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Kiwis Triumph in Online Oscars

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Kiwis Triumph in Online Oscars

Wellington, 10 May 2006 - New Zealand web design company Shift has triumphed again at the 10th Annual Webby Awards, the Internet equivalent of Hollywood’s Oscars. They take home the Webby for Best Tourism Website for their work on Tourism New Zealand’s www.newzealand.com/travel. Shift also won the award last year, and it’s the third time they have been nominated. www.newzealand.com bested nominations from Montreal, Italy and Australia to take the prize.

Catherine Bates, Tourism New Zealand’s Consumer Marketing Manager, is elated by the news. Shift and Tourism New Zealand have worked in close partnership for over 7 years, evolving the site’s design and introducing hi-tech new features, including the recently released Travel Planner.

“It’s a huge win for New Zealand,” said Selwyn Feary, Wellington-based Director of Shift. “We’re up against the biggest & best design firms in the world. For a company from New Zealand to take home a Webby is a great achievement. To win the award twice in a row is a testament to the durability and lasting quality of Tourism New Zealand’s site. It’s our Two Towers. We’re working hard towards a Return of the King.”

The Webby Awards have been dubbed the “Online Oscars” by the New York Times and Time magazine. The award ceremony will be held on June 12th in New York City, at a ceremony attended by 600 winners, industry leaders and celebrities. It is presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, whose members include David Bowie, The Simpson’s Matt Groening and Virgin CEO Richard Branson. The keynote speaker at last year’s ceremony was former US Vice President Al Gore.

Shift Wellington’s Creative Director Brian Smith attended the awards in 2005, and was impressed by the high quality of the other winners. “It was a fantastic night and great exposure for our firm. Since last year’s win, we’ve been invited to pitch for work all over the world.”

Auckland Director Che Tamahori is also excited about the win: “The Webbys are fantastic because they are about more than just good design. They’re also about the practical qualities of the site. A Webby means that www.newzealand.com doesn’t just look great: it’s a site that people find helpful and useful. That’s really important to us, and something we spend a lot of time and effort working on.”

www.newzealand.com/travel is Tourism New Zealand’s flagship website, an online portal aimed at overseas tourists and travellers, allowing them to explore the different regions of New Zealand and to plan their holiday. It includes features on areas of interest to overseas tourists, including the Chronicles of Narnia, River Queen, the Chelsea Garden Show and the Lions Tour.

Another Shift site, the Ministry of Culture and Heritage’s Te Ara, the Encyclopaedia of New Zealand (www.teara.govt.nz), was recognised as an Official Honouree at the Webby Awards, an award reserved for the top 20% of entered websites.

For additional information on Shift’s Webby Award win, contact Shift General Manager, Diane Horton or visit www.shift.co.nz or www.webbyawards.com.

ABOUT SHIFT – Shift is a New Zealand web-design company with studios in Auckland and Wellington. They have created websites for Tourism New Zealand, Victoria University, Inland Revenue, Bell Gully, Sky City, the Ministry of Culture and Heritage and others. They specialise in creating beautifully designed, usable and useful websites for small boutique clients through to large corporate enterprises.

Shift is part of Positively Wellington Business' (Wellington's regional business development organisation) ITC cluster programme, for Wellington-based ITC companies. "We've been working with Shift for a long time now, helping create opportunities locally and overseas," says Positively Wellington Business acting Chief Executive Chris Lipscombe. "It's great that such a world-class company has been recognised two years in a row, I'm sure they're the envy of their global peers."


ENDS

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