News | 8 September 2016

Council launch new Code for Aotearoa fellowship

Wellington City Council and Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) have announced four Open Data Fellowships through Code for Aotearoa – the first fellowship of its type in New Zealand.

Co-founder and Manager of Code for Australia, Alvaro Maz standing with Fellow, Vaishnavi Iyer
Co-founder and Manager of Code for Australia, Alvaro Maz with Fellow, Vaishnavi Iyer at the Council launch

Gabrielle Young, Peter Jacobson, Marcus Crane and Vaishnavi Iyer are the first civic-minded developers to be chosen for the 3-month pilot Fellowship. 

The Fellowship is a partnership between Wellington City Council and Land Information New Zealand (LINZ). Code for Aotearoa and Australia are getting behind the pilot programme to help strengthen the link between the growing civic tech community in Wellington and government. 

Deputy Mayor Justin Lester says: “These Fellowships will allow our smart community and finest tech talent to access our wealth of data and mine its potential. They’ll be working with us and the public to develop tech-based solutions to solve civic-problems that make a difference.”

The Fellowships will leverage a community of passionate and skilled contributors from the tech-sector and capitalise on the many opportunities digital transformation presents.  

When Wellington City Council was approached by LINZ to create a programme using open data to solve civic engagement issues they seized the opening.

The Chair of Council’s Economic Growth and Arts Committee, Councillor Jo Coughlan, says Wellington City Council is always looking for ways to meet our Wellington Digital Strategy and Action Plan.

“We’ve already partnered on the Digital Earth Summit, Smart City Sensing projects, Open Data and now the Digital Fellowship programme. 

“Council is committed to exploring opportunities that can make engagement with our communities easier, more transparent and helps to accelerate economic growth using open data. This is why Wellington is achieving global recognition as a creative digital city.”

Co-founder and Managing Director of Code for Australia, Alvaro Maz is in New Zealand this week helping to settle the Digital Fellows in. 

“Code for Aotearoa will open many opportunities on what we can achieve together that we can't do alone. This partnership with Wellington City Council and LINZ represents a new sensibility about how government can work, and a feeling that there is something productive citizens can do to fix civic problems and have meaningful contributions to society.

“We build for and with citizens using data-driven, user-centred methods; we create digital interfaces to government that are simple, beautiful, and easy to use.”