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Ngā Pū Waea Buoyed by Māori ICT Fund Announcement

15 August 2014

Ngā Pū Waea Buoyed by Māori ICT Fund Announcement

Ngā Pū Waea, the National Māori Broadband Working Group today hailed the Government’s announcement of a $30m Māori ICT Fund as an exciting step towards enabling Māori to play a pivotal role in the ICT sector.

Ngā Pū Waea chair, Antony Royal recognises they have been working in the sector since 2011 with limited resources, “our work demonstrates the need for Māori communities to get connected to maximise the benefits of technology to benefit whānau, hapū and marae with the potential to produce significant social, cultural and economic gains for the entire country”,

“Given that the Government is investing over $1.5b in a world class telecommunications infrastructure through UFB and RBI, there is enormous potential for Māori businesses to leverage this and produce real gains for their business and our economy. This is also a fantastic chance to think about how ICT can help us to work smarter, particularly within the primary industries.”

He said there were few Māori in the ICT sector and the Fund would help lift those numbers across the board. “More support is also needed for Māori to be able to export their creative ideas, products and services – the world markets are closer to us than ever before, and if the Fund can support more Māori exports, then we will all benefit as a country”.

As well as economic development the Māori ICT Fund focuses on Māori language and culture.

Antony Royal said Ngā Pu Waea looked forward to hearing more about the Fund’s operating framework which will be developed and administered by Te Māngai Pāho.

“We are keen to be involved in consultation regarding the creation of an allocation strategy for the Fund; and more immediately having input to ensure the right accountability processes are established to efficiently administer the Fund when it commences on 1 July 2015”.

About Ngā Pū Waea
The role of Ngā Pū Waea is to provide advice to the Ministers of Māori Affairs and Communications and Information Technology on Māori interests in rural and urban broadband development. Ngā Pū Waea develops advice by undertaking case studies, research and evaluations; and by working with various stakeholders.

Ngā Pū Waea’s work programme is approved by the Minister of Māori Affairs on an annual basis. Ngā Pū Waea is not a funding body and has a small working budget for its work programme.

Other key aspects of the role of Ngā Pū Waea include:
• Provision of information to Māori communities (e.g. broadband deployment timeframes)
• Advocacy
• Facilitating relationships on behalf of Māori groups or communities with other groups and organisations in the telecommunications industry.

ENDS

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