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Fresh injection for Maori digital tech fund

09 Feb 2018

A fresh round of funding aimed at building Māori capacity in the digital technology space is about to get underway. 

“It’s about helping Māori participate in the modern digital economy,” says Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta, announcing the latest round along with Research, Science and Innovation Minister Dr Megan Woods.

Already, some $3.6million is helping 20 projects around the country develop under the Ka Hao Māori Digital Technology Fund.

The new funding round will expand this, with applications opening on Thursday, February 9.

Ka Hao aims to create high-value jobs and opportunities that advance Māori in digital technologies.

Applications must demonstrate how an initiative achieves this aim, and aligns with at least one of the Fund’s priorities:

Improving digital skills and pathways for Māori in digital technologies
Growing digital technologies businesses
Enhancing new Māori language and culture initiatives through digital technologies.

“We want more Māori involved with technology and innovation,” Mahuta says.

“Ka Hao supports Māori to develop skills that are key to participating in our digital future.”

Woods says, “Technology and innovation are important pillars of New Zealand’s economic, environmental, social and cultural wellbeing.

“For Māori to succeed in the 21st century we must foster and build capability in digital technology and support a diverse, knowledge-intensive economy that will create new jobs in new industries.”

Ka Hao (previously known as the Māori ICT Development Fund) is a joint programme between Te Puni Kōkiri and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

“By providing direct support through the Ka Hao Fund, Māori will have even greater access and success in the digital technology industry,” says Mahuta.

Applicants have until March 9 to submit a short proposal.

Selected applicants will then be invited to submit a more detailed proposal to determine which projects will receive funding.

The Government is interested in broadening the ambition of the Ka Hao Māori Digital Technology Fund and there may be additional focus areas in future funding rounds.

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