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New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) together with NZ Trade & Enterprise Australia collaborated recently to bring the Aotearoa International Whare to life at the SXSW Sydney (15 – 20 October), a conference and festival that celebrates the convergence of technology, film, music, education, and culture.
Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, this was the first time the SXSW festival has been hosted in the South Pacific.
With Kaupapa Māori at the heart of the Aotearoa Whare, Education New Zealand (ENZ) was asked to support a showcase of Aotearoa indigenous education technology (edtech) companies in a panel conversation. The panel represented four whakapapa Māori edtech founders, including TŌNUI Collab based in Tairawhiti Gisborne, Tiaki Global based in Ta Whanganui a Tara Wellington, Code Avengers based in Waikato Hamilton, and ARA Journeysbased in Tamaki Makaurau Auckland.
The theme of Aotearoa NZ indigenous led education technology was explored by this group of Māori owned companies who have indigenous researchers, designers and content developers creating innovative digital learning experiences for indigenous learners, their whanau and communities, and learning experiences for non-indigenous learners that draw on indigenous knowledge and know-how. Make sure to check out their panel discussion here.
‘’It was a fascinating panel, expertly moderated by Duane Grace (Tiaki Global) and the passion, smarts and energy you all (Shanon O’Connor, Amber Taylor and Hamish Day) contributed as panellists on this vital kaupapa was palpable in the room. It was obvious the crowd felt the same given the number of pātai (questions) and that we ran out of time in the end!’’ Adrienne Bonell, Public Diplomacy Manager, MFAT.
Of the 60+ 2023 EdTechNZ Member survey respondents, 12% identified themselves as Māori or Pasifika owned and a further 44% stated they produced indigenous content and or draw on indigenous insights.
Supporting our Māori and Pasifika edtech community, is not only essential for the NZ education sector as it enriches our curriculum with diverse perspective, aligning to our community values, but it also enhances Aotearoa’s distinct and unique indigenous voice out in the world and supports our global competitiveness.
“It was an invaluable experience, and it allowed me to connect with a diverse audience. The chance to share our work at SXSW has already shown its potential. It is through partnerships and collaborations like these that our vision becomes a reality, and we are excited about the promising journey ahead.” Amber Taylor – ARA Journeys.
“It was a privilege to get to speak on the panel alongside these leaders/disrupters/activators in the indigenous Edtech space. I have learned new things, been challenged, and am optimistic about the future.” Shanon O’Connor Tōnui Collab.