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Māori tech ecosystem shaping our future

Did you find time during Techweek2020 to tune into Techweek TV? If you didn’t, every single episode is available on Stuff Play’s Techweek channel. There are four days of amazing panel discussions, interviews and presentations about tech and innovation for you to enjoy at your leisure. Thank you to our sponsors and special thanks to the Techweek team.

One session I found particularly inspiring and thought provoking was Māori and the future of AI. The panel, pictured above, (L to R: Aroha Armstrong, Teresa Pollard and Kirikowhai Mikaere) discussed the use of data, ethical AI, 5G spectrum opportunities and opportunities for New Zealand. Most importantly, the alignment between te ao Māori and the way we develop our national approach to AI, data, technology and the tech sector in general. 

With work currently underway on the Digital Tech Industry Transformation Plan (ITP) we have the ideal opportunity to influence and mutually develop something that will have long term benefits for all of New Zealand. The ITP pre-development workshops throughout New Zealand identified areas where some form of intervention or support might be valuable to help grow digital tech as a significant economic engine for New Zealand in the future. These included getting the foundations right (skills, Government procurement/policy, data, investment) and building on those with growth engines (the AI opportunity, Māori tech success, and growing tech exports), using storytelling to share the message.  

While there is an obvious focus for Māori via a specific Māori tech workstream, I would love to see Māori influence across other workstreams. The work on AI, data, improving Government procurement processes, investment, skills and telling the tech story will all benefit from a strong input of the Māori worldview. So this is my call to the Māori tech ecosystem. Please share the word, reach out and be involved.  

On 13 August, following the NZTech AGM in Auckland, hear about the progress of the Digital Tech ITP. Robyn from MBIE and I will facilitate conversation with Emma from the AI Forum, Don from NZRise, Paul from IT Professionals, Aroha from Callaghan Innovation and Julie from NZTech. Come along and get involved.

Ngā mihi

Graeme Muller


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