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Mäori Language Commission Tops In Government I.T.

Mäori Language Commission Tops In Government I.T.

Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Maori / The Maori Language Commission has won the prestigious 2004 Computerworld Award for Excellence in the Use of IT in Government, for the Mātāpuna Dictionary Database System.

The Commission’s new dictionary of Maori is being compiled using the Mātāpuna system. The printed dictionary will be monolingual – the entire book will be in Maori from cover to cover. The system will also support electronic publishing over the web.

Haami Piripi, the CEO of Te Taura Whiri said in his acceptance speech that this IT system could play a key role in saving the Maori language from extinction.

Dave Moskovitz, the architect and developer of the system said that the system stood out because it was easy to use, flexible, and was available to anyone who wanted to use it through an Open Source Licence. “This software has the potential to revolutionise making dictionaries, particularly for languages without huge resources. You don’t need to be an expert to use it, and it is very inexpensive to install and run,” Moskovitz said. “It can make a real difference for endangered languages worldwide, and particularly for Te Reo Maori. It’s another world-first for Kiwi ingenuity.”

The Mātāpuna team were especially pleased to be selected as the most outstanding project being undertaken by the New Zealand Government, and faced stiff competition from other government agencies, like finalists Inland Revenue and The Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences.

The Computerworld Excellence Awards celebrate innovation, vision, skill and knowledge in IT professionals, their teams and their management, and give them the recognition they deserve. The government category of this year’s awards was sponsored by Unisys.

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