Winners will be chosen by the GovHack competition judges. The judging panel for prizes will consist of a mix of GovHack organisers, government agency representatives and industry sponsors as appropriate for each prize.

No requests for extensions will be considered. Final arbiter is the judging panel whose decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into. This is a competition of skill. Chance plays no part in this competition.

Each winning team must nominate one person to liaise with and provide their details to GovHack organisers following prize announcements to coordinate distribution of prizes after the event. Prize money must be evenly split between all team members of winning teams.

Order a GovHack 2017 tshirt/hoodie

Judging criteria

Teams are required to submit the following as part of their competition entry:

  • A descriptive project page, listing their team members, details about their project, what data sets they used and what competition categories (local and national) that they are going for
  • Outcomes from the project itself (any code, graphics, mashups, applications, website URLs, etc) which must all be made available under an open source/content licence to be eligible for prizes. If judges are able to see and play with it that is useful, but this is a minor component of the judging. Teams can put the code/source on GitHub, Sourceforge or an equivalent repository system and must make the URL available on their team page for verification.
  • A three minute pre-recorded video embedded on their project page in which they present their project. This could include the team talking about their project, a screencast of the project, and anything else appropriate for video. How to make your GovHack video.

All GovHack entries will be judged by the GovHack Competition Judging Panel against the following criteria:

  • Originality
  • The relevance to the team nominated category definition
  • Consistency with contest purposes including social value
  • Quality and design (including standards compliance)
  • Usability (including documentation and ease of use)

Judges are not eligible to compete for prizes.

GovHack entries and timing

The GovHack organisers will make several developer tools and environments available for you, but it is your responsibility to choose and use the tools you need. We also provide documentation, mentors and workshops to help you out if you want it. Please check out the Mentors page for help with datasets and technologies!

Timeframes to register and submit are:

  • Work can start Friday night 7.00pm local time once the competitions details are announced, giving you 46 hours to play.
  • You MUST have all parts of your competition entry finalised by 5:00pm local time which includes 1) your team page, 2) your code/source submitted, and 3) your video uploaded. If you have trouble uploading your video on time, you can give the video on USB to your local organisers, but only as a last resort please!

Teams must nominate which of the national prize categories they are competing for in the team submission registration. Teams will also be eligible to nominate for local prize categories according to the location they are competing in. Teams may register more than one entry if they intend to make more than one app, mashup or data visualisation. Individual entries can be entered for more than one competition category (national and local) so long as the entry meets the multiple eligibility criteria.

There are then 4 weeks of voting including public voting. Anyone can vote by creating a login on the GovHack competition platform, but the final decision for each category is for the judges. There is however, a People’s Choice award for the highest voted overall project.

Some local prizes will be handed out on the Sunday afternoon, but most prizes will be announced at the Red Carpet Awards in August. This extended judging period is to allow adequate time for judging, to ensure eligibility of the entries, and to encourage the public to contribute their thoughts and votes. The Red Carpet Awards also present a great opportunity to celebrate all the clever projects from around the country with sponsors, agencies, media and some high profile special guests! After GovHack, a limited number of finalists from each location will be chosen to fly to Auckland for the Awards.

Several competition goals require entries must use at least one of the datasets provided for this contest, but you are free to use data from the official GovHack 2015 list or other datasets as long as their licensing terms permit usage for this purpose. You may also use any publicly accessible web services as long as it does not incur a financial cost to use (private and subscription APIs are prohibited due to licensing issues and barrier to entry).


To be eligible for prizes for GovHack New Zealand, individual entrants must be either a New Zealand resident or citizen or for team entrants, at least one member of the team must be an New Zealand resident or citizen.

At least one team member must be over 18.

Judges expect entries to be primarily developed throughout the weekend of GovHack. If a submission is shown to have been done before the weekend, the submission will be ineligible for prizes. This does not include reuse or extension of existing software, libraries or data sets.

No judges will be eligible to compete for prizes, and individuals from organisations or companies are also not eligible for prizes sponsored by their organisation. Mentors/speakers are eligible to compete for prizes, but judges reserve the right to disqualify a mentor/speaker if they perceive an unfairness.

Entrants may be members of multiple teams but each team must be registered separately and each team has one entry. There is no maximum team size.

Nature of submissions

Don’t do bad things. This contest has been designed to demonstrate the benefit of open access and Government 2.0. Please participate in and engage with the contest in that spirit and in good faith. You must not include submissions that are:

  • potentially libellous, false, defamatory or overtly political;
  • material which is potentially confidential, commercially sensitive, or which would cause personal distress or loss;
  • any commercial endorsement, promotion of any product, service or publication;
  • privacy invasive;
  • language which is offensive, obscene or otherwise inappropriate; or
  • misleading, deceptive, violate a third party’s rights or are otherwise contrary to law.

We reserve the right to reject submissions that do not comply with the letter and spirit of these rules.

Authorised materials

You agree to only include code, data or other materials in a submission for the GovHack contest that you have the right to use and release consist with these Contest Rules.

All code and APIs must be available under an appropriately open license that allows reuse, commercial use, remixing and redistribution. As the owner of the code you can of course fork that code and commercialise if you want, but to be eligible for the competition, the codebase and demonstration submitted must be open sourced.

All other content submitted must be Creative Commons BY licensed. For instance you may choose to submit an incredible dynamic or static data visualisation as your team contribution.

The reason for the open licensing of code and content is because GovHack is about awesome outcomes that anyone can use and build on. Great innovation comes from building on the greatness of those who came before.

Entrants consent to GovHack representatives using their name, likeness, image and/or voice in any media for an unlimited period of time, without remuneration, for any publicity and marketing purposes.

Most datasets available for this contest have been released under a permissive licence such as the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia license. You can also use other material that has been released on similarly liberal terms (ie. it is in the public domain (eg. US Government materials) or released under another, compatible Creative Commons license, the Free Documentation License, the MIT license or BSD license etc.).

Right to remove

Submissions and comments will be posted live, but occasionally they may not make it through our our anti-trolling and anti-spamming filters and may need to be moderated manually. We reserve the right to remove or not post any submission that reasonably appears to breach any of these rules.


The GovHack team makes no representations or warranties of any kind, expressed or implied, including warranties of accuracy, in regard to any submissions or links published on the GovHack website.