There are very few things I am enthusiastic about the Government funding. But increasing access to information (essential in a democracy) is one of them.
So the launch of Te Ara is well motivated and a step in the right direction.
However for the $12 million cost one could achieve so much more. I am a huge fan of Wikipedia which is basically run for next to no cost. It would have been great to divert say 10% of Te Ara to hire a few researchers to spend a few months entering and updating NZ articles into Wikipedia. Far far more people will access them on Wikipedia than in a stand alone encyclopedia, which doesn’t have the extensive linking which makes WIkipedia so great.