Suggest creating a category structure
I would lean toward skipping what you've called 1st level and 2nd level. If something is in level 3 (or OERNZ_Something_Not_Mentioned) then it can be found with the correct search. (I would hope the community someday supports installation of the MWSearch (Lucene) extension.) I don't see the value of having a giant OERNZ category whose contents can be determined in other automated ways.
I also expect there should be categories (or ideally tags) for NZ curriculum units.
But I'm also very skeptical of being too prescriptive at the start. I believe the sort of people that like using wikis tend to be more self organizing. This is why I've argued for a tagging system which would associate a tag cloud with each page, with visitors able to see the top ways users have tagged the page.
I see what you mean (having a hierarchy with OERNZ embedded at every level is redundant) and agree that we need to be careful not to over-prescribe. But with the current less than perfect (IMO) search mechanism we need a way for newbies to provide information about their resource so WE can know it exists.
I think discussion of categorization in general falls squarely in the purview of the style guidelines workgroup. The two proposed guidelines I linked to in my post above suggest a hierarchical scheme (at least to some extent). I've been trying out the ideas in these proposed guidelines and wondered how categories fit with the subpage structure that WE use (it's easy to see the subpage structure when on a low level page, but there's no indication of subpages from the top page unless the author includes the links).
Creating a template for use on the main page, to collect lots of info from users, is a good idea. Maybe our first step should be to collect data. As you suggest, let's see how users "tag" their pages and then we can discuss ways to make the best use of that data.
Let's continue this discussion in the style guidelines workgroup. I'll propose this in response to Wayne's email.