Digital Maori: A Look Back at Maori ICT in 2013, A Tip Toe Peek into 2014

E nga Rangatira, tena koutou.  He mihi atu i te tau hou.  Kia ora tatau katoa.

Welcome to 2014.

While many of you have been busily sunning, eating and enjoying the company of whanau, we here at TangataWhenua.com have been at work, bringing you the latest panui, news, original articles and korero from home and abroad.  For us, the mahi never stops.

So this week, we look back at some of the outstanding Maori ICT initiatives we saw last year, and then will peer ahead at what the exciting solar system of Maori ICT has in store for 2014.

images1.  Top Maori ICT Product for 2013: Kaitiaki HD. 

The brainchild of Dr Ian Ruru, Kaitiaki HD is a mobile app (iOS & Android) that is part game, part learning experience.  Dr Ruru brought his love for the ocean & nga tamariki o Tangaroa and skillfully turned it into a playable game, filled with exercises, card gathering research and fun.  Our tamariki loved it, and the learning components turned this game into a anywhere-based curriculum lesson, where students utilised mobile tech to better interact with our natural waters and the wonderful life within.  Look forward to seeing more digital Maori learning resources this year (games, literacy, story telling and math plz!)

2.  Best Maori ICT Social Network Use for 2013: Resistance against Te Arawa land Confiscation on Facebook.

Maori were all over Facebook last year.  For that matter we were all over YouTube, Maori Tube, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Soundcloud and pretty much every channel you can think of lol.  For us, a small hapu Facebook group called Resistance against Te Arawa land Confiscation took to social media and turned their struggle to stop the Rotorua District Council and the New Zealand Transport Agency from building a new state highway over their tribal.  The Facebook Group grew locally and then gained national attention almost immediately, rallying support for their kaupapa.  They empowered others to share intimate whanau histories of Ngapuna, Owhata, and the hapu of Ngati Hurungaterangi, Ngati Te Rorooterangi and Ngati Uenukukopako were able to openly share their journey with the wider iwi.  As of writing, NZTA have stopped their push but with a new Mayor of Rotorua still seeking a road, this Facebook whanau might be called to battle once more.

Notable mentions: social media for Maori films has DEFINITELY picked up, as seen with White Lies, Mt Zion and currently, the Pa Boys and Deadlands.  Also whanau on Homai Te Paki, NZ Got Talent – ka mau te wehi!

3.  Best Technical Maori ICT Initiative for 2013: Kapua Network Free Wifi in Rotorua CBD

These past few years have seen Maori ICT infrastructure quietly build and grow.  From the expanding network around schools and wananga, to the efforts of 2Degrees and the Tai Tokerau Network, Maori have started investing into crucial hardware and network capabilities necessary to lift our digital game into the 21st century.  Amongst all of that push and expansion, we saw a small Maori ICT whanau make huge marks on the down low.  Pia Kaycee Vercoe and her talented partner Dorien Takeshi own and operate KapuaNet, a wireless company providing broadband connection in Rotorua.  After a rapid few months, their wifi service was contracted by the Rotorua District Council to provide free city wifi.  In a successful partnership, this service has the potential to spread across the entire motu.

Notable mention: Computers in Homes and the heartfelt work of Ivan Lomax and whanau. He mahi aroha.

4.  Maori ICT Event for 2013: NetHui 2013

NetHui 2013. Hands down.  So much talent, so many topics covered.  Maori were fortunate enough to be offered the opportunity to host the 1st day of NetHui (open sessions), and brought together over 100 Maori ICT practitioners, workers, managers, hobbyists and lobbyists in a series of fascinating sessions.  Antony Royal spoke of his efforts with Nga Pu Waea, as did Richard Orzecki; Karaitiana Taiuru spoke to the larger world of security, domain names & 4G; Dee O’Carrol found that Facebook was the new marae for many Maori, especially those away from home and overseas; Rei Sciascia stood to speak about the Digital Maori Forum (DMF) and their aspirations for greater engagement & participation in the global ICT industry and many many others. It was a mind-blowing 3 days.  It was also the same day that the Pakeha Party made their launch too lol.  Clowns.  NetHui 2014 is in Auckland on the 9th of July this year.  Nau mai haere mai.

