been working with web technologies and the web for over a decade and is currently working as a senior developer at Intergen.

Phil is a big believer in equipping and enabling people to understand the technology they’re using, and making sure their business processes support that, before simply throwing a solution at a problem because it’s the latest shiny thing.

Find Phil on his website