Ngāti Whātua makes moves in tech sector

To create a digital nation by 2030. That was the challenge laid out at the global tech summit in Auckland today with local iwi Ngāti Whātua gearing up to help fill the demand for tech experts in New Zealand.

It was singing fruit and robot cars at the global tech summit, bringing software programming to the fingertips of the next generation.

Tech is the fastest-growing sector in New Zealand with 120,000 employed in tech last year. Ngāti Whātua Chief Innovation Officer Te Aroha Morehu is part of the dialogue around what's needed to create a digital nation by the year 2030. He says dramatic tech advances can be expected that will benefit Māori and the environment.

“We want to merge the new knowledge with the old and see what innovative ideas we come up with,” says Morehu.

In twelve years’ time, these students will be in their early twenties and have mixed reactions about the proposed digital nation. They share their thoughts:

"A world surrounded by technology, it could be good or bad."

"We can get away from using pencils and paper, we could just use our smartphones."

New Zealand is facing an 11 percent annual increase in demand for software programmer jobs. Morehu says Ngāti Whātua is making the most of the opportunity to fill the demand, starting with his appointment as Chief Innovation Officer for the iwi.

“We're really embracing the technology sector to open up more doors and opportunities for our people.”

Around 200 international tech specialists have gathered to take part in the two-day summit which ends tomorrow.