Dot Maori Internet suffix

Archived from August 12 2012

.maori is a possible Internet address suffix that is being discussed by groups of Māori and non Māori. This is a summary of findings from thefeasibility reportI wrote.

.maori will not provide any benefit to Māori and will likely be more detrimental to the increasing Māori presence on the Internet.

The introduction of the new strings will see the internet flooded with new strings. In the first round there could possibly be another 1,930 strings to consider using when registering a domain name.

There are also a number of other issues that need to be considered.

For .maori to be of any use to Māori, at least one extra application .māori (note the macron) would also need to be applied for. This would achieve three things.

  1. Duplicate the fact that is also available as .mā
  2. Would satisfy the orthographic conventions as set out by theMāori Language Commissionand is almost the standard way of writing in Māori.
  3. It is common to see both versions of the word with and with out the macron.

As macron technology is still relevantly new and for many years Māori used the German umlaut (two dots) a third application for .mäori may be necessary to counter cyber-squatting issues and security.

For people who still use outdated macron technology, their computers place a third dot in the umlaut making it impossible to see the umlaut. Hence, in the very least, a study into the word mäori would be required to ensure that it is not a common word in another language that is likely to be registered as a new string.


Who has the right to .maori

.maori, if applied for would likely be disputed by the community on many grounds including who owns the right to .maori ? Is it Iwi, The Māori Council, Waitangi Tribunal or the individual or a myriad of other people and organisations. Or is .maori simply a term and a string that cannot be owned by any one person or organisation; Māori or non Māori. Some Internet governance experts believe that the New Zealand government have the right to the domain.

Once ownership of the string .maori was settled, there would be new issues of who should profit from the string? Is it all Māori or the commercial entity who is profiteering off every person in the world who calls themselves Māori?

We have already seen one cultural string.scotfor Scottish People enduring ownership disputes with the Scottish government recently giving permission to one organisation to apply for the string.

.maori is very restrictive in what it represents, while Aotearoa is a more general word that reflects a bi-cultural country and a name that most New Zealanders are familiar with and associate with.

Using the name would also open up a larger market of potential customers. The issue is that Aotearoa is an alternative name for New Zealand. Such a name is likely to not be allowed without the permission of the New Zealand Government. Again, this would raise issues around the right of ownership of a Māori word.

The alternative would be to look at using the abbreviated version.aoand negotiate with Angola for such rights .


Māori space on the Web

Māori have created small amounts of representative space on the Web in the past decade. There are options to expand this area without the need to create any further space that could turn into expensive digital ghetto.
a) .nz
There are three Māori specific domain names in the .nz, and .mā which is simply an alternative method of accessing is moderated so that only Iwi can use it, hence the uptake is small with only 79 registrations at the end of June 2012. and .mā are open so that anyone in the world can register the domain name for whatever reason they want. Despite the openness of, there are still only 956 registrations while has 425,194 at the end of June 2012.

The uptake for is small and a good indication that .maori would see a similar fate . This despite the fact that has been available for over a decade and the fact that some of the many Māori web sites including the largest and popular Māori sites on the web utilise .com and org. Examples include:

The Maori Party
The main Maori site on the Net
Popular Maori News site equivalent has been cyber squatted)
Maori Television equivalent is redirected to .com)

And even some Iwi still choose not to use.iwi.nzsuch as:
Te Rarawa
Ngati Te


Alternative options


Before contemplating spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a new string .maori ,there is the option to expand the .nz space by applying for the creation of new domains in .nz for the cost of NZ$1000.00 per application . The application process is easy and fair. This is how was created by the author of this paper.


.kiwi is a new domain name that has been applied for as part of the first round of new domain strings . .kiwi will be the first domain name in the world that has consulted with Indigenous Peoples and has offered a Māori bilingual domain name system of alternative names as seen in .nz as well as the protection of tapu (sacred) names that cannot be registered. This means that Māori will essentially have their own domain name in the .kiwi space without the issues mentioned in this paper of the application process.

Getting creative with current domain names for Māori

Other options include looking at other countries domain names and seeking a co-operative relationship, or if the domain name is open to any registrations, then simply registering in that domain.

The initial registration could be used to create sub domains to reflect Māori society such as iwi, marae etc. that would create a whole new Māori Domain Name System. Alternatively these names could be used as a URL shortener service that produces Māori Language specific domain names.

The list below is a list of the obvious domain names that are Māori language and society ready and applicable .
.ai , .ae , .ae , .ai , .am , .ao , .au , .co , .fm , .ie , .io , .ke , .ki , .ma , .me , .mo , .mu , .na , .ng , .ne , .pa , .re , .ro , .ru , .ru , .to , .tv, .mobi, .tv and .biz .


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