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Te Papatipu Matihiko Announces the Grand Opening of  Te Makaro, Te Wairoa’s newest Digital Tech Hub

Te Wairoa, Aotearoa New Zealand, September 1, 2023 – Te Papatipu Matihiko is thrilled to announce the grand opening of Te Makaro, Te Wairoa’s first-ever Digital Tech Hub for tamariki, rangatahi and whānau wishing to explore pathways into digital and creative tech through a Mātauranga Māori lens, staircasing into accredited programmes, delivered by a registered teacher, all in one space.  This innovative space aims to reignite a love of learning and challenge issues related to digital equity while empowering the local community through cultural identity, technology and education.

New Beginnings  | Te Makaro

Te Makaro is where our journey begins, a kōhanga to provide a warm and caring learning environment for our ākonga. A Pā Tūwatawata to provide the protection and support to grow a love for learning a dedicated team, in tune with the ākonga, creating opportunities to strengthen connections to identity and enhance their inherent mana.

“Our hub was planned well before Te Wairoa and the greater region was devastated by the floods. But after those days and weeks of being so isolated and cut off, we knew launching was even more important than ever. It’s our way of providing a tangible way to heal and support our tamariki and rangatahi by reigniting their love of learning, and create meaningful pathways back into education, training and mahi”, explains Hinenui Tipoki-Lawton (Ngāti Kahungunu ki Te Wairoa, Ngai Tūhoe), Kaituitui.

Te Makaro, named after the native seagulls who travel up and down Te Wairoa Hōpupu Hōngenge Mātangirau nesting and foraging for kai, was officially launched on 1 September with the support of over 50 local community leaders who came to celebrate the launch. The space was blessed by Pā Karaitiana Kingi on Monday 28 August 2023 in preparation for the opening.

Digital Inclusion & Transformational Change

The opening of this hub signifies a critical milestone in Te Papatipu Matihiko’s ongoing mission to promote digital inclusion and technological empowerment. 

“Wairoa has been historically underserved in terms of technological resources and future focused training. Te Makaro aims to change that by providing cutting-edge facilities and innovative educational programmes that help not only strengthen skill development but support our tamariki and rangatahi to find hope and healing,” says Hinenui Swainson (Ngāti Kahungunu ki Te Wairoa, Ngāti Kauwhata), Kaiwhakahaere o Te Makaro, registered teacher and programme delivery lead.

Partnerships and Future Plans

Te Papatipu Matihiko has partnered with local government agencies, educational institutions, and tech companies to offer a variety of programmes and resources.

Te Wairoa is the first of 4 hubs which will be rolled out; it joins Rotorua’s Digital Natives Academy with soft launches happening in New Plymouth, Ōtautahi and Papakura.

“Creating this digital infrastructure has been key to supporting communities in the regions, it’s essential to be able to deliver high quality programmes that will meet needs of future generations.  So few of our community have this level of access and it’s undermining our ability to create meaningful opportunities, spaces like these are fundamental to regional growth”, explains Henry Lawton (Ngāti Kahungunu ki Te Wairoa, Ngāti Kauwhata), Chair of Te Papatipu Matihiko and CEO of Victory Up.

Bringing Digital Tech Training to the Regions

In 2024, a range of digital and creative tech microcredentials will be developed and in 2025 NZQA approved programmes levels 1-4 will be offered through Te Papatipu Matihiko’s education partner, Native Tech, NZ’s only indigenous owned Tertiary Education Organisation (TEO) to focus on tech qualifications using a Te Ao Māori foundation.

Building Meaningful Ecosystems

Te Papatipu Matihiko not only focuses on training and programme delivery but works alongside its partners, in particular, Native Industries to pathway ākonga into paid employment in the digital and creative tech industry.

“We are currently working with a number of clients across a range of projects, including illustrations for books, animated stories for Iwi telling the history of their taniwha, logos and style guides for social service providers and web development and hosting for Māori organisations,” explains Potaua Biasiny-Tule (Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Pikiao, Te Whānau ā Apanui, Ngāi Tūhoe), Te Papatipu Matihiko trustee and founder of Digital Natives Academy, Native Tech and Native Industries.

“What our hubs allow us to do is scout for the best and brightest creatives who we then help staircase into paid internships, within Native Industries, where they can work alongside some of NZ’s greats”.  Native Industries is a Māori led Tech, Innovation & Creative Design studio, providing indigenous centred kaupapa driven solutions to hapū, iwi, marae and Māori organisations as well other entities wanting to work with Māori creatives,” Potaua adds.

About Te Papatipu Matihiko

Te Papatipu Matihiko (TPM), a non-profit, is a collective of Māori organisations made up of Victory Up, Digital Natives Academy, Native Tech and Native Industries who together are focused on creating local hubs equipped with cutting-edge technology to support the educational, personal and career development of ākonga at risk of disengaging from education completely.

Founded on Te Ao Māori principles, our digital tech hubs aim to serve as vibrant learning spaces where ākonga can engage in culturally responsive, tailored educational experiences with a digital and creative tech focus. Our initiative is the result of a collective effort by Māori educators, tech innovators, curriculum specialists, and indigenous luminaries. Our goal is to rekindle the passion for learning among ākonga by providing them with digital and creative tech tools and resources that align with their unique needs and aspirations.

Te Papatipu Matihiko is committed to transforming the lives of ākonga and their whānau by offering a culturally respectful, high-tech learning environment in strategically located hubs.

Our digital tech hubs are designed to help ākonga develop both soft and hard skills, with a focus on cultural identity, self-awareness, self-esteem, and exploring career paths in digital and creative technology. By doing so, we aim to ensure that ākonga are globally competitive yet deeply connected to their local communities, whānau, hapū, iwi and marae.

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