Techweek'17 opportunity for Māori to engage in digital development

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

Techweek'17 is a nationwide event that showcases the best New Zealand tech has to offer the world. Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei is one of many Iwi who are looking to increase the participation of Māori youth in the technology sector.

A new world, a digital world. Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Cultural Manager believes there are opportunities for Māori narratives to be told. He says, “This is Maui's domain, this is where Tāne went to. He folded space to get to the kete. These are the kinds of contemporary analogies that can turn on our younger nations because they love stories too but the messaging is different to my day.”

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei is a tenant at this innovation hub for virtual augmented reality start-ups. According to Te Aroha Morehu, when it comes to developing technology, youth perspectives should be valued.

Te Aroha Morehu says, “I think the important thing here is that we know that our rangatahi are digitally liberated. So it means that we should actually be consulting in that space with them as to how we can design our future.”

Techweek'17 encompasses more than 150 events in towns and cities around the country and provides Māori with opportunities to increase participation in the technology sector.

Te Aroha says, “Probably the best bet is to just be an early adopter. That's about seeking technology and what are the strands that are out there what's available and then applying a Te Ao Māori lens across that to address and find solutions for our needs.”

This is the second year Techweek has been held. Over the next few days, there will be a series of digital training sessions held in Moerewa, in Māhia, in Ōhakune, in Ōtautahi and Rotorua for youth and whānau Māori to learn about and participate in this digital sector.