InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc) is pleased to announce it has tripled its level of financial support for NetHui 2011 and reduced event costs. The result is that the cost of attending NetHui 2011 is now only a registration fee of $30 plus GST, payable to the conference company organising the event.
"NetHui has always been about community discussions of important Internet issues. We received some comments from the community that the original registration fee was acting as a barrier to attend. They were not comfortable taking up our offer of waiving or reducing the registration fee on a case by case basis. So we’ve cut costs and dug into our budget to remove that barrier for everyone while still producing a high quality event." says InternetNZ Chief Executive Vikram Kumar.

NetHui 2011 brings together everyone involved with Internet issues in New Zealand. It is being held over three days in Auckland at SkyCity, from 29th June to 1st July 2011. The first two days involve roundtable discussion streams covering Access & Diversity, Digital Citizenship, Governance & Legal, Government & Openness, Innovation & Emerging Issues, and Education. The final day brings everyone together for focused panel discussions.

Further information and registration is available at .

"NetHui 2011 is a one-of-a-kind conference for New Zealand, with discussion of the full range of Internet issues, backed by an extraordinary range of community and business organisations, and assisted by an experienced and representative Advisory Board," says Kumar.

The registration fee was originally set at $800 for all three days or $400 for those attending the third day only (earlybird prices, exclusive of GST). Anticipating that the change to the registration fee may increase the number of people attending the event, InternetNZ advises that there will be a maximum limit for attendees based on physical capacity of the venue.

“Registration is on a first come, first served basis. We hope interested people will register quickly now that the cost barrier has been substantially removed, and so that they are not disappointed,” says Kumar.

To keep costs down, conference lunches will now be subsidised rather than included in the registration fee. Lunch time provides valuable opportunities to meet up with people and continue conversations, and so has been subsidised down to a charge of $15 plus GST per lunch. This is a recommended option during online registration.

Significant sponsorship discussions are underway for NetHui with initial announcements due shortly. Further sponsorship is being sought to meet budgets, develop the event further, share the cost of international keynotes, and enable high quality video streaming and online participation.

Also to be announced shortly are two international keynote speakers. These keynote speakers will introduce an international perspective to the New Zealand focus of the event.

A draft programme has been published and online discussion is encouraged to assist in refining it. InternetNZ has delegated stream leadership to six Stream Leaders who are working with the wider community and sectors to finalise the programme. Stream Leaders will also receive advice from the Advisory Board on the programme.

"NetHui is a community and sector-led event. The issues that will be discussed are those that participants think are important. After all, as the theme of the event says, it is about ‘Shaping our Future Together’" says Kumar.