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Big change in Internet could see Maori names


First big change in Internet for 40 years could see Maori names in the future

ICANN the oversight organisation for the Internet, relaxed rules in Paris this week to permit the introduction of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of new Internet domain names to join ".com," making the first sweeping changes in the network's 25-year-old address system. The new additions will include non English characters.

Ross Himona pioneer Maori on the Internet and Kaumatua of NZMIS regarded this as step forward.

"It has been a long time coming we just hope that associated set up costs for Top Level Domain names will be affordable not only for Maori but for all Indigenous Peoples worldwide" said Himona

Karaitiana Taiuru Chairman of the New Zealand Maori Internet Society(NZMIS) welcomes the news.

Taiuru said " It is the first time in Internet history non English cultures can potentially be represented on the Internet with their mother tongue. It is also the first time that Maori do not have to solely rely on the relationship of the New Zealand Internet authority we have been concerned for a long time that InternetNZ had set policy that has had no place for the Maori language despite its official status in this country"

Taiuru continues " To have InternetNZ accept the creation of in 2002 took 5 years and was declined twice since 1997, rewriting the original policy to make it accessible to all Iwi took several more years"

Teanau Tuiono an executive officer of NZMIS believes that associated ICANN bureaucracies should fall in line with accepted domestic practices particularly when in the case of the Maori language it is enshrined in legislation.

Tuiono added " The introduction of the Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples at the international level could serve as a guidelines for ICANN and associated bodies on how they deal with the numerous issues facing Indigenous Peoples. At the World Summit of the Information Society of which ICANN where they were an active participant the summit emphasised the role of Indigenous Peoples with the inclusion of Article 15 as a part of that Summits Declaration"

WSIS DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES Article 15 reads 'In the evolution of the Information Society, particular attention must be given to the special situation of indigenous peoples, as well as to the preservation of their heritage and their cultural legacy'

The ICANN decision to permit new domain names will now mean that Maori can essentially create their own equivalent of .com and then establish a whole new maori naming hierarchy including a bilingual domain name system macrons and even tribal representations.


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