Better Rules Hack team at work at Basestation coworking space
Better Rules Hack team at work at Basestation coworking space

Venture Centre hosted Better Rules Hack over the weekend of the 28-29 July.

The ‘hack’ was a two-day learn-by-doing workshop-style event. It gave people a chance to turn government policy and legislation into reusable code that can be used in multiple apps to reduce the time, cost and complication involved in dealing with government today.

It was a Tauranga first and attracted a small but perfectly formed group of people from within and outside our local community. Lawyers, developers, programmers, UX/UI designers, policy people, local and central government employees came together to apply their various and complementary skills to improve the way society functions.

Better Rules Hack came to Tauranga thanks to the partnership created between central government's, all of government Service Innovation Lab, LegalHackersNZ and Venture Centre.

All three organisations share an open, community-led approach to improving New Zealand for its people. They make the opportunity to design digital tools and services to improve how government, councils, business and communities work available to everyone who wants to learn-by-doing and have an input. The event linked Wellington’s open government innovation experts with the Bay’s digital enablement project implementation team based in Tauranga.

Those who participated in the hands-on hackathon to build technology for a sector, industry or community using digital rules were part of creating machine-consumable code which could be reused and integrated across domains to benefit businesses, individuals and communities.

L7 Applied Computing Waikato University student George Stroud grabbed the opportunity.“I came to learn something new and see how I might apply my theoratical knowledge of code". George walked away with wanting to do more, access to a Dev Academy Human Skills workshop and the inspiration to look for challenges to solve using his skills. 

Participation was free and mind food was provided thanks to sponsorship from Catalyst IT.

Hackathon participants formed four teams and created working demonstrators making rules from more than one source (such as legislation from multiple agencies or trade agreements) digital. Here is what the teams produced to showcase their digital rules and explain how they made them consumable to everyone.

The Homeschool Coop worked on connecting parents to support for alternative schooling options such as home education should they choose to opt-out by choice or need to provide learning for a child with disabilities who may not want or be able to take part in the school system.

Git repo: https://github.com/jmhbnz/

Demo site:
Prize: Dev Academy Human Skills workshop

ii (Inclusive Infrastructure) @hippiehacker worked to build an #betterrules Docker and Kubernetes cloud infrastructure on @catalyst_cloud for the #betterruleshack teams to use for the weekend and way beyond.

Gitlab dockerfile that started it all : https://gitlab.ii.coop/iiiii/openfisca-aotearoa/commit/50937de34fe5c2c6a8cef3de5eb47e1bedfcf0d5
Prize: Catalyst Cloud $6K

LABS (Legal Advice for Business Start-ups) built upon the StartAbiz Wellington Hack team’s work using @IBMWatson #AI to provide business start ups with legal advice and tools.

Git Repo: https://github.com/jagrem/assistant-simple
Demo service:
Prize: Smart Speaker – thanks to LegalHackersNZ

RaDbyIRD worked on taking the research out of R&D funding in an effort to reduce the complexity and uncertaintey of what counts as R&D in order to obtain grants or tax breaks.


Thank you to LegalHackersNZ, Rob O'Brien and Pia Andrews for facilitating a fascinating, change-making, learning event.

Thank you to all who saw the opportunity and took up the challenge to make better Rules and Regulations by making them more easily accessible and useable by all.

Well done to those Tauranga folk who stepped up to learn, do and make change happen.

Stay tuned for the next Better Rules Hack by following @legalhackersnz on Twitter.


This product has been added to your cart