With Māori making up only 4% of people in the tech industry, a group of Māori tech experts have come together to form Te Kāwanatanga Matihiko.
They aim to expose more Māori to tech and help them with career representation, visibility and career paths in the industry.
“We don’t see Māori faces at the front of these tech companies,” Te Ao Matihiko chief executive Katie Brown (Raukawa ki Waikato, Ngāti Whātua ki Kaipara) says.
“We don’t see Māori faces in the front of creating all these tech solutions but we need to change that.”
Elle Archer (Ngāti Tamaterā, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Porou, Ngāpuhi, Ngāi Tūhoe) is chair of Te Ao Matihiko and says Māori have enormous potential to excel in the world of tech due to mātauranga Māori qualities.
“We have an amazing capacity for diversity of thought, which is essential for creating technology solutions.
“We are community-centric. Our values are community-centric, our whakawhanaungatanga, our kinship, our manaakitanga, our caring for others and our kaitiakitanga. This aligns well with the growing global emphasis on technology and digital.”
Archer says there are already many Māori doing great things in the industry but more are needed.
“We’ve got Māori in NASA doing some amazing mahi, we’ve got Māori who are doing the digitisation of their pūrākau for their hapū and iwi.
Te Kāwantanga Matihiko members
Berys Amor (Ngāti Raukawa): Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu chief information officer, passionate about leveraging digital and data for the prosperity of Māori.
Nikora Ngaropo (Te Rarawa, Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungungu): director and founder of NNMD and Young Animators, with extensive experience in creative roles and technical enablement at Weta Digital.
Shanon O’Connor (Ngāti Porou, Ngāi Tahu): founder and director of Tōnui Collab, a kaupapa Māori-driven STEMM learning partner.
Janelle Riki-Waaka (Tainui Āwhiro / Ngāti Hauiti): kaiwhakahaere (director) of Riki Consultancy, specialising in Te Tiriti o Waitangi education, strengthening cultural competencies and digital technologies in education.
Dr Karaitiana Taiuru (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Toa): leading authority and Māori technology ethicist, specialising in Māori rights with AI and data sovereignty.
Megan Tapsell (Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga): ANZ general manager of enterprise and Pacific tech, also chair of the AI Forum NZ.
Dr Warren Williams (Ngai Tūhoe, Waikato): chief executive for 20/20 Trust, experienced in education, business, digital technology and Māori research.