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Local open source exponents score awards

Wellington companies and individuals working with free and open source software were celebrated at the 2018 New Zealand Open Source Awards at Te Papa last night.

Both of the Open Source special awards went to Wellingtonians: Brenda Wallace (above), in appreciation for the breadth and depth of her community commitment and open source contributions; and Lillian Hetet-Owen for using Open Source to support freedom at the Hetet School of Māori Art in Lower Hutt.

Brenda Wallace was also part of the Whare Hauora team receiving the Open Source People’s Choice award along with fellow trustees Amber Craig and Hiria Te Rangi for their project that shows people when their home is making them sick.

Whare Hauora was formed early 2016 after Wallace’s five-year-old daughter, who was frequently missing school because of her asthma, led to Wallace buying $30 worth of parts to create her own sensors for her home, and being able to measure the comparative warmth of rooms, and address her child’s condition.

The Wellington Independent Arts Trust won the award for Open Source Use in the Arts for their long-running Urban Dream Brokerage project.

The New Zealand Open Source Awards were first held in 2007, then 2008 and have run biennially since then, celebrating the many ways that free and open source technology is changing the way people and organisations collaborate and innovate to achieve common goals.

Through sharing success stories, the awards aim to raise awareness about the competitive edge enabled by free and open source software. Using real life New Zealand examples resonates with the awards audience, and encourages them  to explore and expand their knowledge of free and open source solutions for their business or organisation.

For New Zealand, free and open source technology not only represents an opportunity to contribute and be recognised on the world stage, but also to deliver real competitive advantage.

Encouraging collaboration, openness, honesty and transparency allows for more effective tools and software to evolve, helping community-based organisations to meet the challenges they face.

The full list of 2018 New Zealand Open Source Award winners is here.