Te Pōkai Ao: Silicon Valley Boot Camp

Are you a tech geek or a haka freak?

In July 2018, a group of Ngāi Tahu rangatahi (youth) will go to Silicon Valley, San Francisco, USA to engage with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

This incredible opportunity is open to all Ngāi Tahu rangatahi in years 9 and 10. We are looking for innovative, creative thinkers and leaders and, most importantly, rangatahi with open minds who are willing to learn from new experiences.

Rangatahi will take part in design workshops and meet leaders from companies like Google and Facebook.

We want our rangatahi to rekindle the creative spirit of Māui by carving out new ways to express our culture and create opportunities for our whānau to prosper in the digital world.

NB: All successful applicants are required to attend two noho marae prior to the trip. See the next section for more information.

When is it? And what do you need to do?

Application process

Expressions of interest open: 29th January 2018
Expressions of interest close: 23rd February 2018
2018 student cohort confirmed: 16th March 2018

Four week online course: June 2018
First noho marae: 25th – 27th May 2018
Second noho marae: 15th – 17th  June 2018


Silicon Valley Haerenga, U.S.A: Monday 9th – Tuesday 17th of July,
Term 2 holidays 2018


Evaluation – Term 3 2018
Presentation to Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu – Hui ā-tau 2018
NB: These dates are indicative only. 

Who can apply?

We welcome applications from registered Ngāi Tahu rangatahi who are currently in Year 9 or Year 10 and have an interest in studying computing, science, engineering or maths.

(Please note if you are selected to attend you will need a current NZ passport valid for 6 months after your date of travel and you will have to apply for a ESTA Visa prior to departure (for any enquiries and/or if you need assistance please contact the Te Pōkai Ao Coordinator).

Why should you apply?

This experience will provide an opportunity to build on your science, mathematics and technology skills and broaden your curiosity and creativity in ways you can only imagine.

You will take part in design workshops and engage with industry leaders and mentors including hi-tech entrepreneurs, investors, researchers and Stanford University students. You will be encouraged to capture and share your experience through social media to inspire others.

How to apply

We want to hear from you!
To show your interest, we want you to take part in a two – step process.

  • Fill out the Te Pokai Ao 2018 Application Form.
  • Create a 30 second video, outlining a problem that you want to solve and why it is important to you. Upload as part of your application.

What happens if the application is successful:

Approved: You will be notified in writing with a confirmation letter and a detailed plan of activities and requirements leading up to the trip. You will need to return the letter to confirm your commitment to participating in the pre- and post-boot camp activities and requirements.
Travel, accommodation and food costs will be covered for the noho marae and the haerenga to San Francisco. This does not include any expenses beyond the programme and we recommend you save $300 to bring with you as spending money.
Please be aware we expect the expressions of interest to be competitive. As there are limited spaces for the 2018 intake, you will be notified in writing if your application is unsuccessful outlining why your application has been declined for this round.