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What’s your story?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE THURSDAY, 4 DECEMBER, 2003

What’s your story?

‘We want to give everyone in this country a place in the Encyclopedia from the very start …’

The Ministry for Culture and Heritage today launched a nationwide campaign asking New Zealanders to send in the story of their journey to New Zealand. The very best of these accounts will be published in Te Ara, the Online Encyclopedia of New Zealand which will begin digital publication in 2004.

General Editor, Jock Phillips said, “We want to give everyone in this country a place in the encyclopedia from the very start.”

“The first theme of Te Ara will be ‘The Peoples of New Zealand’. We are urging as many New Zealanders as possible to help us build this theme by telling us the story of their voyage to New Zealand. It doesn’t matter whether you are a first or fourth generation New Zealander - the journey you, or your family, made to get here is very important to us.”

“The selected stories will represent, and bring to life in words and pictures, the many thousands of journeys people made to begin a new life here. We all have the opportunity to be part of this landmark project so let’s hear your story.”

New Zealanders are asked to write a 500-word account of their journey. Focus must be on the actual voyage itself. “We’d also like people so send in pictures but they are not essential for the selection process,” Jock Phillips said. Stories should be sent in by 30 January, 2004.

In February, to coincide with the start of a new school year, the Ministry will launch a nationwide campaign asking Maori to tell the story of what their iwi means to them.

Full details can be found online at www.TeAra.govt.nz/your-story.html.


Te Ara, the Online Encyclopedia of New Zealand will be the comprehensive guide to the natural environment, history, culture, economics, institutions, peoples and social development of this country. An important feature will be its Maori content. There are currently few reliable and accessible reference sources on Maoritanga - the Maori history, culture, science and stories contained in the encyclopedia will be a significant contribution to our understanding of the development of New Zealand.

The encyclopedia will combine short essays with a variety of multimedia additions in an exciting, entertaining and instructive way. Links will provide pathways to the digital collections of libraries, archives and museums around the country, and it is hoped that the project will initiate a nationwide digitising process of information.

The encyclopedia will seek community contributions such as photographs, oral histories, and updates of information. It will be published online progressively over a nine-year period, and access to the website will be free of charge. A print publication will be produced at a later date.

- ENDS -

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