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Application .maori

Te Whänau Ipurangi/New Zealand Mäori Internet Society


New Zealand is a bicultural country with two official languages that may be spoken anywhere. As with any bicultural country, allowances should be made to accommodate both cultures.

Presently the New Zealand Internet domain name system has not addressed the bicultural needs of New Zealand nor it's growing Mäori Internet users. 46% of New Zealand Mäori have Internet access and 65% of New Zealand Europeans have Internet access 1 .

A small effort was made in the past with the creation of but this only caters to 30-40 groups in New Zealand, many of which are either not on the web or are not structured enough to apply for <> (further discussion in Principle 2).

Qualifying Criteria

Main Principles for Registration of Second Level Domain Names

InternetNZ, which administers the New Zealand Internet domain name system, has defined the criteria for second level domain names. The criteria as follows:

  1. There is a clear common interest shared by the entities that would reside within the domain i.e. there exists a community of interest.

  2. Communities of interest do not overlap, so far as is practicable.

  3. The domain name clearly indicates or describes the nature of the community of interest.

  4. The community of interest is certain of continued existence.

These requirements are addressed in the following sections.

Principle One: Community of Interest

Te Whänau Ipurangi/New Zealand Mäori Internet Society is a large Incorporated Society of over 1200 members. Due to our diverse membership we are the only authoritive spokes-group for Mäori. We are a spokes group for organisations such as Te Puni Kôkiri (Ministry of Mâori Development) regarding the digital divide and are group members of other organisations such as the "Electronic Action Team Network (EATN)".

Most of the 1200 members are supporters of <>.

We are applying for <> on behalf of all Mäori.

  1. AC Nielson Netwatch 2000

Principle Two: No Overlapping of Communities of Interest.


It could be said that <> and <> are overlapping names. However whilst it is true that <> could be subsumed by <>, the reverse is not the case, for <> is the much wider descriptor.


The domain name <> represents a traditional social and political organisation, which today is evolving into an economic organisation as well. At the moment it would apply to between 30 and 40 recognised tribal groups, not all of which have become formally incorporated in the non-Mäori sense, and therefore eligible to register an <> domain name. There are presently about eighteen <> domain names registered, and we expect more to be registered in due course.

With such low registrations it might be thought that it ought to be cancelled as a domain name.

However it does represent a special form of Mäori organisation, some of which are also developing into major entities within the Aotearoa New Zealand economy. The modern form of these entities is developing out of organisations that have existed for as long as the history of the Mäori people in Aotearoa New Zealand, and no other descriptor other than <> can adequately describe them. To try to describe them by later imported names such as <> or <> would be to deny their special meaning, and their historical significance.

It might also be thought that eligibility for the domain name <> could be widened to describe a greater range of Mäori organisations.

The descriptor "iwi", as it describes both a traditional and a modern organisation, has a clearly defined meaning in Mäori society. This is quite restrictive and is the meaning chosen by TWI / NZMIS, To widen eligibility would be to debase the meaning of "iwi".

<> has a definite place in the hierarchy of domain names as a traditional and modern social, political and economic Mäori organisation which is not described by any other domain name.


It could also be said that <> would overlap many other domain names, and that Mäori people could adequately be catered for under existing names.

Nevertheless, the most important factor is that "Mäori" is the way that Mäori people choose to describe themselves, and they are almost always described as "Mäori" by non-Mäori people. In this proposal Mäori people are simply asking that they be allowed to prescribe their own descriptor of themselves.

We are not asking for anything new. We are merely asking that an oversight be corrected. It is understandable that Mäori domain names were not created at the time, given that the widespread application of the internet, and its widespread adoption by Mäori, could easily have been overlooked.

<> will be widely used by individuals and organisations, and we predict that it will be a popular domain name.

Principle Three: Degree of Descriptiveness

"Mäori" is the way Mäori people and their organisations invariably describe themselves, and it is the way they are described by others, the world over.

The experience of TWI / NZMIS webmaster members is that tens of thousands of web-surfers from all over the world are looking for Mäori-specific information on the WWW, and that for a great many of them, "Mäori" best describes what is unique and special about Aotearoa New Zealand.

We make the point, that this proposal represents a people asking InternetNZ to help them claim their right to name themselves.

Principle Four: Certainty of continued existence

It can be guaranteed that there will always be a demand for the <> domain name, such is the support for it among Mäori, and such is the likely continuance of a distinctive people named Mäori.

Te Whänau Ipurangi / New Zealand Mâori Internet Society (TWI/NZMIS) is confident also that it's 6 year existence will continue through it's long term strategic plans, and the fact that it is a legal body registered as an Incorporated Society in 2000.

Treaty of Waitangi Considerations

Partnership - As partners to the Treaty of Waitangi it is time the domains named for the New Zealand Internet community reflected the makeup of our society. Granting this application demonstrates that the NZ Internet community is determined to become bi-cultural.

Maori Language is an official Language of New Zealand

The Mäori language is an official language of New Zealand regulated by statute. The current 2nd Level domain policy has very little regard to the this fact. The one and only Mäori 2 nd Level domain <> is so specific it only applies to about 30-40 groups. This is not a fair representation of an official language of New Zealand.


Te Whänau Ipurangi/New Zealand Mäori Internet Society and it's membership believe that there is a strong case to be made for <> second level domain name and that it meets the key requirements as set out by InternetNZ

© 2001 The Internet Society of New Zealand
Last updated 1 November 2001

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