GovHack Wellington – update #2 – Venue! Registration! GovHack Women!

In which we have great news about venues, registrations and GovHack Women

Greetings, dearest GovHackers!

We’ve had a busy time of it – and we’d like to say a huge thank you to you all for having patience, being involved and yes, on some occasions emailing us to find out if things are still a go.

They most certainly are.

We’ve been working to make sure both GovHack Wellington and GovHack Women are the best events we can make them this year :)



This year, GovHack Wellington will be taking place in Wellington:

  • Rutherford House, Pipitea Campus, Victoria University of Wellington
  • 5:30pm 28 July – 5pm Sunday 30 July, 2017.

We’d like to say a HUGE thank you to our venue sponsors, Ministry of Transport (MoT), for coming to the table and being awesome. Ministry of Transport

We’re also very excited about the opportunity to work with them around transport data, of course!

GovHack NZ registrations

We’re extremely close to opening up registrations for the main event. It’ll be within a week, so get your clicking fingers ready, as tickets will go _fast_, based on the interest and emails we’re getting this year :)

GovHack Women

We got a lot of really great feedback to our GovHack Women survey – thank you to everyone who took part :)

Because this is a pilot event, we’ve decided to keep it simple, while also making sure our respondents’ preference (overall) was covered.

So, we’re going to be holding an information/storytelling/challenge discussion evening. It’s for women from ALL walks of life – “non-techy” women are just as valuable as “techy” ones, and we welcome all ages and backgrounds.

All you need is an interest in tackling societal/civil issues which bug you, or in improving things in your communities that you love. We’ll listen to a few short talks on what GovHack is all about, and the experience of women who’ve attended in previous years (both tech and non-tech, from a range of ages and careers and backgrounds and even countries).

We’ll then open up the floor for general discussion and questions, including getting people’s thoughts and ideas of some of the things they might like to tackle during the main event (if they want to attend it) :)

“You’ll meet amazing people who challenge you mentally and inspire you. You’ll make some new friends who you’ll keep in touch with and see at future events.  You’ll wonder why it took you so long to start participating in this amazing community.”

 – Justine Pepperell, GovHack NZ 2016 participant

We’re firming up plans, but it looks like it’ll take place in mid July, after work for a couple of hours. Stay tuned for more details in the very near future!

Very important note: all are welcome, but this is an event organised for, and by, people who identify as women. Please be cognisant of, and respect that. And as always, the GovHack NZ Code of Conduct applies.

Sponsoring and supporting

We’d love to thank the following fabulous sponsors for coming for coming on board to help support the Wellington event this year.

Like all GovHack NZ events, it’s free to attend, and we provide tasty food, beverages, WiFi and experts to help you build the best solutions you can build. It’s because of our sponsors, both cash and in-kind, that we can bring this incredible event to you each year. We love you all!

And we need more support.

If you or your organisation are keen to support GovHack Wellington this year, and get directly involved with the flagship event of the southern hemisphere’s largest open data / open government / civic tech hackathon, we’d love to hear from you :) 

You can also find oodles of sponsorship information on our website. Sponsorship and other information packs

Weekly meetings

If you’re keen to be involved in helping to organise this year’s Welly event, we have a weekly meeting – get in touch with us at [email protected]­ if you’d like to come along :)
We’ve also posted them on our Meetup group. Meetup – GovHack Wellington

Staying up to date

We’ve got tonnes of information about GovHack on our website, at – videos, information packs, blog posts and more :)

You can also keep an eye on:

Yay! Super excited for this year. And, as always, please do get in touch if you have any questions, comments or thoughts :)

Much love,

The GovHack Wellington team

GovHack Wellington – update #1

Venues! Surveys! Excitement!

Greetings, dearest GovHackers.

So, we’re a go for GovHack Wellington 2017 :) Some news and updates follow.



