Over the course of the evening, over 20 Maaori exhibitors and businesses will showcase their different tech-based solutions to business problems providing a distinctive advantage in their sector whether entertainment, game development to tourism to reo and cultural revitalisation efforts.

Arataki Cultural Trails founder Lee Timutimu (Ngaati Awa, Ngaai Te Rangi, Tuhoe, Ngaati Porou) says that innovation and technology is an element that is inherently linked to Maaori and should be celebrated. “I think we Maaori are inherently innovators. It is in our DNA, our tuupuna we're innovators and disruptors, they were bold and brave and had to make some pretty big decisions when they left Hawaiki,” he says. 

“There are so many Maaori businesses and individuals doing amazing things - AR, VR, AI, big data, apps, software, blockchain, cryptocurrency.  You name it, we're doing it!”

Tauranga-based, Arataki Cultural Trails is the first business to have developed NZ’s proximity based cultural content delivery platform that aims to guide users through significant Maaori sites using storytelling, waiata (songs), and cultural heritage on their Arataki App.

Creating awareness of the exhibitor’s products and services is one of the primary objectives of the showcase but so is promotion of the technology sector and the potential career pathways available to young Maaori.

Currently there is only one-percent of Maaori enrolled and or studying towards and ICT qualification across the country. To address this issue award winning Maru Nihoniho (Ngaati Porou, Te Whaanau-a-Apanui, Ngaai Tahu) founder of Auckland-based Metia Interactive will lead the discussion on where the tech industry has taken her and her established game development studio.

12-year-old entrepreneur and guest speaker Christian-Lee Pogai will share his whaanau business concept, Marae BnB. A similar concept of Air BnB that will allow marae to provide an accommodation service through an elaborate booking system.

Event organiser Kahurangi Taylor from Waikato Innovation Park says this will be an exciting opportunity for whaanau and tamariki to see what is being done and what is possible in the future.

“We have some amazing Maaori talent and this Showcase will allow whaanau and tamariki to see what is possible in the technology sector. We have some of the world’s best in our own backyard so what better way to do it,” says Taylor.

“Waikato is the fastest growing Tech region in the country and that is reflected with the increased number of Maaori Tech Start-ups that we see coming to Waikato Innovation Park. It seems Waikato and Bay of Plenty are the hot spots for Maori Tech Companies”

Find out more about the Maaori Tech Showcase here or download the Techweek ’18 app to get information on sessions, speakers and exhibitors. You can use the app to register for the event and as a tool to connect to people and facilitate networking opportunities with other Maaori Tech Showcase attendees.