Creating Māori Leaders in the Creative Tech Industry

Behind the construction banner at the Māoriland Hub preparations are underway on the M.A.T.C.H Tech Creative Hub – a project to inspire and empower rangatahi in the creative tech space. 

M.A.T.C.H (Māoriland ‘Ahi’ Tech Creative Hub) aims to create pathways to employment for rangatahi Māori in Ōtaki, Kāpiti and Horowhenua in high-value careers in animation, game development, app development and other tech + creative fields.

Significant seismic strengthening work has been completed at Māoriland Hub for the MATCH space which is set to kick-off in October 2020.

‘Kicking-Off’ is an apt terminology to use with the appointment of M.A.T.C.H Manager, Jared Tuoro who is a rugby man through and through. Jared Tuoro or ‘JT’ was an aspiring rugby player having represented Auckland in the early 2000s and then going on to work for NZ Rugby as a Coach Development Manager.

“Rugby was a vehicle that youngsters could dive into and experience not only NZ but the world! Coming from Opotiki my brother and I were able to play around the world, create friendships for life and ultimately learn some amazing life skills that are helping us in life today, so I saw rugby as a way for people to achieve their dreams”

JT is taking this philosophy and applying it to this faced paced and growing ‘Creative Tech’ industry. 

“It’s no secret what technology is doing to our world and we can see the disruption to how we usually do things on a yearly if not monthly basis – there’s always something new coming out.  The future of work is upon us and we want rangatahi Māori to be ready to be leaders.”

Reports from the NZ Government say that digital transformation within the next five years will affect as many as  1/3 of jobs including those that were once considered jobs for life.

“M.A.T.C.H and its programmes will help prepare our youth for this future and will be able to pathway them into exciting and high-value employment and income streams. Creative tech is the new forestry or trades for rangatahi.”

The first of two programmes commencing in October 2020 is for Kura Takawaenga (rangatahi aged 12-14) in Ōtaki and include a play-based programme for rangatahi to learn about creative technology, develop technological practice and knowledge.

The second programme is a six week full time course followed by 10 week of paid internships within the creative sector.  

The M.A.T.C.H Animation Intensifier is for rangatahi Māori aged 18-24 who will be taught by some of the best animators in NZ.  

“Māoriland has been developing MATCH for over 18 months and have some amazing industry partners including Weta Digital, Adrenalin (Auckland), Puhoro Stem Academy (Massey University), Victoria University and  Indigilab (Australia)” said Maddy de Young, who has developed the MATCH programme.

Jobs and opportunities in the creative tech space include:

  • Animator
  • Game Developer 
  • Virtual reality, AR & XR maker
  • Coding & App Developer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Filmmaker (writer, director, producer, editor)

The managing director of the Māoriland Charitable Trust Libby Hakaraia said creative and tech hubs have proven to be highly successful overseas and something that Ōtaki is the perfect environment for.

“We have a large rangatahi population in Ōtaki that have grown up with digital devices. Our MATCH Expo in 2019 showed us the capability that we knew existed with our young people. Giving them direct access to the tools and some of the most inspiring leaders in the tech creative industry will enable them not only  to upskill but to dream big”

And this is something that  MATCH manager JT endorses.

 “I’m a big believer in the adage that it takes a village to raise a child. With MATCH the benefits of bringing in the world’s best for our young people to learn from will ultimately benefit the village.”

Applications to participate in M.A.T.C.H are open now. We are also looking for employment partners. 

Find out more about M.A.T.C.H here