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Maori have internet representative/support body

Maori have a representative/support body on the Internet

With the growing frustrations amongst Maori online developers at the seemed disappearance of the sole Maori internet representative, this has lead to serious questions being raised about whether or not Maori still have a functioning representation in this arena.

The creation of a new Maori Internet group “Aotearoa Maori Internet Organisation” by several of the former executives from the mostly defunct NZ Maori Internet Society including Past Chairs Karaitiana Taiuru and Bernadette Murray, and past Vice Chair Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara with the support of the former NZMIS kaumätua Ross Himona, promises to be an active group for Maori and an authoritative spokes group.

A much needed group such as this, for Maori has been in demand for a number of months since the demise of the NZMIS and resistance by NZMIS executive to hand its authority over, said AMIO Chairperson Karaitiana Taiuru.

The new Aotearoa Maori Internet Organisation (AMIO) recognise the urgent need for Maori to begin defining what the Internet is to Maori, how are and will Maori be affected, and Maori culture and identity impacted by this. Also it is pertinent to be able to foresee and predict its long term impact on Maori society and identity.

The Aotearoa Maori Internet Organisation (AMIO) believe that the migration and increased participation of Maori onto the internet and world wide web need not be limited to being mere participants only in the current structure and facilities available.

Rather, we believe that the internet and World Wide Web can be fashioned and shaped to better encapsulate our culture and discourses.

The Aotearoa Maori Internet Organisation (AMIO) recognises that Maori have a long history of resistance to the commodification of their culture and knowledge.

We also recognise that current intellectual property laws are completely inadequate at protecting Maori culture from commercial exploitation said Karaitiana Taiuru.

The Aotearoa Maori Internet Organisation (AMIO) believes that modes of communication and dissemination of information are inadequate to encompass and promote future dynamic growth of Maori culture, values and discourse, online.

Already in the past several weeks of establishing itself AMIO has:

1. made the only submission on behalf of Maori re the 2ld survey to protect and

2. sent a representative to a community conference to speak about Maori IP rights and at least one delegate to the “World Summit on the Information Society “Global Forum of Indigenous People and the Information Society” in Geneva this December

3. Sent a delegate to the Communities Online conference in Wellington to discuss “Lessons learnt on the Internet for Maori organisations and IP rights.

4. Provided several free self help books from its web site including how Iwi can protect themselves in cyber space

5. Approached for a second time a cyber squatter who has taken many Iwi and other sensitive Maori names

6. Established a web portal for its member at which has up to date statistics on and .

Objectives of the Aotearoa Maori Internet Organisation include:

1/ to promote and define a strong Maori presence and entity on the internet.

According to early anthropologists, Maori would disappear by the turning of the 19th century. Yet this culture of people are still alive and well, and struggling to survive and maintain identity in a heavily colonised and commercialised world.

With the push by western block countries for a singular consumer culture, the internet currently presents a new and more devastating tool of neo-colonisation and assimilation into the larger dominant western paradigms and super-culture.

Currently the only definably Maori aspects of the internet are a small assortment of websites, a few pieces of application software and the <> second level domain name. Along with an ever growing number of commercial products that have commodified Maori culture and expression.

2. The Aotearoa Maori Internet Organisation (AMIO) will participate and seek relationships with many national and International IT bodies and actively participate in:

(a) Government submission processes on legislation

(b) Represent Maori on government consultation processes

(c) International discussions and forums that can/do impact Maori.

(d) National submissions, surveys that concern the .nz Internet space

The Aotearoa Maori Internet Organisation (AMIO) will work directly with Maori Internet community including individuals, Iwi and Hapü and will support any non Maori organisation that wishes to advance Maori in Information Technology.

3/ to promote internet service creators vs/over services users and participants.

We recognise that the majority of Maori are participators only in the internet.

In order for the internet and World Wide Web to become more supportive of Maori culture and identity, then there is a dire need for Maori internet developers who can become authors and creators of web functions and web structures more conducive to our modus operandi.

This means moving on from just web design and email list management to web programming, application development, communications enhancements to better suit Maori styles and values of communications.

Also advanced online community building systems that promote Maori culture and discourses.

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