Ngāi Tahu offers technology scholarship

Te Ururoa Flavell launches the new Te Uru Rangi Scholarship.

Te Ururoa Flavell launches the new Te Uru Rangi Scholarship.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu is offering a full scholarship to support two iwi members into the information and communication technology industry through the new Te Uru Rangi Scholarship.

Launched by Māori Development Minister, the Honourable Te Ururoa Flavell on August 26, Te Uru Rangi is a collaborative partnership between Wellington-based Enspiral Dev Academy, Te Puni Kōkiri, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise and Callaghan Innovation. The intensive 9-week course is a bootcamp for work-ready participants to learn software development including writing code for computer programmes.

Lead for Tribal Economies at Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Che Wilson says that Ngāi Tahu is the first iwi to sign up to the scholarship, which offers 100 places for Māori at the Enspiral Dev Academy. He says the scholarship is an exciting opportunity and a chance to train the next wave of Māori tech and business leaders.

dev 2 small

“For us, this is all about the Ngāi Tahu whakatauki ‘Mo tātou, ā, mō kā uri ā muri ake nei – for us and our children after us’ – teaching our younger generations and preparing them for the future. Innovation is a key pou within othe Ngāi Tahu Mātauranga Strategy and ICT (Information and Communication Technologies), is a key employment emphasis within our tribal economies strategy,” he says.

“It’s important for the iwi because we continue to educate our kids for yesterday’s jobs when in reality,we are looking at an automated future – and as automation continues, Māori are usually the first hit. So let’s learn how to automate. We play the games, we use the apps and the websites, so let’s learn how to create them.”

Che says the Dev Academy has an 89% success rate in getting kiids into fulltime work within four months of graduation from their courses, with starting salaries between $50,000 to $70,000.

“The ICT sector is thriving but even our own IT team struggles to find workers with the right skills. This scholarship will address that shortage, at the same time offering Ngāi Tahu whānau to train and work with some of New Zealand’s leading technology companies inclduing Xero, TradeMe, NZX and Powershop.”

Te Runanga is funding two full scholarships to the value of $11,000 each and Che Wilson says the iwi will investigate opportunities for other Ngāi tahu whānau who may wish to attend the Enspiral Dev courses.. The scholarship is currently being promoted at the Ngāi Tahu Roadshows around the country.

“This opportunity will help people who want a change of lifestyle. Within ten years of working in this industry, you can move out of the city and return home – you could go home to Moeraki for instance and still be working for Google X. That’s the way of the future. It’s an awesome opportunity.”