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Tech gets good at Techweek Wellington

A hackathon to help refugees settle in New Zealand and a discussion around how gaming can have a positive effect on children’s wellbeing are just two of the events on offer at next week’s Techweek Wellington, running from 20 – 26 May.

The annual event aims to showcase technology that’s ‘good for the world’ and will see more than 50 events running throughout the Wellington region.

David Perks, General Manager of WellingtonNZ, the agency coordinating the Wellington programme of the national event, says it’s refreshing to see a line-up of events that are in essence about people.

“It’s not all driverless cars, virtual reality and AI robots. Yes, there are events that reflect the latest in technology, but the majority look at how people interact with technology and how we can do that in a way that has positive outcomes.”

Techfugees Koraunui Stokes Valley Hackathon is a New Zealand-first refugee hackathon. Organiser Rochelle Stewart-Allen says the event is aiming to find solutions to help former refugees settle and rebuild their lives in New Zealand

“There are 66 million displaced people in the world, and very few tech solutions to help them rebuild their lives.

“We’ll have a mix of people from refugee and technology backgrounds, as well as former refugees who are now studying or working in IT in Wellington, coming together to see what solutions can be created to empower displaced people with technology.”

Parents and guardians who are worried about the impacts of gaming on young peoples’ wellbeing, will want to head along to the free Child Development, Mental Health, Wellbeing and Gaming workshop in Porirua.

Event organiser, Andrew Ritchie, says the event will give parents, teachers and guardians a better understanding of the behaviour patterns in online competitive play.

“We’re lucky to have Ivan Davies from Sydney to share his experiences. Mr Davies leads Riot Games’ ‘Learn with League’ initiative, which uses gameplay to build a better understanding of, and strategies for, positive communication, social interaction, team building and sportsmanship.”

Also on offer is Tech Talanoa, which aims to encourage more Pacific people into the tech industry, Ctrl Alt Delete, an exhibition of vintage computers at the National Library and Match in Otaki, an expo of indigenous games, animation, VR and comics to enable and mentor rangatahi to be leaders in the creative tech industry.

For the full programme visit techweek.co.nz


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