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The site features information and resources from within the History Group of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, Wellington, New Zealand. Three broad categories showcase themes in New Zealand history: Culture and society, Politics and government and War and society. A Hands-on history section includes links to guides, external websites and other material for those who are 'doing' and teaching history. New features will be developed and the Calendar of New Zealand history events will be added to on a regular basis.
The site was launched by the Minister of Internal Affairs, Hon. Jack Elder, at a function at National Archives (now Archives New Zealand) in Wellington on 16 March 1999. On 1 December 2001 the History Group launched the online Dictionary of New Zealand Biography which contains essays on over 3000 New Zealanders and 'Our land our people', a series of 'snapshots' of historical events and trends. In 2005 the Ministry for Culture and Heritage launched three major new web projects: Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand (February); Anzac Day – a guide for New Zealanders (March) and on this site we added The Classroom - a major new section for history teachers - and The Calendar of New Zealand history events in November.
In February 2006 the website was relaunched with a design by Shift using the Joomla! open source content management system. The technical build was carried out by Timebased. In February 2007 the site was moved into the more sophisticated Drupal open source CMS to accommodate changes required to incorporate the treatyofwaitangi.govt.nz website and to add further functionality. The visual and technical design for this work was carried out by Timebased.
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