The President of InternetNZ, Pete Macaulay, and the Chairman of the Telecommunications Users Association of NZ (TUANZ) Chris O’Connell, have announced that the two groups have entered into a formal collaborative discovery process to explore opportunities for closer organisational alignment.
The joint press release statement says the telecommunications sector in New Zealand is undergoing fundamental structural change, against a backdrop of technology convergence that is leading to a connected world with a digital Internet protocol future.
The sector has for many years been served by a range of advocacy groups representing different constituencies and stakeholder groups. Internet NZ and TUANZ are two of the larger of these. Over the years the paths of Internet and telecommunications users have steadily converged and the lines are now blurred and overlapping.
Acting under a mandate from the ruling bodies of both organisations, representatives of the two groups have agreed that there is benefit to the organisations, to the industry at large, and to all New Zealanders to be gained from a closer alignment of InternetNZ and TUANZ, including possible amalgamation of some functions or organisational attributes. A discovery process is currently under way to this end.
Chris O’Connell has also confirmed that in an unrelated move, TUANZ is scaling back its events operations for 2009 in the light of the global economic downturn. Forecasts for sponsorship and attendance at major conferences in 2009 indicate a significant retrenchment by major corporates, and the large conferences that have become a feature of TUANZ’s work are expected to suffer.
They will be reinstated as economic conditions improve, but in the meantime TUANZ has reduced staff numbers in the events and administrative fields.