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Sir Tim Berners-Lee, World Wide Web inventor, in NZ

Wednesday 30 Jan 2013 6:13 p.m.

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The inventor of the World Wide Web is in Wellington to share the benefits of sharing on the internet with industry insiders and government leaders.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee is in such high demand on his fleeting visit he has to use his own technology to spread his message.

After a traditional welcome at Te Papa, Sir Tim gingerly embraced part of our culture with a hongi greeting.

Sir Tim is in New Zealand for just one day to give a public lecture on the importance of keeping information on the web open and accessible to everyone.

“It's really important for the open market,” he says. “It's really important for education, health. It's really important for democracy.”

Sir Tim created the World Wide Web in 1989 and made it freely available. He's now on a crusade to make sure his idea's not corrupted.

“If a government can control what you see, they can control your view of life. They can control what you might think the world is like. That's very, very powerful from a government point of view.”

He also revealed the World Wide Web we're all so familiar with was nearly named something else.

“I had various other things in mind – the Mine of Information or Information Mine, but The Information Mine would have been TIM, which I felt would have been a little egocentric.”

Sir Tim has been brought here at short notice. He's meant to be on a tour of Australia. 

Internet New Zealand says having the internet pioneer in New Zealand draws attention to the broader ideas behind the tool most of us use daily.

“I’m really looking forward to hearing about how Sir Tim invented the World Wide Web, and if the internet wasn't open he may not have been able to introduce it to the world as he did,” says Internet New Zealand policy lead Susan Chalmers.

In keeping with his ethos, his speech is being live streamed using the technology he invented for those who missed out on tickets.

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