[Linux-aus] New Zealand says hello

Pia Waugh greebo at pipka.org
Sun Dec 4 06:02:03 UTC 2005

hi Craig,

<quote who="Craig Box">

> By way of introduction, I'm the secretary of the Waikato LUG in NZ 
> (www.wlug.org.nz - I suspect anyone who regularly googles Linux related 
> topics are familiar with our work!), and along with Matt Brown and John 
> McPherson, one of the three proponents of the discussion regarding 
> forming a "Linux NZ" group earlier this year.

Cool, hi :) 

> Until now there have only been people from .nz (mostly our opinion 
> voiced through Matt) thinking that it might be a good idea if you could 
> help us, rather than having us form our own group.

And some of us have been chatting to Matt quite a bit. It makes sense what
you're saying about NZOSS doing advocacy stuff and LA helping with LUG
stuff, however it still seems to make more sense to expand the role of NZOSS
to incorporate the LUGs. I always say the community here is the lifeblood of
LA, not just a "we should support them" but vital to LA being relevant and
useful to its community. Perhaps if NZOSS engaged actively and directly with
the NZ FOSS community (and LUGs are often the biggest examples of this
community) it could generate the enthusiasm needed for good advocacy stuff.
We definitely want to work with the NZ bodies, after all, we have similar
law, and we've already starting getting the two communities a lot closer due
to LCA and the hard work of Mike to get it there.

> By the way, we only consent to even considering it if you apologise 
> unreservedly for Brett Lee.

I would love to apologise as I find it terrible when such relations are
broken down by a few people. However I think from here on in we should all
accept that there are always a few loud people who could ruin big plans if
taken as representative of our countries. I'm not about to apologise for
every idiot in Australia, as I would hope you wouldn't want to do for NZ.
Imagine if people in the GNOME or KDE project wanted an official apology
because someone in France offended someone in Germany? We are a global
community, and the local conglomerations we create (such as LA or NZOSS) are
an effort to deal with local issues. As you can imagine, my biggest
challenge politically with LA has been chatting to people in Government who
say "ah but I saw that new article by so and so, it that really what your
community is like", or even worse "I got a hate mail that was cc'd to my
minister, do you know how much that damages the message of your community?".
Anyway, my point is that to drown out the unconcstructive or destructive
voices, we have to engage in good constructive dialogue. Brett is not
represetative of LA, he is not on the ctte and there will no doubt be a
select few that may insult like him. I would hope we could create a strong
bond which is not impacted by those few. So lets chat more and share beers
at LCA and figure out where to go from there :)

As a broader message, as VP of LA, I would hope that everyone on this list
would be as constructive and positive in their discussions as possible.
Negativity and pettiness will never be taken on board, regardless of any
message therein.

> I appreciate your point of view here, but to counter, I am going this 
> year because it is in New Zealand, where I have never attended before. 
> With the relative sizes of the countries I can't guarantee that this is 
> going to balance out - but when it comes to international speakers, you 
> also have the possibility that you will get people that say "I've been 
> to Australia, but seeing as it's NZ and that's different, I'll go".

And that happened. Several speakers such as Maddog were very keen to come as
they haven't been to NZ :)
> There has been discussion about offering a hosting bid in Hamilton, NZ in
> the future, and I'd like to think that we wouldn't be turned down as being
> outside Australia. 

Dunedin was the most organised when it bidded, and through the active
presence of Mike at the previous couple of LCAs, many people were
comfortable with the idea. Most Aussies I think are pretty cool and even
enthusiastic about it. I can't see every 2nd year happening in NZ, it
wouldn't be fair to the Australian constituency, however I think if it ran
in NZ every so often it would be good for the conference, good for the two
countries relations, and good to keep people enthusiastic about bidding.

I think there is a lot of value in cooperation. In fact I'm hoping we can
start a dialogue and cooperation with th entire region, probably through the
IOSN (www.iosn.net) as it already has good relations with much of Asia and
the South Pacific.


Linux Australia                                         http://linux.org.au/
                      "What are we doing today brain?"
              "We're taking over the world like we always do."
                           - Pinky and the Brain

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