Te Pōkai Ao: To Explore Innovative Opportunities Within Our World

The term ‘Te Pōkai Ao’ emerged from a discussion on the personal and collective attributes and aspirations Ngāi Tahu whānui have for our people in the world of science, technology, engineering, maths and arts and what we are wanting to foster and nurture in Ngāi Tahu by way of opportunity and development.

So what is this kaupapa about?

Te Pōkai Ao is a Ngāi Tahu STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) initiative focused on developing the engagement, capacity and capability of our young people as future leaders in STEAM related fields. It is a programme aimed at our Ngāi Tahu youth (Years 9 to 13) and an opportunity to discuss the current issues facing our iwi and the needs and jobs of the future. The programme is made up of a series of STEAM and cultural wānanga, noho marae, workshops, practical involvement supporting local communities and quality engagement with world-leading companies, universities, academics and STEAM leaders. The initiative is a guided opportunity to unleash the creative and entrepreneurial spirit of our tūpuna – Kia rite anō ki ō Māui whakaaro, kia rere te huata, kapohia!

What’s the plan for 2019?

Noho marae: Rangatahi will participate in a series of STEAM and cultural wānanga, noho marae to unpack these subjects and to strengthen their Ngāi Tahutanga in preparation for the STEAM programme in Hawaii.


This particular Heke is focused on exposing our rangatahi (Year 11 to 13) to the ingenuity of our tūpuna through mahinga kai (traditional food gathering practices) using a hybrid of traditional and contemporary technologies. Its whāinga or goal is to reinforce the importance of indigenous STEAM knowledge and its role and value within our changing world. Rangatahi will have hands on experience within Ahupua’a in Hawaii led by leading Kānaka Māoli (Takata Whenua) STEAM practitioners. They will learn and work alongside the tangata whenua in projects that directly assist and have an immediate effect on the local people and their environment. This Heke is for those with a passion for the outdoors, for the protection and maintenance of the natural environment and traditional food gathering practices.

Noho marae

A weekend in May and June (dates to be confirmed)

6th – 14th July, 2019

Te Pōkai Ao STEAM Programme in Hawaii

For 2019, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu is pleased to announce the opportunity for rangatahi (Years 11 to 13) to attend local wānanga and an international trip to Hawaii. The ideal applicants will be:

  • A registered member of Ngāi Tahu
  • Pursuing or have a strong interest in STEAM subjects at kura with a focus on environmental issues, kaitiakitanga and mahinga kai.
  • Have a strong interest and desire to learn about Ngāi Tahu reo, tikanga and history.
  • Be open to embracing and upholding our Ngāi Tahu values of Manaakitanga, Rangatiratanga, Whanaungatanga, Kaitiakitanga and Tohungatanga.
  • Have an active desire to strengthen connection and engagement with Ngāi Tahu, their Papatipu Rūnanga and marae.
  • Work effectively within a like-minded, committed group of “shakers and movers” but also be confident to share their individual creative ideas and solutions.
  • Be committed to developing indigenous leadership within the field of STEAM.
  • Endeavour to look for future opportunities to give back to our iwi and developing solutions and better outcomes for our hapū and whānau.

How do I apply?

Follow the link below to login and apply.
To apply for any of our grants or scholarships you will need your six-digit whakapapa number and your password is your 4 digit PIN. If you’re unsure of either please call 0800 KAI TAHU (0800 524 8248) or follow this link to find your registration number.

Applications for the first intake of 2019 are now closed.