Bilingual Web for Maori
Māori will soon have a bilingual Internet system and guaranteed protection of Iwi and God Names with the introduction of the new web address .kiwi being introduced possibly next year.
.kiwi http://www.dot-kiwi.com/ will be an alternative to the current options of domain names such as .nz or .org . .kiwi will be introduced along with a number of other new domain names that will change the way the web for many of us is used.
.kiwi will offer all of the current names in the .nz space such as .co.nz, .net.nz, .org.nz,.school.nz etc as a bilingual set of names such as .mahi.kiwi, .ropu.kiwi etc. Of course as with .nz names, macrons will be available without any hassles.
With sensitive names such as god names and tribal names we will not face the same issues we did when .maori.nz was launched as described below as these names will be reserved so that they can not be registered.
I have included a brief history of why this is significant and urge anyone one who is passionate about Māori rights to show their support to .kiwi by showing it on their site at http://www.dot-kiwi.com/. It doesn’t cost anything nor will it commit you to anything.
The sticking point for me is that Dot Kiwi Ltd in a matter of weeks graciously agreed to support Māori, an achievement that we have not been able to do in the past 13 years within New Zealand.
In the open letter from the Maori Internet Society to Dot Kiwi Ltd, I made the comment that Dot Kiwi Ltd are the first domain in the world that considers the Indigenous Peoples of any country. I sincerely hope that other domain name organisations take note that it is a simple process to protect Indigenous Peoples rights.
Māori Internet History facts
- New Zealand has .iwi.nz which was created without any consultation of Māori or Iwi. It’s policy was so rigid and myopic that it excluded 99% of traditional Iwi. A token gesture of Māori support that only disenfranchised Māori online more at a time when we had a digital divide that was over represented by Māori. I have moderated this domain since 2001.
- Again, despite individual efforts for the Domain Name System (DNS) to reflect Māori society, namely the submission by Ross Himona for .kohanga.nz, Māori were still ignored up to 2001 when the New Zealand Maori Internet Society successfully applied for and won the submission process for the creation of .maori.nz . Though still restrictive it was a major milestone for Māori and the Web.
- Within minutes of .maori.nz being made public, Iwi names and other significant names were registered by a dubious company who immediately listed them all for sale at inflated prices, some of at more than 1000% their original price. Since then, on-going monitoring of sensitive names has been voluntarily made and complaints made when applicable.
- In 2005 the New Zealand Māori Internet Society formally asked for the .nz Domain Name system to be offered bilingual and in consideration of New Zealand’s laws including the Treaty of Waitangi and the Māori Language Act. The response was a simple “it is not part of our policy”.
- In 2006 I asked for the ability to include macrons in .nz domain names. A feature that was already possible for many non-speaking English languages around the world. In 2009 the ability to include macrons in addresses was made possible as was the default option that the domain .maori.nz would work with both a macron and without on the a.