Open Data Alliance NZ

On Saturday 27th October 2018, in Wellington, a workshop was held to decide what (if anything) was to happen to the entity that had been GovHack NZ. The Agenda revolved around the question of whether to resume hosting Govhack in New Zealand, and if not, then what? Present were a number of GovHack contributors as well as representatives from the DataLand hackathon.

The resolution was determined that a not for profit incorporated trust would be created, with it’s objective being to support hackathons within NZ and with other International organisations. The name of the Trust will be Open Data Alliance NZ. Initial trustees were selected and invited: Thomas Hartley, David Nichols, Mike Price, Phil Wheeler, Kevin Waugh, Cherie Ellis, Nick Williamson, Aimee Whitcroft.

The existing GovHack New Zealand Limited company will be wound up, and any money remaining will be donated to Open Data Alliance NZ to use as seed funds. Information from will be collated for the new website ( then the old one can be blown away.

As a very exciting outcome, ODANZ has reached out to GovHack Australia to discuss collaborating again and running GovHack NZ in 2019. A structure will be developed whereby successful projects will have the opportunity for further development in follow-up events after the initial GovHack competition. Anyone who is currently on GovHack NZ’s mailing lists will be contacted and invited to join a new mailing list run by ODANZ which will be used for communications about GovHack NZ and it’s follow up events.

ODANZ has resolved to host the Global Legal Hackathon in 2019 in conjunction with a local law firm. More details of this will be released once the event has been confirmed.

There will be a number of roles which need to be filled, on a voluntary basis, in order for ODANZ to successfully run these and future events. Here are some examples:

  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • GovHack Au liaison
  • Legal hack liaison
  • Legal
  • Government liaison
  • Sponsor liaison
  • Regional coordinator
  • Marketing
  • Designer
  • Website
  • Technical
  • Comms/social media
  • Event planners
  • Teams event host
  • Hackerspace

The workshop was considered by all involved to be a great success, and everyone left with renewed excitement about the future of Open Data Alliance NZ. The potential of these quite different international hackathons being held in New Zealand in 2019 is an exciting one, and these events provide ODANZ the opportunity to prove itself as a community organisation.

Where, who, what…WHAT?

Where will you attend GovHack?

We have events planned all over the country! Here is the current list, and this is only in New Zealand – they have plenty more in Australia, as well!

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.
See you there!

It’s all over!

GovHack is over for 2015!

It was an amazing weekend of teamwork, sleepless nights, knowledge sharing, coffee overload and hard, hard work.

Visit to see all the projects created over the weekend, or check projects out by the different prize categories at

Head over to to view some photos from the weekend and don’t forget to vote on the different projects.

How do we place our hacker vote for the projects we like?

There are four weeks available to submit your Hackers Vote, so make sure you vote before 2nd August 2015.

Only registered team members can vote.

Head over to or to see the projects.

You can vote on every project, giving them a rating between 1 and 5 stars.

To vote, open the project and scroll to the bottom of their project page to find the star ratings buttons. You need to be logged in and registered to see the star ratings buttons.

View the projects and check out the information, videos and any other information provided to help you decide on your rating.


Get in touch

Get in touch with us if you’d like to sponsor, volunteer, participate or share ideas to help make 2016 even bigger and better than 2015.

Cherie Ellis: [email protected]
Amanda Jackson: [email protected]
GovHack NZ on Facebook

3 days! That’s right, 3 days until GovHack!

We have 25 locations in Australia,6 in New Zealand, nearly 2,000 registered hackers; governments at national, state, and local levels and our magnificent corporate sponsors.

It’s basically open data Christmas!

(Or Open-data-ka-mas it shall be known henceforth from now. We might need to vote on that.)

Get involved

Some locations have no spots left in Australia, and New Zealand is getting very full as well. Get across and register if you haven’t already.

If you have registered, get more info about your local site, take a look at the participant kit and develop kits, and there’s some info for those of you whose focus is on winning.

Thanks to our volunteers.

We would like to thank all of our wonderful volunteers across Australia and New Zealand in advance, for all they have done so far and for all they will do into the future to make this event possible. You all rock! We thank you, and we know the hackers who head along really appreciate the effort each of you puts in. So, thank you!

It wouldn’t be GovHack without our sponsors!

Leading the charge nationally in Australia are the Digital Transformation Office and Telstra in Australia, and HP in New Zealand. Support from each is helping us add that bit more shine to both the competition and the red carpet awards.

Statistics New Zealand, a driving force in data innovation in NZ, has helped GovHack NZ get set up for its first year. Many more agencies are sure to follow in their footsteps.

IAG, Google, and Ancestry are supporting the international aspect of this year’s event. Which we can’t wait to tell you about.

In Australia, we’re excited to see some new faces, as well as our, what seems like family, government partners. Just looking at this list tells a story about how awesome this year competition is going to be. In addition to our official sponsors we also have guest judges from the National Library Australia, Archives NZ, and NZ National Library.

Microsoft, Splunk, and HP Helion & Frame Group have provided Platinum sponsorship and in-kind support via access to their services.

Callaghan Innovation is providing Silver sponsorship in NZ, and Amazon, AIIIA, Link Digital, Computer Power Institute, NICTA and the eGov Cluster, Acquia, ACS, and DLA Piper have got Australia covered. Amazon Web Services and Catalyst are also covering NZ Web Services needs.

GovHack kicks off at 7pm Friday. Follow @govhacknz and @govhackau for last minute announcements and to catch the opening night video!

Signing off for now,

The GovHack Cohort

Welcome to GovHack New Zealand 2015

Now is the time to get involved!

We have competitions running in Whangarei, Auckland, Gisborne, Whanganui, Wellington and Dunedin, so there is bound to be one near you!

We are also running JHack in Auckland for the Saturday of the event as an opportunity to allow school-age students to show us what they can come up with. Competition is healthy in any family!

We are recruiting for the following:

  • Committee members for local events
  • Event weekend volunteers
  • Industry Mentors for all events
  • Sponsors

To start your application or find out all the info on how you can bestow your awesomeness on GovHack NZ 2015, head to the GovHack NZ website.

If your company is interested in sponsoring GovHack NZ 2015 then please contact us.