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This is the project page for Mike Dickison's (User:Giantflightlessbirds) Wikipedian-at-large projects on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island, September–October 2020, June–August 2022, and September–November 2023, supported by Development West Coast and various cultural and natural heritage organisations. The goal is to improve the breadth and depth of the Coast's coverage in English Wikipedia, Wikivoyage, Wikidata, and Commons.


From mid 2018 to mid 2019 I was New Zealand Wikipedian at Large, supported by a one-year grant from the Wikimedia Foundation. My job was to travel the length of New Zealand to help heritage and research organisations engage with Wikimedia projects as a Wikipedian in Residence, and support the New Zealand editing community through meetups and workshops.

During my travels, several West Coast organisations contacted me about working with them, and immediately after finishing a three-week residency at Lincoln University I met with interested parties on 18 December 2019 at the Westland District Library, Hokitika. The Department of Conservation, the West Coast Penguin Trust, Hokitika Museum, Westland District and Grey District libraries, Development West Coast, and West Coast Scenic Waterways were all represented, and we had an excellent discussion about possible collaboration. Development West Coast then confirmed that they could fund four weeks of a Wikipedian residency, and other organisations were approached to contribute.

At the end of the residency, I was offered an 18-month contract as a Digital Discovery Librarian at Westland District Library where I continued to organise Wikipedia events as part of the West Coast Task Force, and began a project digitising out-of-copyright West Coast books. In June 2022 at the end of that contract I revived the West Coast Wikipedian at Large project, again with the support of Development West Coast, and continued it in September 2023.


In September 2020 I was based in in Hokitika, Greymouth, and Westport, and in October in Ōkārito, Franz Josef, Fox Glacier, Reefton, and Arthur's Pass as a Wikipedian at Large, undertaking the following:

  1. Working with heritage organisations such as museums and archives to organise uploads of public-domain photos into Wikimedia Commons.
  2. Improve articles on iconic West Coast features, places, and people using the resources of non-profits, tourism agencies, and government departments like the Department of Conservation.
  3. Run a public Wikipedia event in each location, where people can learn the basics of editing Wikipedia and donating photos to Commons, suggesting they get to work on the list below. This would be of particular interest to community historical and heritage societies, iwi, and genealogists.
  4. Run training for gallery, library, museum, and archives (GLAM) staff in each location – introducing them to Wikipedia, Commons, and Wikidata, and helping each develop a Wikimedia strategy for their collections.
  5. Run workshops for tourism organisations and operators on improving Wikivoyage and making high-quality photos available in Commons.

In June–August 2022 I was based in Hokitika, making research/photography trips to Lake Brunner, Te Wahipounamu, Ōpārara Arches, and Punakaiki. In September–November 2023 I was again based in Hokitika, concentrating on the Karamea area, Fox and Franz Josef glaciers, and the Waitangiroto Nature Reserve where kōtuku breed.

Events 2020[edit]

Date Time Title Venue Open to Register?
Thu 10 Sep 15.30–16:30 Wikipedia for Heritage Organisations Council Chambers, 105 Tainui Street, Greymouth GLAM/Council
Fri 11 Sep 11.00–12.00 Leveraging Wiki Development West Coast, 54 Tainui Street, Greymouth Tourism operators Free
Sat 12 Sep 10.00–16.00 Editing Wikipedia: Greymouth Grey District Library, 18 Albert Street, Greymouth Public, beginners welcome Free
Mon 14 Sep 10.00–12.00 West Coast Art Meetup Left Bank Art Gallery, Tainui St, Greymouth Arts community
Wed 16 Sep 10.30–11.30 Wikipedia for Heritage Organisations Council Chambers, 105 Tainui Street, Greymouth GLAM/Council
Fri 18 Sep 11.00–12.00 Leveraging Wiki EPIC Westport, 10a Lyndhurst Street, Westport Tourism operators Free
Sat 19 Sep 10.00–16.00 Editing Wikipedia: Westport EPIC Westport, 10a Lyndhurst Street, Westport Public, beginners welcome Free
Fri 25 Sep 11.00–12.00 Leveraging Wiki Westland District Library, Sewell St, Hokitika Tourism operators Free
Fri 25 Sep 14.00–15.00 Wikipedia for Heritage Organisations Westland District Library, Sewell St, Hokitika GLAM/Council
Sat 26 Sep 10.00–16.00 Editing Wikipedia: Hokitika Westland District Library, Sewell St, Hokitika Public, beginners welcome Free
Thu 14 Oct 11.00–12.00 Leveraging Wiki Franz Josef Medical Centre, 97 Cron Street, Franz Josef Tourism operators

Events 2022[edit]

Date Time Title Venue Open to Register?
Sun 31 Jul 09:30–16:30 West Coast Reptiles Wikiblitz 1 Online Public Free
Mon 1 Aug 19.00–20.00 Adding your photos to Wikipedia Online Public Free; Register'
Sun 21 Aug 09:30–16:30 West Coast Reptiles Wikiblitz 2 Online Public Free

Events 2023[edit]

Date Time Title Venue Open to Register?


Publicity photo in Auckland Museum library. Feel free to reuse, crediting Ken Downie/Bauer Media

I'm happy to talk to media for a story about Wikipedia. Bio and background information here. Pick any publicity photos you like from the gallery at Category: Mike Dickison. Note that these photos are free to use, provided you credit the photographer by name (i.e.: not "Wikipedia" or "supplied").