Domain names, now with mācrons!

From next week, .nz domain names will have the ability to contain macrons.

I’m really pleased to have lent a hand to the process which has enabled the complete Māori alphabet to be used in .nz domain names; I was on the “IDN” (Internationalised Domain Name) committee at InternetNZ which set up the policy and process for making this happen.

Here’s the InternetNZ media release:

Media Release – 22 July 2010 – The beginning of next week marks an exciting new phase for the .nz domain name space. From 10am on Monday 26 July 2010, people will be able to register .nz domain names using the macronised vowels ā, ē, ī, ō and ū.

Registering a .nz domain name with macrons will take place in exactly the same way as registering any other .nz domain name – through a ‘registrar’ – and registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

New Zealand Domain Name Commissioner Debbie Monahan says the launch date for general registrations has been timed to coincide with the start of Māori Language Week, which is significant because, for the first time, New Zealand’s indigenous language, Te Reo Māori, can be correctly represented online.

“Thanks to the successful completion of the global Internationalised Domain Name (IDN) initiative the New Zealand Internet is now more culturally representative.

“The addition of macrons to the .nz domain name space is a step forward for online identity and the Internet in New Zealand and I encourage those interested in securing a macronised name to take note of the opening of general registrations on 26 July.

“This is the culmination of years of hard work at both local and international levels, and I would like to thank New Zealand’s IDN working group and .nz Registry Services for their valuable contributions.”

More information about .nz domain names with macrons is available at

For further information contact:
Debbie Monahan
Domain Name Commissioner
+64 4 495 2114

Te Reo Pūtaiao – Tohunga Rorohiko

Te Reo Pūtaiao: A Māori Language Dictionary of Science came out earlier this month.  It was compiled using the Freelex / Mātāpuna open source dictionary writing system that I wrote.

Te Reo Pūtaiao is an encyclopedic dictionary; nearly all of the info is in Te Reo Māori, and each entry contains an equivalent English gloss and a definition.  Most entries also have information on the derivation of the term, an detailed explanation often including diagrams, and related terms.  The dictionary covers the lexicon used in teaching the New Zealand Science Curriculum through year 11.

It’s simply brilliant.  It’s funny that I never realised how brilliant it was until actually seeing the finished product.  Working through the database and user interface design, I never really saw the big picture.  But opening up the book caused an “aha moment” for me.  This dictionary has huge potential to make science accessible to Māori kids through Te Reo and tikanga Māori.  If this book is responsible for helping Aotearoa produce even one great scientist, it would have been totally worth the effort.

Kia ora to Ian Christiansen and Shirley Mullaney for having the vision to produce this, and the Ministry of Education for funding it.

I’m listed in the credits as the “Tohunga Rorohiko”, or “Computer Shaman”; this is the second dictionary for which I’ve had this honour. I feel humbled to have the opportunity to work with such experienced  and learned teams on these lexicography projects which will have lasting impact on Te Reo Māori.