ITPs look to embrace Māori innovation

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

For the first time, the National Institutes of Technology and Polytechs (ITPs) annual symposium has implemented a Māori theme, with a specific focus on Māori innovation.

ITPs are preparing for a generation of culturally immersed Māori students coming from full-immersion education.

Te Urikore Biddle (Tuhoe, Kahungunu, Ngāti Awa) from UNITEC, says, “Māori is their first language, Māori philosophy is at the forefront of their thoughts at all times so ITPs and the wider education sector must be ready for that group as they come through.”

The innovation symposium includes Māori presenters representing a wide range of industries.

“The tribes and groups that are working hard and trying to nurture and develop Māori communities,” says Biddle.

Economic advisor Brook Grant says there's $15bil worth of assets and investments under management by Māori collectives, but the problem is that they are fragmented.

“The key to getting more success and realising the potential of that $15bil is that we collaborate... so an iwi might have land and another iwi might have cash, you combine the resources of all three and then you're in a more powerful position than each of them are individually,” says Grant.

The symposium runs for two days.