Te Ara technology

This site was redeveloped by HeadFirst assisted by developers from Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage, and relaunched in 2009. It uses the Drupal open-source content management platform. The website is hosted by Modica.

Te Ara was redesigned in 2011 to improve the usability, performance and to modernise the look and feel of the site. The redesign uses HTML5 and CSS3, which is only supported by the latest browsers. Some graphical elements such as rounded corners will only display in the latest browsers. Older browsers either ignore the new features offered by HTML5 and CSS3, or revert to a fall-back option.

Te Ara’s technical partners in developing the original website (launched in 2005) were a consortium led by Shift Ltd, with Optimation Ltd.

The 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand was digitised by the New Zealand Electronic Text Centre.

Supported browsers

The site has been designed for these browsers:

PC: Internet Explorer 8 and above; Firefox 3.5 and above; Safari 5 and above; Chrome 13 and above.

Mac: Firefox 3.5 and above; Safari 5 and above; Chrome 13 and above.

Tested browsers

On the following browsers the site will not appear ‘broken’, and you will be able to view content:

PC: Internet Explorer 6 and 7; Firefox 3; Opera 11.

Mac: Safari 4 and below; Firefox 3; Opera 11.

Certain design features of Te Ara may not be supported, depending on the level of the browser’s CSS (cascading style sheet) or javascript support.

Unsupported browsers

On the following browsers the site will not necessarily appear ‘broken’, but we have not actively tested them:

PC: Internet Explorer 5, 5.5; Netscape 4–6; Opera 10 and below.

Mac: All OS 9 browsers; Netscape 6 and 7; Opera 10 and below; Camino (all versions); Chimera (all versions); OmniWeb (all versions); iCab (all versions).

Mobile: Android, Blackberry, Chrome, Firefox for mobile, Internet Explorer mobile, Opera mini, Opera mobile, Safari.

Other platforms: Konqueror.

Text and speech browsers

No formal testing has been done on browsers designed for the visually impaired or command line-based text browsers such as Lynx.

The Te Ara media player

The Te Ara media player uses HTML5 and Javascript to play video and sound clips. If you are viewing Te Ara on an older browser that doesn’t support HTML5, the media player will automatically fall-back to Flash instead.

Interactive content on Te Ara

Interactive diagrams on Te Ara are no longer built using Flash; instead we create them using a combination of HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript. This change has been made so that all of our new interactives are accessible from a wide range of devices including handheld and mobile devices. Over time we hope to replace all the Flash diagrams on Te Ara with this modern, more accessible alternative.


Browser cookies are used by this website to provide the Manatū Taonga with information about site usage and improve the service offered to site visitors. Cookies are small files that are sent by a website and stored on your computer’s hard drive. The data is collected and aggregated prior to use by Manatū Taonga by Nielson, a measurement and research company, and Google Analytics. Further details of Nielson's privacy policy are available in their privacy statement. For details of Google Analytics’ privacy policy see Google’s privacy statement.

Cookies from this site are not used to gather or allow the gathering of any personally identifiable information and are not used to track individual user activity around this site.

You may manually disable cookies at any time – check your browser’s Help. This will not affect your ability to view the site.


Te Ara uses macrons (short lines over a vowel – e.g. Taupō, whānau) to indicate longer vowels in Māori words, as recommended by Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (the Māori Language Commission) and the New Zealand government web standards.

The macrons are encoded as Unicode characters (UTF-8 encoding).

If your browser does not display macrons correctly on this site, please check the following:

  • Your browser’s character encoding settings. In Internet Explorer, open the View menu, point to Encoding, then select Auto-Select or Unicode (UTF-8). In Firefox, open the View menu, point to Character Encoding, then select Auto-Detect or Unicode (UTF-8).
  • Your computer’s Regional and Language settings. In Windows XP you will find these in Start > Settings > Control Panel > Regional and Language Options. Both Regional Options and Languages should be set to ‘English (New Zealand)’. Some operating systems (e.g. some versions of Windows 98) and earlier versions of some browsers may display macrons inconsistently. In these cases we recommend you upgrade your operating system or your browser.

For further information about Unicode display problems, we suggest you visit: