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Monday 17 May, 2021
On Tuesday May 11th, NZTech’s Chair, Māori Board members and management team attended a kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face) hui in Tauranga Moana with Lee Timutimu and Awhina Ngātuere, the co-founders of Ko Māui Hangarau. The purpose of the hui was to discuss concerns about similarities between the Tech21 and Ko Māui Hangarau events. The hui was very productive and achieved a good level of mutual understanding and respect. Together, we established and acknowledged how and where the concerns originated.
An understanding was reached that Ko Māui Hangarau was not plagiarised. NZTech was able to share how the Tech21 Summit was coordinated by the Ministry of Education and co-designed by students and teachers from Auckland schools. NZTech’s role was to facilitate tech sector participation and support the event logistics. Both Ko Māui Hangarau and Tech21 want to inspire students into tech careers and that was the likely source of misunderstanding. Any similarity in events was coincidental.
The bigger issue that emerged from the experience, it was agreed, was the disconnect between industry, community and Government; in this case, identifying providers that would be best suited for particular events.
While NZTech and Tech Alliance members have begun their own Te Tiriti journey, this experience has reinforced the value and importance of tikanga in the way we work. NZTech will continue to grow our cultural awareness and cultural capability across the community.
Together, it was agreed that the broader issues identified are far greater than NZTech and Ko Māui Hangarau. NZTech for its part, will review its engagement and procurement processes as relates to the Māori tech ecosystem and build on current work to advance and advocate for Māori in tech, supported by the philosophy of by Māori for Māori. The insights were welcome and will support NZTech’s focus on continuous improvement. “Nā tō rourou, nā taku rourou, ka ora ai te iwi”
With your food basket and my food basket, the people will thrive
Monday 10 May, 2021
Further to NZTech’s response to social media regarding the Tech21 project, we are pleased to be able to provide an update. We have now engaged with Lee Timutimu and have a kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face) hui this week. This will provide an opportunity to understand each other’s perspectives and resolve any outstanding concerns.
We are looking forward to meeting in person for a korero.
Wednesday 5 May, 2021
Kia ora NZTech Members,
NZTech has recently had to respond to negative Facebook and LinkedIn posts regarding the Tech21 project. We have made multiple attempts to make direct contact to discuss in-person, but have had no response.
Tech21 is part of an ongoing programme of work that NZTech has had underway since last year’s Techweek, commissioned by the Ministry of Education (MoE), to help address issues identified in NZTech’s Digital Skills for our Digital Future report. The work programme also includes ShadowTech and ShadowTech Teachers.
On Monday afternoon, as the Chair of NZTech, I received a complaint via email from Lee Timutimu regarding Tech21. Lee said he had previously run a similar event called Ko Māui Hangarau. Within a few hours, I responded saying we were sorry for any perceived issues and asked to discuss further. Meanwhile, Lee had taken his concerns to social media.
The Tech21 Summit was co-designed with students and teachers from local schools to meet their specific needs focused on inspiring young women, Māori and Pasifika students toward tech careers. At no time was Ko Māui Hangarau referenced or discussed.
On Tuesday morning, NZTech’s CEO, Graeme Muller emailed Lee to arrange a call or meeting to discuss his concerns. NZTech’s Board member, Duane Grace has also attempted multiple times to reach Lee seeking a kōrero to clear any misunderstandings.
To date, we have not had any response from Lee. We would like to understand Lee’s perspective and are keen to connect to resolve any outstanding issues. We firmly believe it is in everyone’s best interests, especially the students and teachers attending the Tech21 Summit, that we quickly resolve any concerns and work together.
NZTech is committed to helping all students connect with the tech sector. We care deeply about this, so we are not taking these concerns lightly. We believe all of the parties involved are working with the best intentions and we hope we can resolve this as soon as possible. We will provide an update in due course.