In 2008, educational development work at Otago Polytechnic was at the fore of international efforts for Open Education.
- significant development work on the Wikieducator platform;
- use of popular and internationally recognised media and communication platforms;
- development of an Intellectual Property Policy in line with open educational practices;
- adoption of a NZ Creative Commons Attribution copyright license and;
- spokespeople who were part of the dialogue on educational media and communications nationally.
At the time, Otago Polytechnic featured several times in international news:
- twice on Creative Commons International;
- once on Creative Commons Australia,
- twice with the Commonwealth of Learning,
- numerous times in educational journals and quite a few weblogs.
The signing of the Capetown Declaration was an event that recognised this work, involving the Chief Executive Phil Kerr, symbolically confirming the commitment of Otago Polytechnic's senior management to Open Education; and being the first New Zealand organisation to sign the Declaration. This confirmed that Otago Polytechnic aimed to play a role in leading New Zealand towards progressive educational practices.