E nga mana, e nga reo, e nga iwi o te motu e huihui nei, tēnei aku mihi māhana ki a koutou. Kia ora tātou katoa.
Thank you so much for inviting me to come to GovHack. I am here because I appreciate your willingness to become involved – in a very practical way – in adding value to freely available information across the breadth of Government websites, in order to address issues of the moment.
I must confess that I was relieved to find out that GovHack does not mean illegal hacking! And I am sure I am not the only one who has had those misapprehensions.
So it’s nice to know that I can safely thank you for giving up your weekend to become ‘civic hackers’, and rising to the challenge of developing a workable concept in such a short period of time.
As 21st century citizens, we are all overwhelmed with information. It’s good to know that there are people like yourselves who can take on the challenge of using government information sources to connect the dots in such a way that you can achieve public good.
It seems to me that those are incredibly useful skills to deal with the fast-evolving, complex challenges that the 21st century is throwing at us.
Fortunately, we have greater opportunities than ever to find new solutions.
This quote has been attributed to various people, but it is worth repeating: “If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got”.
We can’t afford to do things the same way that we have always done them.
As they say, no-one has all the answers, so bringing together people who have different backgrounds, perspectives, and expertise increases your chances of coming up with fresh approaches.
I am keen to promote and encourage this kind of innovative thinking during my term as Governor-General.
I am sure that you will all agree that civic awareness and understanding empowers people and encourages us to feel that we have a stake in how our society evolves over time.
Congratulations to all the winners this weekend, and whether or not your ideas from this weekend are picked up and developed, I hope that you will be enthusiastic ambassadors for the spirit of GovHack, and apply what you have learned to help make New Zealand a better place for all of us.
Kia ora huihui tātou katoa