First I'd like to say a big thanks to our NZOSS Councillors for the past year:
- Grant Paton-Simpson (Auckland)
- Steve Ellis (Auckland)
- Rose Lu (Wellington)
- birgit bachler (wellington)
- Danny Adair (Kawakawa, Northland)
- Brent Wood (Wellington)
- Daniel Reurich (Wellington)
- Marek Kuziel (Christchurch)
- Peter Harrison (Auckland)
- Tim McNamara (Wellington)
- Nicolás Erdödy (Oamaru, North Otago)
- Jaco van der Mewe (Auckland)
- Matthew Holloway (Wellington)
Also, I'd like to thank Tim McNamara for joining me on the executive as Vice President, and many thanks to Peter Harrison for his work as Secretary and Daniel Reurich as Treasurer!
It's been an eventful year for the NZOSS, and a positive one, although we did not really succeed in one of our main intentions: building a new mechanism managing financial members, and promoting former member and new community participants to join as financial members! As a volunteer organisation, we did not quite achieve critical mass or complete accord on our direction (along with a bit of external friction from organisations like Paypal). We did, however, achieve quite a few other things over the past year.
On 16 January 2016, we had our first ever physical council meeting in Wellington, with nearly everyone present! Many thanks to Catalyst IT for providing us with a venue! Among other discussions, we managed to refine our purpose as an organisation.
Our Mission is ""
Code of Conduct
Although intended to be a living document (which may well undergo substantial changes), we have a provisional Code of Conduct.
NZOSS Web Services
We now routinely use our Etherpad-lite instance to record what transpires at our Council Meetings. Here for example:
Our NZ-focused Git repository is now approaching 60 projects hosted on it - you're welcome to add yours!
We now have a kanban planning system to assist with planning and tracking projects.
We encourage you all to try our chat system for realtime and asynchronous communication (with searchable archives).
Since April 2016, we've had a monthly physical "FOSS Meetup", usually with 5-15 people from a list of 200+ subscribers turning up each month (thanks to Catalyst Chch for providing a venue!) for presentations, demos, and general FOSS discussion. We keep meeting notes in Etherpad, for example - the others have "guessable" URLs.
The NZOSS was able, for the first time, to have a place at a large, national IT conference. The Institute of IT Professionals (soon to be rebranded IT Professionals) took the bull by the horns and organised (with our help and that of 10 other NZ-wide IT organisations) a pan-IT conference. The NZOSS had a full day stream, including some excellent speakers talking about inspired FOSS projects (filter by "NZOSS").
Tech Leaders Forum
An outgrowth of the ITx multi-organisational stream approach is the formation of a new pan-industry "Tech Leaders Forum" including the leaders of about a dozen national NZ-based organisations including TUANZ, InternetNZ, TechNZ, IITP, NZRise, PMI, NZOSS, and others. Through this group, the NZOSS can gain influence by getting other leaders to support our agenda and providing a unified message to government officials and others. Participating in this group will allow us to magnify our impact, particularly with regard to lobbying, although we may also learn useful procedural lessons from successes (and failures) experienced by the other organisations.
The size of the NZOSS Council, capped at 14 (after an amendment to the Constitution approved in 2010, raising it from 13), has meant that we have a potentially inclusive but highly unweildy herd of cats at our helm. Due to long time struggles to achieve necessary quorum (50+% of Councillors) at Council meetings we have decided to reign in the Council by limiting its number to 7 members, including the two Executive. The Society's Constitution allows for a "maximum" of 14, but allows the Council to review the number at their descretion so long as it does not exceed the maximum. This is in line with similar moves by our colleagues at Linux Australia.
The year to come will be full and challenging, and I think, with a clear mission, a bit of strategy, and a streamlined council, the NZOSS can achieve great things. I hope you will all pitch in to help us make it happen!
(for reference, here's last year's President's report)