Indigenous | Wāhine Māori

Te Taumata to promote wāhine Māori in tech opportunities in the UK and European markets

Te Taumata, representing a voice of Māori interests in global trade, and Callaghan Innovation, will spearhead wāhine Māori in tech trade opportunities within the UK and European (EU) markets.

In a world first, this knowledge exchange will see 10 wāhine Māori in tech leaders explore trade opportunities in Ireland, France and the UK, culminating in participation at London Tech Week. The UK is one of only three countries with a tech industry valuation of over one trillion US dollars.

The UK-FTA came into force in May 2023 and the EU-FTA will come into force from May 1 this year. Each of the FTAs now include a Māori Trade and Cooperation chapter that will provide a valuable new platform to advance Māori economic aspirations in the UK and EU.

“We are committed to supporting the growth of wāhine Māori in tech and fostering international connections,” says Naomi Manu, trustee at Te Taumata. “This knowledge exchange also includes a six-month post-exchange programme of support to build an ecosystem of wāhine Māori in tech who are trade ready and export enabled.”

The wāhine Māori leaders will participate in London Tech Week where they will have the opportunity to explore emerging technologies, attend conferences, network with industry leaders and explore market opportunities in Ireland, France and the UK. This exchange will strengthen ties between Aotearoa and the UK and European markets, paving the way for future collaborations and innovation.

Francis Davy, head of Māori and Government Engagement at Callaghan Innovation said, “Māori businesses are nearly twice as likely to be involved in R&D as others. This partnership will help support the long-term growth aspirations of Māori businesses.”

Women only comprise 26.7 per cent of the tech industry in New Zealand and Māori only make up 4.1 per cent, meaning there is a greater need for initiatives that encourage diversity in the sector. Te Taumata and Callaghan Innovation hope to not only open new markets for Māori-led tech businesses but also to inspire young wāhine Māori to pursue careers in innovation, sciences, technology, and research and development.

“The commitment Te Taumata has to supporting wāhine Māori in tech is exemplified through this knowledge exchange,” says Teresa Te Pania-Ashton, trustee at Te Taumata. “We are not just promoting trade opportunities; we’re sharing our values and approaches toward advancing Māori economic and wellbeing aspirations.”

The knowledge exchange is supported by key government organisations including Callaghan Innovation, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as well as iwi and Māori business networks.

“This approach highlights the transformative power of collaboration,” Manu said.

Te Taumata seeks applications from wāhine Māori in tech who have an interest in participating in this knowledge exchange. As this exchange is heavily subsidised, Te Taumata invites applications from wāhine Māori who either:

– Are trading in the UK and European markets and wish to increase the value of their exports

– Trading globally and wish to expand to the UK and European markets

– Emerging tech leaders and entrepreneurs who are trade-ready but not yet export-enabled.

Further details and application forms can be found here. Applications open today and close at 5pm on Friday, April 26, 2024. The knowledge exchange will take place in June 2024.

- NZ Herald.