Frank March has been around the running of New Zealand's internet for a long time. He was among the group that came together in 1994 to replace the consortium of universities and research institutes that were managing the fledgling network, with the aim of putting it on a more commercial and open basis.
So why has this career public servant, responsible for driving much of the Ministry of Economic Development's digital policy strategy, now taken the role of internet New Zealand president?
"It's mainly because the separation of roles between the business of business and policy development is now clearer, so the risk of conflict of interest is reduced.
"Internet NZ has matured over the years. It is now an organisation with a very competent professional staff, so the president is not a spokesperson on policy. The membership base is called on to assist with policy development.
"Internet NZ is a multimillion-dollar corporate institution with heavy responsibilities to represent the internet in New Zealand.
"My priorities are internal, getting the organisation functioning as well as it can."
That's a change in style from outgoing president Peter Macaulay, who is known for his robust advocacy of policy.
Internet NZ gets its income from managing the .nz top-level domain space. Its subsidiary, New Zealand Domain Name Registry Ltd, this year paid the parent a $2.1 million dividend out of the $6.3 million it made selling addresses.
There was a 5 per cent increase in earnings from fees, an indication of continuing growth in internet use despite the tough economic conditions.
The registry company also funds the domain name commissioner, who sorts out any disputes over who may have the right to a name.
March says the success of the internet in this country is in part due to the organisation's continued advocacy and efforts to make sure the internet is not captured by special interests.
The telecommunications environment has been a focus of activity in recent years, but March says that will change now broadband and high levels of fibre are accepted by all the main political parties as a necessary party of the country's infrastructure.
Copyright, filtering and patents remain live issues, with music publishers, application vendors and child pornography fighters all trying to impose checks on the network that would affect users outside their target groups.
"The principal issue is defending the end-to-end principle of the internet," March says.
Many of the issues are global, with debate moving round depending on where the legislative response is happening. "The issue of disconnection [for internet users accused of illegally downloading copyrighted material] has moved to the United Kingdom. I expect it to move round the world," he says.
"We're talking to Internal Affairs about filtering [for pornography] and setting up a working group to have a good look at what's proposed. It's a more difficult issue than we had thought in past."
Internet NZ's international focus will continue, as it has become a highly respected contributor to overall internet governance.
March took leave from the ministry in 2005 to serve on the secretariat of the Working Group for internet Governance.
He says New Zealand has a special responsibility for encouraging developing the internet in the Pacific, where the costs of servicing scattered populations can be prohibitive. "New Zealand's interest there had traditionally been in training people to use the internet, teaching ISPs and network managers to do their job properly."
The big task on the horizon is the transition to IPv6, the next generation internet Protocol.
The standard's been around for a decade and, while adoption has been slow, the clock is ticking - the available internet addresses under the IPv4 standard will run out by 2012.
Despite that, a survey conducted by internet NZ and presented to last month's IPv6 hui in Auckland found more than half of New Zealand's largest businesses still have no plans in place to IPv6-enable their websites and public internet services.
March says it's not a cause for panic, as there will be a long evolutionary phase in the transition to IPv6.
"One thing that came out of the hui is that the next generation of web-enabled mobile phone will be heavily dependent on IPv6. It may be the killer app for adoption of the technology.By Adam Gifford Email Adam