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Ungathered Thoughts

GovHack 2015 NZ Awards!

Sooooo we went to the GovHackNZ awards, and came home with some awards. It was fun! Bit of a delayed update here, on account of a hangover and flights home yesterday.

GovHackNZ flew us (Vincent Rijlaarsdam, Beau Murrah and I) to Wellington for the NZ awards ceremony at Te Papa this last weekend.

We arrived and met some of the other teams & organisers - as mentioned previously we were the only team at the Dunedin event so we'd not met any other teams as part of the weekend.

Several of the projects that I liked most (School Stories, Project Lighthouse and GrocerFree) had been shortlisted, and this was especially good because I got to catch up with Robin from GrocerFree there and heard that Hyun-Jin and he were now seven weeks from the due date of their child. That moment was probably the absolute high point, and it was funny that Robin and I had been talking about many other things by email / IRC this year without touching on it.

Anyway, as you may see from the image above, our weekend's work earned second place for Best National Team and a National Spirit of GovHack award, as well as (without competition!) the Local Spirit of GovHack award for Dunedin.

We had a great night, enjoyed meeting the other participants, and felt really boosted by taking away lots of people commenting positively on the concept of the project. In particular Cherie gave some really kind comment when awarding the Spirit of GovHack award, observing - I'm going from memory here -

A lot of projects focussed on "home and heart", as it's clearly a high priority to ensure the best possible place to live, schools to send your children to and so forth.
This project is one that makes it possible for the average person to go further than those decisions - it enables people to not only understand the legislative process but have an opinion and a say in how the greater decisions are being made and how the country is run.
It is truly important that everyone has that opportunity, which makes this project a shining example of what the spirit of GovHack really is.

That was ... wow, exciting to hear. I had an awesome time, we were very happy to come away with some awards, and are excited about continuing this year's project & helping make GovHack something bigger next year.

And this evening I've got an email from the Parliamentary Counsel Office (who run asking about what we're doing next, so tomorrow I'll have to gather some thoughts for that conversation!