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Mobile phones become NZ history fact finders

25 October 2006

Mobile phones become New Zealand history fact finders

Kiwis with an interest in their country’s history and culture can now order their own ‘today in history’ service directly into their mobile phones. By saving the messages they’ll be able to build a library of the events that built a fledgling colony into today’s modern New Zealand.

On‐line SMS innovator, Sonic Mobile has teamed with the Ministry for Culture and Heritage to offer a variety of services on New Zealand history, facts and events from the Ministry’s huge database. The services deliver the historical information daily, on the event’s anniversary. Other services include facts on New Zealand plus localised events.

In the form of an SMS text, each daily message on an historical event or interesting fact about New Zealand is based on the Ministry’s databases that power its New Zealand history site: nzhistory.net.nz and on‐line encyclopedia: teara.govt.nz. Sonic Mobile Manager, Stuart Wilson, says he’s been staggered at the richness of content the Ministry has available. “This sort of stuff used to be tucked away in document libraries and books that were impossible to open without a supporting table. Now we can send it out in daily diets to anyone who has the interest to find out more about how their country grew and the fascinating things that happened along the way.”

The Ministry says it’s excited about gaining a wider audience for its information. “At the Ministry, we live and breathe this information and we’re delighted that Sonic Mobile came to us with the technology to spread it far and wide. It deserves to be learnt and remembered – it’s our collective history, what made us the people and nation we are today,” says Jock Phillips, the Ministry’s General

Editor for TeAra – The Encyclopedia of NZ. Sonic Mobile’s service include 3 streams: today in history, New Zealand facts and New Zealand events.

New Zealanders can subscribe regardless of whether they use a Telecom or a Vodafone mobile. Each service costs $1 per message + GST and intending subscribers may sign up by texting Fact or History to 4400.

ENDS

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