5.  Mean Maori Apps of 2013: Ngati Ruapani, Ngati Manawa, Ngati Wai, Ngaiterangi mobile apps by Appstar Creative

Pukana if you have a smartphone 8-D ktk.  We are always searching Google Play and the App Store for the latest Maori apps and found an impressive suite of iwi apps made by Appstar Creative.  Ngati Ruapani, Ngati Manawa, Ngati Wai, Ngaiterangi have made that bold next step by opening a new portal for panui, social connections, hui minutes and tribal registrations.  Still only about 1 in 5 Maori have access to high-level smartphones and that will undoubtedly change in 2014 but for now, check these apps out whanau.  Kia ora e nga Hapu e nga Iwi.

5.  Tragic Maori ICT Moment for 2013: Loss of 2Degrees CEO Eric Hertz

The moment we heard that 2Degrees CEO Eric Hertz and his wife Kathy had crashed their private plane into the waters of the Kawhia coast, our hearts burst.  Along with Bill Osborne, Tex Edwards, Mana Forbes, Antony Royal and Mavis Mullins, Eric worked to make our digital lives better here in Aotearoa.  With 2Degrees, Eric was able to openly challenge the duopoly of Telecom and Vodaphone, providing an experienced rallying cry for Maori to better engage in the mobile industry through scholarships, internships, collaborative projects and the opening of Maori 2Degree stores.  Their loss was Our loss.  Moe mai ra e nga Rangatira.

6.   Moumou Maori ICT Project for 2013:  Te Reo Phone

The 2Degrees Huawei IDEOS X3, which was meant to include a full Te Reo Maori language interface, and sounds totally mean…but no one can buy one. And besides the one we saw at the launch, no one has used it. So yea. Moumou.

Equally moumou: Rural broadband initiative.  Still waiting…

7.  Dominant Maori ICT Issue in 2013: Maori Spectrum is a Taonga

Pakeha in Government will always choose to refuse that the Treaty of Waitangi includes them.  In the Treaty, Article 2 refers to the respect of nga taonga tuku iho which are all those shared treasures and possessions that can be used for the collective benefit of all.  The moment the National Government said yes to auctioning away 4G spectrum leases without Maori inclusion, that right was exercised exclusively and Maori seemingly lost out.  Maori love technology and have utilised every parliamentary breadcrumb given, but it by pulling together a world-class channel like Maori TV or kaumatua-essentials such as Iwi Radio.  Maori have the requisite skill and want to explore this new digital frontier yet Government exclusion and lack of respective regulatory protection leaves Maori out in the digital cold.  This election year, expect to see ICT as a whole take to the fore (as signaled by Kim Dotcomm’s Internet Party) and Maori ICT should plan to be right there advocating for our rights, or as the bro Rhys Coffin states ‘Asserting our Digital Rangatiratanga’. Mauri ora.

Notable mention: The sensational coverage by Native Affairs (Maori TV) on the spending of Te Kohanga Reo National Trust and the subsequent firestorm over the allegations #defamation

8.  Maori Blogger of 2013: Maui Street, Morgan Godfrey

Although a lot quieter than previous years, Morgan Godfrey offered a unique perspective on a wide range of issues in 2013 (politics, social, cultural kaupapa). Hailing from Kawerau yet studying in Wellington (and virtually living online for weeks on-end by the looks of things), Maui Street has become the go-to window for a uniquely fresh, young Maori opinion.  His most recent korero on who he rates as the Top Iwi raised the ire of many, but his insight is keen and is writing helps to test the diversity of Maori opinion.

Notable mentions: Councilor Manu Caddie, Plastic Free Maori

9.  Te Reo Maori Arahi i mai te Ipurangi 2013:  Te Mihinga Komene

Mai te tuakana, rangatira i te momo kaiarahi me te whakaaro Maori, te korero Maori ma to Pukamata me to Twitter (Hei aha te kupu Maori mo Twitter?) kei a koe Te Mihinga Komene i tu atu nei.  Me te korero katakata, me hitori, hei te kupu hou, he whaiake nei a te patient teacher mo to aroha ki nga tangata, ki ta Ao Maori katoa.  O for orsum cuz.

