Creative rangatahi unleashing their skills at M.A.T.C.H

Before joining the M.A.T.C.H Intensifier programme, animator Leslie Warbrick had been out of education for two years. Now he’s developing a 3D animated film alongside MATCH graduates Ethan O’Brien and Kalim Simeon Brown.  Another graduate Turanga Mahutonga is developing a series of animated and very catchy waiata in te reo Māori for tamariki.  

These are just some of the creative talents that have been unleashed through the MATCH Intensifier programme. The outcomes of the programme have surprised not only the programme leaders but also the industry. 

“It shows what happens when you give young people the tools and access to industry experts and then support them every step of the way. The transformation we’re seeing in such a short time makes all the effort worthwhile” says Madeleine de Young  who devised the MATCH programme.

Leslie (18) of Nga Puhi came to Ōtaki last year after a fight with cancer which took him out of school in year 10. He enrolled in the second Intensifier cohort of M.A.T.C.H (Māoriland Tech Creative Hub) – Aotearoa’s first kaupapa Māori tech creative incubator programme.  In the six week intensifier Leslie and his cohort were given a rapid hands-on overview of  the tools and software used by animation studios by those who work in the industry. The six week intensifier was followed by 12 weeks of paid employment at the Māoriland Hub. Other MATCH graduates are working at the newly established Whakaaro Factory in Ōtaki.

Prior to M.A.T.C.H, Ethan described himself as being ‘stuck’ in the hospitality sector. Despite having three years of animation training, he struggled to find contacts and work in the industry. Ethan is now working at Māoriland Productions – he’s developing his own video game as well as a 3D animated short film set in primordial Aotearoa. 

Check out the mahi from our latest graduates here.

Māoriland Charitable Trust has just put a call out for sponsors to support MATCH graduates to continue in their creative careers. 

“We are seeking support from the industry and individuals to sponsor a graduate and allowing them to continue to create a sustainable and successful career in the tech creative industry in Ōtaki. The tech creative is a fast growing multi-billion dollar industry that encompasses gaming, animation, virtual and augmented reality. Work in the sector is both creative and technical with applications that span every sector from entertainment to education to medicine and construction.