Get your FOSS on: Wellington conferences, companies and organizations

This is the last post in a 3 part series looking at the tech/geek/open source communities in Wellington. Part 1 looked at regular geeky events and Part 2 looked at geeky people and projects in local libraries.

Wellington will host some excellent open source conferences in the next year. Also Wellington is home to some great companies and organizations who are active leaders in the community.

Upcoming conferences

WordCamp New Zealand (August 8-9, 2009) Tickets aren’t available yet, but I’m sure they’ll be snapped up quickly. WordCamp is being held at the Mt. Victoria (Lawn) Bowling Club, which is pretty awesome. 2010 (January 18-23, 2010) LCA is “fun, informal and seriously technical, bringing together Free and Open Source developers, users and community champions from around the world.” It’ll be a jam packed week with miniconfs on Monday and Tuesday, followed by the main conference of 5-6 streams including Seminars, Tutorials, Lightning Talks and Birds of a Feather. Wellington will be the second time that LCA has been outside of Australia (after Dunedin 2006).

Kohacon 2010 (April or October 2010) There’s been some murmurs of hosting a Kohacon in New Zealand to coincide with the 10th birthday of Koha Integrated Library System.


Catalyst is a company that specializes in open source software development. The staff are smart developers, passionate about open source software, and active in many communities. Chris Cormack, Brenda Wallace, and heaps of other rad folks work there. Many of the staff are involved in getting the Maker Space off the ground. They have been managing the New Zealand election systems, as well as the TAB betting systems for quite awhile.A   Staff can use the company’s equipment to work on their own projects, with the caveat that the project is licensed under GPL or Creative Commons license. An example of this is some of the videos that Creative Freedom Foundation recorded in their campaign against Section 92a (copyright reform bill).

New Zealand Open Source Society The current president Don Christie, is part of the Catalyst Management team. Recently they lobbied the New Zealand government against signing another all-of-government deal with Microsoft. The Government said that this type of agreement with Microsoft was no longer appropriate. I’m interested to watch the software and hardware choices New Zealand decides to make in the next while.

New Zealand Open Source Awards These have been happening for the past couple of years to the recognise and celebrate “the contributions of New Zealanders directly to open source projects or the promotion of open source generally”. Reading the past nominees and award winners gave me a really broad view of all the things happening in New Zealand.

I feel really lucky to have had a chance to live in Wellington. Not only does Wellington have the best coffee and cafes in the world, but there are vibrant, robust, and friendly open source communities.

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