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Next steps for Māori ICT Fund

Hon Amy Adams
Minister for Communications and Information Technology

Hon Dr Pita Sharples
Minister of Māori Affairs

14 August 2014

Next steps for Māori ICT Fund

Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples have today announced the next stage in the creation of a Māori ICT Development Fund.

In Budget 2014, $30 million was set aside to establish a Fund to support Māori economic development and Māori language and culture through ICT.

Te Māngai Pāho has been chosen to administer the Fund. It will be required to develop and submit annual statements of operating intentions each year for ongoing sign off by Ministers.

As part of its role, Te Māngai Pāho will undertake a public consultation process with iwi, Māori and other stakeholders on the proposed uses of the Fund, which will be administered over seven years. It will also establish a standing Māori ICT expert group to provide ongoing advice.

“I want to see more Māori businesses participate in the knowledge economy,” Dr Sharples says.

“That means having more Māori working at all levels in the ICT sector, more Māori ICT businesses and more Māori companies using existing ICT resources to unlock their commercial potential. If we get this right, there will be some significant gains in productivity.”

Dr Sharples says Te Māngai Pāho has a proven track in managing contestable funds.

“It’s had almost two decades experience contracting contestable funds for television, music, radio, digital and new media so we’re confident in its ability to manage the ICT Fund.”

Ms Adams says the Fund will support Māori involvement in new digital technologies that underpin economic growth and will be the catalyst for new initiatives that do not already exist.

“The Fund will support Māori economic development by stimulating Māori participation across the ICT sector, as employees, entrepreneurs, managers, governors, owners and investors. It will support enhanced use of ICT as an input into Māori economic development through enabling better use of existing ICT and through research and development.

“The Fund will also have the ability to support access to the Māori language and culture through ICT.”

Te Māngai Pāho has been given an initial allocation of $500,000 for 2014/15 principally to develop the over-arching strategy and establish the Fund’s administration and governance structures.

ENDS

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