New Zealand casts Open XML vote

30/08/2007

30 August 2007

Standards New Zealand today cast a ‘no’ vote on the proposal to adopt the Open XML draft Standard as an international Standard.

“After considerable discussion and input from key New Zealand stakeholders, a large number of whom opposed publication of the document as an international Standard in it’s current form, the Standards Council have concluded that the best vote for New Zealand is ‘no’,” said Grant Thomas, Chief Operating Officer, Standards New Zealand.

Under International Organization for Standardization / International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC) directives a ‘no’ vote allows New Zealand to submit technical comments and recommendations, which are required to be addressed.

“Voting ‘no’ with comments provides an opportunity for any technical issues to be resolved. It also facilitates consideration of merging the document with the existing ISO/IEC Standard. If the comments are resolved we will have an opportunity to change New Zealand’s vote to ‘yes’ at a ballot resolution meeting in February 2008,” said Mr Thomas.

“The Council has also made a recommendation the document be considered for publication as an ISO/IEC Type 2 Technical Report. This is an alternative path should the comments submitted with the ‘no’ vote be unable to be resolved. Publication as a Technical Report would elevate the status of the document, and bring it into the ISO/IEC family,” said Mr Thomas.

Standards New Zealand received a large number of written submissions, comments and suggestions on the proposed Standard. Workshops were also held to capture the views of stakeholders including government agencies.

“Stakeholders raised several philosophical concerns, and identified technical omissions, errors and inconsistencies within the draft Standard. We believe that voting ‘no’ with comments allows these issues to be addressed,” said Mr Thomas.

Standards New Zealand would like to thank everyone who contributed their views on the proposed document. “This is a hugely important issue for New Zealand. The constructive submissions and comments Standards New Zealand received have allowed us to make an informed vote on behalf of New Zealand,” said Mr Thomas.

For more information please contact: Annie Lattey, Communications Manager  DDI +64 4 498 3986, mobile +64 21 908 821, email annie.lattey@standards.co.nz.