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ICT Leaders Online Election Forum

InternetNZ, reports outcomes from ICT Leaders Online Election Forum

Wellington – 14 September 2005

“The new future of political debates on major issues of policy,” said Keith Davidson, Executive Director of InternetNZ, welcoming the results of last Thursday’s InternetNZ ICT Leaders Online Election Forum.

The 2 hour forum saw ICT spokespeople Hon David Cunliffe (Labour), Hon Maurice Williamson (National) and Mikaere Curtis (Green) discuss the issues facing ICT in New Zealand for close to two hours, with journalists Paul Brislen (IDG/Computerworld) and Kate McLaughlin (NBR) asking questions and teasing out the issues.

“With more than 500 online participants during the course of the debate, I was pleased with the audience size and the nature of the debate,” said InternetNZ President Colin Jackson. “The technology allowed for an intimate and useful exchange of views and ideas, with audience participation in real-time. The forum has, in our view, set a new standard for how such debates can occur in future.”

“Those members of the audience who took part in the online poll during the evening appeared to endorse the prospect of regulatory action in the telecommunications area in particular” said Keith Davidson. “It was also great to be able to cross live to a Wellington audience, chaired by Phil O’Reilly, CEO of BusinessNZ, and field questions from the Wellington audience of around 30 ICT enthusiasts”.

“We have prepared a transcript of the debate, and InternetNZ will soon comment more specifically on the information and proposals the spokespeople gave to the audience on their future plans for ICT. This transcript is available to the public, along with the complete webcast of the event and the results of InternetNZ’s election survey of the parties, at” Keith Davidson said.

Participants had a range of responses to the forum.

Communications Minister and Labour speaker Hon David Cunliffe had the following comment: “Congratulations to InternetNZ and all those who participated in the debate. The interactive technology and thoughtful format meant useful new information was put into the public domain. The sector was the real winner on the night, but I’m humbled by the strong support shown by participating audience members.”

Mikaere Curtis from the Greens said “it was interesting to be in such a high tech environment, and I thought it was really good to bring IT technology into the heart of the IT policy debate.”

The journalists involved in the publication also found the experience worthwhile and useful. NBR Editor Nevil Gibson commented "It was a vital exercise which demonstrates how traditional media with expertise is able to back into a new media where the high standards of accepted journalism are sometimes missing. It illustrated the best combination of those traditional media strengths and those of technological progress."

Paul Brislen said “It was great to be involved with this project, and I found it very useful to be able to capture questions from the on-line participants to ask questions that required the politicians to drill down to very detailed analyses of their policies.”

NBR reporter Kate McLaughlin felt the event was exciting and stated “this shapes a whole new way for the future, allowing interactive policy debate especially for the ICT industry”

“Overall the event was an informative and useful way to find out more about the parties’ policies and plans for the sector. We thank them for their participation, and look forward to exploring other issues through this type of event in future,” Colin Jackson concluded. “The use of Access Grid technologies is just emerging in New Zealand, and full functionality will be realised as Next Generation Internet is achieved, but our thanks to Richard Naylor and the Citylink team for enabling the technology to make this historic event such a resounding success”

Poll Results

The items following are the responses of audience members of InternetNZ's Online Election Forum & Web Cast, held on Thursday 1 September 2005. This is not a scientific survey; it is simply a gauge of how some of the people watching the debate thought each speaker did in answering the questions posed.

01 - Why is the Internet important to New Zealand?

[ 13 ] David Cunliffe (Labour) [ 6 ] Maurice Williamson (National) [ 3 ] Mikaere Curtis (Green) Base = 22 (6 null response/s, 0 skip/s)

02 - Are the markets for Internet access and Telecommunications in New Zealand sufficiently competitive?

[ 15 ] David Cunliffe (Labour) [ 5 ] Maurice Williamson (National) [ 2 ] Mikaere Curtis (Green) Base = 22 (6 null response/s, 0 skip/s)

03 - What does your party intend to do to ensure that New Zealand's telecommunications infrastructure is secure against failure, whether technical or economic?

[ 16 ] David Cunliffe (Labour) [ 6 ] Maurice Williamson (National) [ 0 ] Mikaere Curtis (Green) Base = 22 (6 null response/s, 0 skip/s)

04 - Does your party support unbundling of the 'local loop' for telecommunications?

[ 14 ] David Cunliffe (Labour) [ 5 ] Maurice Williamson (National) [ 3 ] Mikaere Curtis (Green) Base = 22 (6 null response/s, 0 skip/s)

05 - What is your party's position on the TSO and free local calling?

[ 11 ] David Cunliffe (Labour) [ 6 ] Maurice Williamson (National) [ 5 ] Mikaere Curtis (Green) Base = 22 (6 null response/s, 0 skip/s)

06 - What does your party consider to be the minimum speed (download and upload) required for an Internet connection to be considered "broadband"?

[ 14 ] David Cunliffe (Labour) [ 5 ] Maurice Williamson (National) [ 2 ] Mikaere Curtis (Green) Base = 21 (9 null response/s, 0 skip/s)

07 - What specific policies does your party have which would assist in raising the level of broadband Internet use in New Zealand?

[ 14 ] David Cunliffe (Labour) [ 5 ] Maurice Williamson (National) [ 1 ] Mikaere Curtis (Green) Base = 20 (12 null response/s, 0 skip/s)

08 - How can government prevent dominant carriers from stifling disruptive technologies like Skype through technical means?

[ 12 ] David Cunliffe (Labour) [ 7 ] Maurice Williamson (National) [ 2 ] Mikaere Curtis (Green) Base = 21 (9 null response/s, 0 skip/s)

09 - In the light of successes by Kiwi IT companies on the world stage, what's your party's position on requiring public sector organisations to buy ICT equipment and/or services from local industry in the first instance?

[ 11 ] David Cunliffe (Labour) [ 6 ] Maurice Williamson (National) [ 3 ] Mikaere Curtis (Green) Base = 20 (12 null response/s, 0 skip/s)

10 - What is your party's position on the use of open source software?

[ 8 ] David Cunliffe (Labour) [ 6 ] Maurice Williamson (National) [ 5 ] Mikaere Curtis (Green) Base = 19 (15 null response/s, 0 skip/s)

11. What is your party's view about amending the Copyright Act to allow format shifting of copyrighted works for personal use?

[ 8 ] David Cunliffe (Labour) [ 6 ] Maurice Williamson (National) [ 2 ] Mikaere Curtis (Green) Base = 16 (24 null response/s, 0 skip/s)

12 - What is your party's position regarding whether patents should be available for software, or whether software should be covered by copyright?

[ 10 ] David Cunliffe (Labour) [ 5 ] Maurice Williamson (National) [ 3 ] Mikaere Curtis (Green) Base = 18 (18 null response/s, 0 skip/s)

13 - What specific policies or ideas does your party have for supporting e-democracy, enabling direct policy input from citizens to the government of the day?

[ 8 ] David Cunliffe (Labour) [ 5 ] Maurice Williamson (National) [ 3 ] Mikaere Curtis (Green) Base = 16 (24 null response/s, 0 skip/s)

14 - What is your party's position on the "Digital Divide" and what policies do you have to address this?

[ 9 ] David Cunliffe (Labour) [ 5 ] Maurice Williamson (National) [ 2 ] Mikaere Curtis (Green) Base = 16 (24 null response/s, 0 skip/s)

15 - What is your party's position on accessibility of information in the public and private sector?

[ 9 ] David Cunliffe (Labour) [ 5 ] Maurice Williamson (National) [ 2 ] Mikaere Curtis (Green) Base = 16 (24 null response/s, 0 skip/s)


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