New Zealand’s Indigenous Web Space: Cultural Sustainability in Cyberspace
The increasing European settlement, outnumbering the indigenous population of Aotearoa/New Zealand as early as 1858, had a detrimental effect on the cultural and social life of Maori. Their language, tribal affiliations as well as cultural practices were giving way to English and western ways to allow full participation in New Zealand society. The 1960s, influenced by global liberal social movements, brought with them the beginning of far-reaching social and political changes; the Maori Renaissance promoted the indigenous language and culture. Traditional media, particularly the radio, contributed greatly to the sustainability of Maori culture and identity. This paper provides a brief background on the Maori Renaissance but focuses on New Zealand’s Web space in particular how Maori actively shaped it. Therefore, the implementation of two Maori specific domain names - .iwi.nz and .maori.nz will be explored. The .maori.nz domain is distinctly of interest because it was instigated by Te Whanau Ipurangi (The New Zealand Maori Internet Society) with the intent to allow the internet to cater for all Maori unlike the .iwi.nz space which is restricted to tribal organizations only. An outlook on future plans by Te Whanau Ipurangi to further indigenize the country’s cyberspace will round up the paper.
Keywords: New Zealand, Maori, Internet, Web Space, Domain Names, Culture, Renaissance
Doctoral Student, Department of Sociology, The University of Auckland