Giantflightlessbirds spent eight weeks on the West Coast of New Zealand as a Wikipedian at Large, funded by Development West Coast, a local library, and a tourism organisation. A second West Coast Wikipedian at Large contract started in June, running to the end of August, again funded by DWC and employing Giantflightlessbirds as the Wikipedian. The project is based in Hokitika, but includes research/photography trips to Lake Brunner, Te Wahipounamu, Ōpārara Basin Arches, and Punakaiki. These areas were identified by Development West Coast as tourism icons, but have very poor Wikipedia, Commons, and Wikidata coverage. A team of ten volunteers has signed up to assist with the project; each receives a fortnightly "Postcard from the West Coast" on their Talk page summarising achievements and work to do. DWC receive a weekly email update on the project, and the volunteer team log their weekly progress.
Recent uploads from the project
Paparoa National Park
West Coast Wikisource project
With the help of User:Beeswaxcandle, the Westland District Library in early 2021 began scanning and uploading out-of-copyright works in its collection to Wikisource. The completed works were then uploaded as EPUBs to the library's ebook catalogue in OverDrive, and made available for loan through most of the South Island. There's been brisk lending, with more readers for the books in the last six months than in 10 years on the shelves or locked away in a Special Collections cabinet. We now have a small group of New Zealand volunteers proofing and verifying, and Giantflightlessbirds has presented on the project to two New Zealand library meetings and the National Digital Forum. There are blog posts on how the work got started, how Wikisource works (from a public talk Beeswaxcandle gave at the library in Hokitika), and how to help a living author release their work under an open licence. The Grey District Library has employed a librarian part-time to source and scan New Zealand works, and in June Giantflightlessbirds received a grant from the Mātātuhi Foundation, funded by the en:Auckland Writers Festival, to spend a half-day a week for six months supporting the project. The Foundation were very interested in the possibility of using Wikisource to increase the visibiity of New Zealand writers, and extending the project—now called the West Coast Task Force—to more libraries.
Auckland Museum: Focus on West Auckland
In 2023, a new curriculum, Aotearoa New Zealand's histories and Te Takanga o Te Wā, will be introduced to schools across Aotearoa New Zealand. The curriculum brings a new focus to local history, emphasising the events and people local to each area, and how these shaped the communities that students live in today.
One of the Auckland War Memorial Museum's goals for the near future is to empower all teachers and students in the Auckland Region to learn more about our history and taonga. In March 2021, the museum opened Tāmaki Herenga Waka Stories of Auckland, and in mid-2021 the museum developed an ambitious plan to use Wikipedia pages to help this goal. The Auckland Suburb Project aims to provide a basic history of every single suburb in the Auckland Region, and to ensure that indigenous history, from indigenous voices, is represented in every article.
The past month has focused on West Auckland. The articles on Cornwallis, Glen Eden and Henderson have all been substantially developed, with a large amount of progress being made towards the surrounding suburbs. Articles were created for many of the features of the region, such as Pukematekeo, O'Neill Bay, Lion Rock, the ancient Waitākere volcano from which most of the area is formed, and Paorae, the legendary sand dune land of the West Coast. The article on Don Buck, a controversial Portuguese immigrant to Auckland during the heyday of kauri gum digging rush, was greatly developed, and a version in his native language developed with a local bilingual Wikipedia editor. Much progress was made on the requested photographs in Auckland project: all photo requests for the Waitākere Ranges local board area have been filled, meaning every single article about a location in this area has a corresponding photograph. Only 19 requests for images remain for entirety of West Auckland.
In the next month, work will continue on 16 core suburb articles (of the 50+ West Auckland localities, those with the largest schools), and on an overall West Auckland article.
Auckland Museum: Wikidata entries for New Zealand figures
Edit-a-thons and editors often have trouble finding people to write about, and of those people, working out if they are notable enough for inclusion in Wikipedia. The Auckland Museum suggested articles list was developed as a way for staff and volunteers to easily identify Aotearoa New Zealand-related topics and people who could potentially have an article written on them. Each figure is sorted by field, and a flag next to their name indicates if the subject is related to one of the major projects the museum focuses on: Women in Red, New Zealand Māori task force, WikiProject LGBT studies and WikiProject Polynesia.