Creatives sought to boost GovHack

By Zaryd Wilson

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Fleur Wickes, Kevin Double and Melita Farley of Double Farley Creative Partners are gearing up for this weekend's GovHack. Photo/ Stuart Munro
Fleur Wickes, Kevin Double and Melita Farley of Double Farley Creative Partners are gearing up for this weekend's GovHack. Photo/ Stuart Munro

Whanganui's creative soul will blend with its tech savvy this weekend for this year's GovHack.

It will be the second time the city has been involved in GovHack - the 48-hour Australasia-wide competition for teams or individuals to come up with creative ways to use and present publicly available data.

Projects to come out of GovHack are often digital platforms such as websites and apps.
Kevin Double of Double Farley Creative Partners, which is hosting the event, said he expected about 25 participants.

Whanganui is one of nine New Zealand cities hosting an event.

"Preparations are going very well in fact," Mr Double said. "We've had some excitement and interest from Ucol."

GovHack begins on Friday at 7pm at Double Farley on Watt St and Mr Double said people could commit as much time as they wanted over the weekend.

But he said it would be a good idea to be present on Friday evening.

"That allows people to form a team and work out what they can and contribute and when they can contribute.

"But you can come in and out as you like over the weekend."

Food for the event has been sponsored by Whanganui & Partners and various workshops will also be hosted over the weekend.

"We really want this to sort of show off Whanganui artists and our creative side.

"There's already a good number of coders coming along so if your idea or invention needs coding, that's fine. But what we don't have necessarily is that creative edge to be able to take data and turn it [into something].

Mr Double was looking forward to what inventions and creations would come out of the weekend which could be anything from a website to music or a painting.

"A lot of people think it needs to be an app or a spreadsheet. There's actually no limit to the end product."

Whanganui teams had success on an international level last year with the River Hacktivists team named runners-up in the international disaster-mitigation category at the awards night in Sydney.

They developed a smart phone app which could match up those who could offer help with those that needed it during disaster recovery.

Another Wanganui team, Foodrate Wanganui was a national finalist for developing a website which allowed people to search a database of eateries to get council health rating and customer reviews.

For more information about GovHack in Whanganui people can call Double Farley on 06 281 3474 or register at govhack.org.nz/register-2016/

- Wanganui Chronicle

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