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In Support of Maori Language Week (Digital World)

PRESS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

In Support of Maori Language Week (in the Digital World)


22 July 2001


Maori Language Week is from July 22-29 this year and the recently launched New Zealand Internet Awards are proud to stand up and encourage the use of the Maori language on line.

Whilst at first the thought of the indigenous and original language of our Country, spoken by around 150,000 people (according to the 1996 census) and the global world of cyberspace where English dominates over even most non-English speaking country's local lingo seem an odd match, this should not be so. It is for this precise reason that we are encouraging the use of Maori offline and on. To quote the Maori Language Commission, "The Maori language is a taonga which gives our country it's distinct and unique cultural identity. For it to thrive as a language of everyday use we must encourage it's use in our homes and communities as much as possible." (www.tetaurawhiri.govt.nz)

Through their web site at www.netawards.org.nz the NZ Internet Awards, who are currently accepting nominations for New Zealand's first truly representative Internet awards, the non-profit organisation behind the event will promote the use of Maori language in the wider society and over the Internet.

The New Zealand Internet Awards do not feature a distinct Maori Language category but instead encourage individuals to submit Maori language and orientated sites for consideration as finalists in the many categories available. Currently the Awards are calling for suggestions for additional categories and if there is demand will certainly look at instituting category which specifically awards the use and promotion of the Maori language on line.

Director of the NZ Internet Awards, Thomas Scovell commented, "We believe that the use of Maori on line need not just be an abstract venture in support of our 'other' national language but is something can have promotional advantages for Internet connected companies selling overseas."

To again quote from the Maori Language Commission web site, "The richness and vibrancy of the Maori language has enormous potential to distinguish New Zealand in areas such as tourism, exporting, employment, education and broadcasting. An example of this distinctiveness can be seen in the sports arena where the haka performed by the All Blacks before each game has gained world-wide acclaim as a symbol of New Zealand."

Mr Scovell continued, "If realising the commercial potential of the Maori language is what it requires for sectors of New Zealand to use it more widely and to ensure the survival of it as a in-use language then we believe this is something that should be explored and promoted."

In a similar move, generated by the company's staff's involvement in the NZ Internet Awards, Thomas Scovell, in his role as VP of Marketing for BulletProof Software (whose flagship product has been experienced by 4 million people worldwide since its launch in 1997) said his company was, "showing their support for the Maori language by commissioning a Maori translation of our main product so that users of Bulletproof FTP could use the program in Maori just as they currently can in English, French, German and a number of other world languages. This is obviously not a revenue orientated venture, but we believe a symbolic way to show we are behind the promotion and relevance of the Maori language in the digital realm."

By actively promoting the use and benefits of using the Maori Language this week, the NZ Internet Awards and associated individuals and companies hope to ensure the survival of the language through this new millennium.

Please contact Thomas Scovell for enquiries related to this release.


Yours faithfully,

T.Scovell

Thomas Scovell
Director, 2001 New Zealand Internet Awards

Contact:

Thomas Scovell

E-mail: thomas@netawards.org.nz

Phone: +64-021-622-999

Web: www.netawards.org.nz/media.php

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