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Launch of world-first encyclopedia Te Ara

2 February 2005

One week to launch of world-first encyclopedia Te Ara

The new national encyclopedia Te Ara will be live online at www.TeAra.govt.nz next Tuesday 8 February 2005, as the Prime Minister officially launches this world first web-based resource.

"When Te Ara launches next week, you will see the first part of a spectacular resource, freely available and easily accessible to the people of this country and around the world," said Jock Phillips, General Editor of Te Ara.

"Te Ara is the world's first national encyclopedia developed specifically for the web and it is packed with images, text, video, sound recordings, immediate as only an online resource can be."

Te Ara is being produced by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage in nine themes progressively over the next seven years. The first theme to be launched is 'New Zealanders', covering the people who have made this country their home, from the first canoes from the Pacific to today's immigrants from around the globe.

The launch reflects the flavour of this first theme, and involves live video conferencing links with six schools spread across New Zealand, with each school representing a group of settlers.

"We'll start the journey on the East Coast with a welcome from Ngati Porou, then move on to Waitara and Te Atiawa, down south to Oxford in Canterbury for the English settlers, go further south to Southland Boys High and the Scots, over to Buller High School for the Irish, and finish up in Papakura with students performing the traditional Samoan 'ava ceremony.

"Working on Te Ara has involved the support of thousands of New Zealanders, telling their stories, writing contributions, allowing us to use their photos and treasures and we want to make sure that comes through in the launch." said Jock Phillips.

ENDS

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