Site that helps with OIA requests among 2014 NZ Open Source Awards winners

New Zealand's Open Source community gathered at Te Papa in Wellington to recognize and celebrate open source projects and contributors from across the country and in a diverse array of categories.

Winners on the night included the Department of Internal Affairs for its Common Web Platform, a platform for government web content management systems built on SilverStripe, the open source CMS developed here in Wellington. The other finalists in this category, Open Source in Government, were DigitalNZ, the Totara Government User Group and Auckland Council Libraries.

Diamond Age and Mindkits, two open hardware businesses, won the Open Source in Business award for their collaboration on DiamondMind, the world-leading 3D printer; an easy-to-assemble device with great print quality at an affordable price.  DiamondMind has been invited by the government to participate at Fab10 (International Makers conference) in Barcelona as part of the NZ delegation. Other finalists in this category were Piwik and Scoop Independent News.

Catalyst, the Wellington based, global free and open source software company won the Open Source in Education award for the Catalyst Academy, an annual summer school that provides senior secondary school students the opportunity to learn and practice open source development. In its fifth year, the Catalyst Open Source Academy has over 100 alumni from across the country. Other finalists were Dunedin Makerspace and WEKA Data Mining.

The Open Source Software Project award was won by, an open source tool for submitting and sharing requests under the Official Information Act. The site has already processed 1500 requests, and now serves over 5000 unique visitors a month, contributing to transparency and accountability of our government. Other finalists in this category were Koha and Loomio.

Andrew Bartlett won the Open Source Contributor award for his leadership of the Samba4 team. Samba4 brings interoperability to Microsoft's Active Directory stack, allowing innovation to thrive despite closed systems. A project member for over ten years, Andrew has been working on the domain controller software since 2005. The other finalists were Kristina Hoeppner and Randall Britten.

The Open Source in Social Services award was won by the the University of Canterbury for their CEISMIC Canterbury Earthquake digital archive, a cultural heritage project established for the long-term preservation of the images, stories and media relating to the Canterbury earthquakes. Other finalists were City Housing Computer Hubs and WikiProject New Zealand.

The Auckland Bioengineering Institute won the Open Science award for contributing core technologies to the suite of software that enables the Physiome Project, an ambitious project to explain how each and every component in the body, from the scale of molecules up to organ systems and beyond, works as part of the integrated whole. Other finalists were the WEKA Data Mining project and the Global Marine Environmental Datasets.

Birgit Bachler won the Open Arts award for her exhibition 'Copy Wildly', organised for the 2014 Wellington Fringe Festival. Birgit showcased several works from her artistic practice which is based on using Open Source software and Open Hardware platforms. Other finalists were Douglas Bagnall and 19 Tory Street.

The final award, the People's Choice, was won by Rob Elshire for his Genotyping By Sequencing contributions. The other nominees in this category were:

•    Andrew Caudwell for contribution to data visualisation

•    Chris Forbes for contributions to the Mesa 3D OpenGL Driver Project

•    Damian Mooyman for contribution to the SilverStripe CMS and Web development framework

•    Dragonfly Science for their commitment to open data

• for NZ Official Information Act Requests

•    Loomio for open source application for Collaborative Decision-Making

The judges were Don Christie (Chair), Dr Fabiana Kubke, Dr Brenda Chawner, Amber Craig, Dave Lane, Francois Marier, Brenda Wallace and David Nind.

“The depth and breadth of achievement by the New Zealand open source community, both locally and internationally, is nothing short of impressive. We are fortunate to have so many people here using open source technology and philosophy to deliver amazing technical, social and creative projects," the judging panel said.