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Making IT work for people - new Green policy

19 August 2008

Making IT work for people - new Green policy

The Green Party released its Information Technology (IT) Policy today ahead of a lecture tonight by free software legend Richard Stallman, jointly hosted by Otago University's Campus Greens branch and the computer science department.

"IT must work for people not the profits of the few. People on both sides of the digital divide should benefit from information technology - IT should not create new mechanisms of inequality. And of course our policy assists people to utilise IT to reduce their impact on the planet," Greens IT Spokesperson Metiria Turei says.

"We are especially proud to announce a commitment to free and open source software - my Dunedin Office has recently made the transition away from Windows to GNU/Linux. Government departments should also consider Free and Open Source Software when it can meet functionality requirements. This would lead to significant cost savings in government and also means investing in local technical support businesses.

"We want to investigate the set up of free municipal owner wireless networks. This would make it easier to work on the move and out of the office. We also support setting a standard for world class hi-speed internet and provide this for all communities in New Zealand wherever possible.

"We must not forget about those without access to a computer at home and we support public technology hubs as well as providing access at our schools and community centres. We also want Government to make its internet information and services accessible to those with disabilities.

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"Education is a key area of government service provision and as such our policy supports schools to make the transition to free and open source software. This would also allow schools to reuse computers from government departments and universities who undertake regular upgrades. It is a practical and intelligent solution which works.

"A primary school in my local area, Warrington School, has made this transition and it has enabled them to increasing the number of computers that they would otherwise have access to for less cost. And because they haven't spent large amounts of a scarce budget on the computers they don't feel pressure to use them all the time at the cost of better teaching and learning engagement."

Mrs Turei will be discussing the Green Party Policy and introducing Richard Stallman this evening at his lecture "Copyright vs Community".

Where: Castle 1 Lecture Theatre, Otago University, Dunedin When: 6.30pm A copy of the Greens IT policy is here



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