NZOSS Rebranding

There has been an ongoing discussion about rebranding NZOSS, as part of a wider project to revitalise the organisation. There was a set of discussion documents about this on, but I can’t seem to find them right now.

To be clear, the plan is not to rename the charitable legal entity, but to adopt a new name for its public activities and web platforms. One that reflects a focus on the recognition and preservation of human rights and civil liberties in people’s use of digital tools, which a focus on how these issues affect people in Aotearoa.

Any suggestions?

It’s important when naming an organisation to pick a name that immediately calls to mind the kind of ideas, values, etc that you want people to associate with the organisation. One that’s easy to read at a glance, easy to speak and recognise when spoken, and therefore memorable.

I wouldn’t want to adopt a Māori name without asking some kaumātua about appropriateness and respectful use, but…

The Te Reo Māori word “hiko” has some relevant associations. The word for “digital” is "matahiko" and one word for “freedom” is “mana”.

So what about something like “manahiko” as a new name? It’s a name that locates the org in Aotearoa, and allows us to speak to the importance of freedom, without the current political associations of that word with the ultranationalist fringe.

When I accidentally floated this idea in the Iridescent room instead of the temporary NZOSS room, Dr Curiosity mentioned that Te Aroha Grace has used the term “Mana Matihiko” before. He also mentioned that embracing a Te Reo Māori name needs to go along with doing some networking with Māori digital sovereignty groups, which I agree with. I’ve posted another topic where we can gather information about who to reach out to, and track our progress.

Dave brought up the parallels with the meaning of the word “ubuntu”, which also has meaning overlaps with “manaakitanga”. So “Manaaki Hiko” could work too.


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Here’s a copy of the NZOSS rebranding discussion documents:

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Thanks for getting the ball rolling, Strypey. Keen to hear others’ thoughts.