Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Knowing New Zealand

By Rebecca Wanjiku

What comes to your mind when you think of New Zealand? Kiwis? Rugby? Cricket? Maori? Or does it strike you like this well developed nation which is strict on importation that you cant even bring in a half chewed fruit?

Whatever you have in mind, it may be true. They are known as the kiwis, play cricket, they whip their opponents in most rugby matches and they perform the infamous haka dance after every win.

The importation laws are so strict that a Kenyan friend warned me to alert the customs officials about some candy I bought somewhere in transit. They got strict penalties for non compliance.

That may be one side of New Zealand but when it comes to Information Communication Technology, they have a different story.

They have three telecom providers but even in the conference hall, the internet connection is erratic, probably reminding one of connection in some of our countries.

The erratic connection may lead one to the question, “I thought New Zealand was way ahead in ICT development?”

No! New Zealand has some rural population that has no access to mobile phones let alone internet connection. Though the rural population is mainly the indigenous Maori, there are some white settlers too.

According to Karen Burns, a senior analyst with the government’s interoperable programme, they are working hard to ensure that the rural areas in the south and north islands is well connected with ICT.

“The government is trying to make it as easy as possible to access ICT. The government has an interconnected website where residents can access government services in one site,” said Burns.

The government has also set up special training programmes for Maori and other Pacific island residents to ensure they are well versed with technology.

According to Burns, the website is accessible in English and Maori languages and the people tasked with the online services can speak a host of other languages to make it easier for everyone.

New Zealand was originally occupied by the Maori before the British settled. A treaty was signed between the Maori and British that the locals would own land that was originally theirs, if they can prove the ancestral lineage.

This contract, Burns says, is still honoured to date though it was signed in 1840. She adds that if a person can prove that the land was unfairly taken and prove the lineage and ownership, the courts have a right to enforce it.



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Hello. Prompt how to get acquainted with the girl it to me to like. But does not know about it
I have read through one history
Each of you has your personal story; it is your history. Keeping a diary or writing your feelings in a special notebook is a wonderful way to learn how to think and write about who you are -- to develop your own identity and voice.

People of all ages are able to do this. Your own history is special because of your circumstances: your cultural, racial, religious or ethnic background. Your story is also part of human history, a part of the story of the dignity and worth of all human beings. By putting opinions and thoughts into words, you, too, can give voice to your inner self and strivings.

A long entry by Anne Frank on April 5, 1944, written after more than a year and a half of hiding from the Nazis, describes the range of emotions 14-year-old Anne is experiencing:

". . . but the moment I was alone I knew I was going to cry my eyes out. I slid to the floor in my nightgown and began by saying my prayers, very fervently. Then I drew my knees to my chest, lay my head on my arms and cried, all huddled up on the bare floor. A loud sob brought me back down to earth, and I choked back my tears, since I didn't want anyone next door to hear me . . .

"And now it's really over. I finally realized that I must do my school work to keep from being ignorant, to get on in life, to become a journalist, because that's what I want! I know I can write. A few of my stories are good, my descriptions of the Secret Annex are humorous, much of my diary is vivid and alive, but . . . it remains to be seen whether I really have talent . . .

"When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived! But, and that's a big question, will I ever be able to write something great, will I ever become a journalist or a writer? I hope so, oh, I hope so very much, because writing allows me to record everything, all my thoughts, ideals and fantasies.

"I haven't worked on Cady's Life for ages. In my mind I've worked out exactly what happens next, but the story doesn't seem to be coming along very well. I might never finish it, and it'll wind up in the wastepaper basket or the stove. That's a horrible thought, but then I say to myself, "At the age of 14 and with so little experience, you can't write about philosophy.' So onward and upward, with renewed spirits. It'll all work out, because I'm determined to write! Yours, Anne M. Frank

For those of you interested in reading some of Anne Frank's first stories and essays, including a version of Cady's Life, see Tales From the Secret Annex (Doubleday, 1996). Next: Reviewing and revising your writing

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