We’re looking for a venue, so if you have any thoughts, please do let us know – indicative brief of what we’re looking for below.
Venue brief­


Sponsoring and supporting

Are you or your organisation keen to support GovHack Wellington this year, and get directly involved with the southern hemisphere’s largest open data / open government / civic tech hackathon? We’d love to hear from you :) 
You can also find oodles of sponsorship information on our website.


Lead-in events

We’re looking at piloting a number of lead-in events this year, including some aimed at improving the diversity of people who come to the main event.

One of these events will be aimed at women, and we’ll be holding it in Wellington. We’re running a brief survey at the moment to help us figure out what people might like – please feel free to fill it out and/or spread it to all your friends (“techy” or not!).
GovHack Women survey

[We’ve also got some fun potential post-event initiatives, too – stay tuned!]


Weekly meetings

If you’re keen to be involved in helping to organise this year’s Welly event, we have a weekly meeting – get in touch with us at [email protected]­ if you’d like to come along :)

I’ve also posted them on our Meetup group.
Meetup – GovHack Wellington


Staying up to date

As always, you can also keep an eye on:


Yay! Super excited for this year :)

Focus on: Wellington

“Wellington is right in the thick of the government action and we’re working closely with agencies to crack open some exciting data sets for the event.”

 – GovHack Wellington

This week, we look at the last of our North Island locations for GovHack NZ 2016: Wellington!

Read our Focus on: series

The seat of NZ’s government, Wellington is the largest of our NZ locations, with a very large and active community of organisers, volunteers and participants.

Cam Findlay, one of this year’s GovHack NZ Wellington organisers, has the following invitation: “This year’s GovHack Wellington is all about telling stories through data. Whether you have a tale to tell, or a question you want to answer using open data, head along. Wellington is in the thick of government open data so is a perfect place to hack up some solutions. It’s going to be a great weekend!”

GovHack Wellington 2015
Dan Randow organising GovHack Wellington 2015 into teams. Credit: Elias Rodriguez

This year, GovHack will be taking place in Wellington:

  • 29-31 July
  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)
  • 15 Stout Street
  • Wellington, 6011.

Keep an eye on Wellington-specific GovHack info

This is the second year MBIE has hosted GovHack. What value does MBIE see in the event? Grant Lyons, MBIE’s CIO, told us. “Increasingly citizens and businesses are looking to transact with government online.  And one way the government believes we can deliver better public services is by a more joined-up public service.  So it’s important that digital information within government is readily available as often new services and applications rely on differing combinations of public and private data sets.”

“This sort of forum enables us to open up a wide range of government data sets and allow innovators and creators to collaborate and team. By applying fresh thinking and leveraging existing information sets, we know new services and applications will be created for the benefit of many.”

And people do, indeed, build applications which could help people both in NZ and internationally. One of GovHack Wellington 2015’s teams – Tremorz – picked up a major prize with their app after last year’s event.

Last year’s awards winners

Their mobile application, iHelp, used emergency response and crowd sourced data to help people find things they need or for people to offer items they had during a natural disaster.

Jo Booth, part of the winning team and one of the organisers of this year’s Wellington event, said: “We were all interested in emergencies, and within 46 hours, iHelp was created. Little did we know that the solution we created tapped into a 6-billion dollar problem – helping people find the right help in a disaster. Our app evolved as people shared their stories the effect of disasters and GovHack was the perfect catalyst to get ideas turned into reality.”

We couldn’t agree more, Jo!

GovHack Wellington 2015: Team Tremorz
Team TremorZ listening to stories of what helped in a disaster. Credit: Mark Tantrum

If you’re living locally (or passing through for the weekend) and have an interest in building on the social and economic value of open data published by government, we know Wellington would love to see you. Like all our locations, they’re looking for a wide range of skills (not just techies!) – everyone has something to contribute, stories to tell and questions to answer.

If you have any questions, drop the Wellington team a line at [email protected], or the national team at [email protected].

Find out more about our team


GovHack Wellington is closely aligned with HackMiramar, local civic hackers and makers group based in the peninsula suburb of Miramar in Wellington.

Portions of content have been modified from the HackMiramar website, under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand CC BY license

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