Māoriland Charitable Trust: Creating opportunities for rangatahi in the digital sector


A new programme based at the Māoriland Hub in Ōtaki north of Wellington is helping local rangatahi develop the skills to help them thrive and find work in the tech and digital sectors.

The Māoriland Technical Creative Hub (M.A.T.C.H) gives young Māori the opportunity to learn a range of skills from coding and animation to graphic design, filmmaking and game-and app-development.’

“Māoriland is about uplifting Māori storytellers and creatives and putting them at the centre of what we do,” says Libby Hakaraia of the Māoriland Charitable Trust. “Our town has a very culturally connected Māori population and we want to collaborate with our Māori youth.”

Workshops and courses at M.A.T.C.H are suitable for young people aged seven and older, and they range from one-day courses for school students to two-week courses for school leavers run by industry professionals. At this stage all the courses are free. “We want to make them as accessible as possible,” says Libby.

She says rangatahi and their teachers have been blown away by the opportunities and possibilities offered by M.A.T.C.H. “It’s been amazing to see their eyes light up.”

The Māoriland Charitable Trust was set up in 2016 to improve the social, economic and educational opportunities for Māori youth and the wider Ōtaki community. The trust also operates the annual Māoriland Film Festival,  a celebration of indigenous film-making that features films from around the world. Established in 2014, it is now the largest indigenous film festival in the southern hemisphere with over 12,000 people attending in 2019.

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