Notable mention: @iMaori / “Te reo Maori me ona tikanga: kai o nga Rangatira – korero i nga wa katoa,Mana Tinana-Mana Kai-Mana Maori-Nga Puhi nui tonu Ngatokimatawhaorua te waka.  AOTEAROA!!

8. Maori ICT Leader for 2013: Quinn Nahi 

Quinn Nahi is a rare Maori ICT leader who respects people as much as he understands the technology.  Today, Quinn remains committed to connecting every Maori community looking to click on to the digital super highway or use it as a means to connect up whanau.  Quinn is at the leading edge of network technology and has a real passion for making sure that Maori get the very best advice, knowledge, tools and training.  His enthusiasm is infectious and he is one of the few ICT bro’s or sis’s who we can talk tech to for hours and never be bored. For us here at TanagataWhenua.com, Quinn Nahi was the Maori ICT Leader for 2013 for his tireless efforts and positive pursuit for better.  Kia kaha e te Tuakana, Rangatira me too Hoa Rangatira hoki.  Aroha tino nui.

 

So, what’s forming for Maori ICT in 2014? 

Maori ICT Leadership

Maori ICT is blessed to have many leading lights: Haami Piripi, Antony Royal, Mavis Mullins, Tuwhakairiora Williams, Hemi Waerea, Humphrey Wikeepa, Warren Williams, Ian Taylor, Robyn Kamira, Bradley Walker, Te Paea Paringatai, Rei & Renee Sciascia, Puawai & Arahi Hagger, not to mention all the countless thousands who teach, train, use and work in ICT everyday.

2013 saw a surge of new Maori ICT leaders coming through, like Kahotapu Black, Shana Tana (Touch Media), Dee O’Carroll, Tupoutahi Winitana & Karauria Hahipene (MMA), Te Aroha Morehu, Hemi Bennett (AfterDark Digital Media).  Each is a unique leader who openly shares and actively contributes to Maori ICT.  Imagine the kind of impact Maori would feel if they all worked on the same kaupapa #PlanetMaori

Engaging Mahi 

If social media is any indication of what’s about to happen, the digitization of our nation is well and truly underway.  From smart homes to smart cars, the future is open for Maori to harness our own unique concepts and to build new tech around those things that matter to us, today and into the future.  In what ways can technology be better used for hauora purposes, especially around our pepi, tamariki and kaumatua?  How can we point innovation in the direction of answering some of the most pressing issues faced by Maori in the 20th century, like urbanization, poverty and falling educational levels, and is it possible to up-level our thinking to create new mahi, or enhance our existing lives?  We must engage with the future, today e nga whanau.

Digital Smart Maori…. 

A few Maori will eventually get some Google Glasses.  A few others will get the latest gadgets like a 3D Printer and start producing Maori inspired products for use in agriculture, forestry or in the creative sector.  As we head back into kura and wananga studies, many of us will use and sit in front of some amazing devices, that do incredible things, at increasingly faster speeds, and more and more hapu & iwi will be looking online to reconnect via tribal databases.

And on top of all that, just imagine what Maori cloud computing might do. Whaaaa.

For us, technology has a special wairua because all of the products came from the children of Papatuanuku, and for now, the machine is only ever as good as the person, and the network is only as string as the relationships.  What we hope all you Smart Maori do is continue to push the boundaries and to bring that knowledge and understanding HOME, wherever your home maybe.  The more we share, the smarter we can collectively become #kotahitanga

…and Naturally Smart Maori

My son is a mantis on Minecraft and Team Fortress 2 but he spends waaaaaaaay to much time clicking in, so every now and then whanau, take our tamariki out for a walk and remind them about the real life beauty of Papatuanuku, Ranginui, Tane Mahuta, me Tangaroa hoki #rollon #2014 #digitalnative 

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