The first details of a highly ambitious telecommunications project planned by the Kohanga Reo National Trust should be available next month.
Project Amiorangi was announced late last year and is envisaged as a broadband infrastructure linking all kohanga reo pre-school education units into a "virtual wananga". There are presently almost 800 units, and there may be as many as 1000 by the end of the decade. Project director Ross Himona says the trust owning the infrastructure of the system is "a strong option" at present.
"I'm looking to finish the user requirement document before I make any of those decisions," says Himona. "That will decide what the users actually need, in terms of traffic flows, the mix of text, voice, multimedia and video."
Once technical specifications have been drawn up, design and construction of the network will go to tender and the trust hopes the first stage can be completed by the end of the year.
Himona says the network "will develop over years. We're planning to build a dynamic communications system which can be extended as the requirements develop. As you're probably aware, when people hold of technology, their use of it develops alongside their knowledge of it."
Himona says no budgets have yet been sketched out.
"That'll drop out in the end - how much we will need. And where the funding will come from will be a matter for the trustees and their financiers."
There may also be room for other Maori organisations to participate in the network, says Himona.
The national trust's IT resources are currently limited to a Commodore Amiga-based data processing network linking the trust and its 12 disrict units.
Himona registered the domain tkr.org.nz to the trust last week and says the trust is "investigating getting people onto the Internet - there's no policy in place yet.
"Obviously there will be a gateway out of our project onto the Internet and we will have to decide on a domain name that the whole movement will use - probably fairly soon."