The Catalyst Koha team was honoured to participate in Ko Māui Hangarau – Porirua, Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington) on 17 May 2022.
Ko Māui Hangarau is a high-powered summit featuring some of the best Māori tech innovators and entrepreneurs from around the country. Their aim is to inspire and ignite rangatahi Māori (young Māori) into pathways in tech, innovation and entrepreneurship. In 2022, Ko Māui Hangarau is touring the country, also holding events in Rotorua and Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland).
The Porirua event was attended by approximately 200 young people from nearby kura kaupapa Māori (Māori-language immersion schools, guided by Māori values and practices) and mainstream schools. There were four kaikōrero (speakers), followed by a provided lunch, then dedicated time in the ‘Activation Zone’ - an exhibition area for Māori tech entrepreneurs and organisations to showcase their mahi (work) to the students.
Aleisha Amohia, Te Wainui Witika-Park and Chris Cormack attended Ko Māui Hangarau on behalf of the Catalyst Koha team, which involved looking after a stall in the Activation Zone. The team trained students to be Koha librarians and issue and return books using Koha.
The Catalyst Koha team also asked students to write answers in their own words to a Big Question: How can Māori help technology? They were impressed and inspired by the answers, which included:
- Māori can bring our culture, knowledge and traditions to the industry
- Māori will bring inter-generational thinking
- Māori can include Te Reo Māori (Māori language) in technology, and in doing so, ensure everyone is heard
- Tech is all about evolving, and Māori have always been capable of expanding our minds in order to adapt to different situations
- Māori can help with anything!
Aleisha was also a kaikōrero (speaker) for the keynote section of the event, alongside Pera Barrett, Katie Brown and Te Awanui Reeder, three incredible Māori tech innovators and entrepreneurs. Aleisha shared her journey into the tech industry – the pathways she took, the milestones and successes, the cultural and systemic challenges she faced as a brown woman in a male-dominated industry, and the importance of finding a support system and holding strong in your beliefs.
The Catalyst Koha team had an awesome day at Ko Māui Hangarau, and are excited about the level of self-awareness, intelligence and pure Māori pride coming from these rangatahi. Catalyst plans to use its resources to continue stimulating these students’ interest in tech and innovation, and urges the rest of the New Zealand tech community to invest in the industry’s future and do so too.
Written by Aleisha Amohia, Koha Development Lead.
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