5 August 2011
New Zealand Open Source Society held its 2011 Annual General Meeting on Thursday, 5 August 2011. The meeting took place using a mix of technologies, including IRC and audioconferencing, to ensure that members throughout the country could participate in the meeting. Outgoing President Rachel Hamilton-Williams reported on the Society’s achievements and activities in the last year.
These included ongoing and high-profile involvement in the campaign against software patents, which seeks to ensure that the Patent Bill will be passed with computer programs covered by an exclusion. Other activities included supporting Software Freedom Day in September 2010, implementing a new website for the NZOSS, and being part of the New Zealand Open Source Awards.
Rachel acknowledged the disruption that Christchurch earthquakes caused for businesses and members, and thanked Dave Lane and the team from Egressive for their ‘business as usual’ service, which kept the NZOSS website operating smoothly throughout this time. She also noted that many of the earthquake support initiatives used open source software to coordinate information for people affected by the earthquake, such as Ushahidi ( http://www.ushahidi.com/), saying “By choosing to use open source software such as Ushahidi for support initiatives, donations could be used to provide practical support, rather than pay for software licences.”
The meeting concluded with the election of a new committee, which resulted in Dave Lane from Egressive taking on the role of President, while Peter Harrison continues as Vice-President. Plans for the coming year include a membership drive, and ongoing efforts to promote the use of open source software in government and education.