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More Pacific and Maori needed in tech sector

29 August 2017

Posted in: Pacific Radio News,

The CEO of NZ Tech says there's an under-representation of Maori and Pacific workers in the technology sector.

Graeme Muller is adding his support for the High Tech Youth Network, who have lost government funding.

Studio 274 in Otara. Photo/ Facebook.

The network's Studio 274 in Otara was an after-school technology hub for Maori and Pacific students from local schools. Another clubhouse in Northland has also closed down. 

Muller says it's a huge loss not only to the Maori and Pacific community, but also to the technology sector.

"There's a growing need for people who have capabilities and confidence in using technology and only one per cent of Maori and Pasifika are in these jobs which is atrocious."

The network's $700,000 yearly fund ended last year and the Ministry of Education decided not to continue, after a review found the network was unable to deliver the government's objectives for learning in the ICT sector. 

The National Party's campaign launch on the weekend promised to spend $48 million on digital academies.

However, Muller says the government isn't aware of what the community is already doing to build innovative digital ideas. 

"There's some really good ideas by the politicians but not necessarily that much awareness of what's already out there operating," he says. "The High Tech Youth Network was achieving a number of the goals they would like these new concepts to achieve.

"Unless you've gone and visited (Studio 274), I don't think you'd be able to grasp what it offers."

NZ Tech CEO Graeme Muller. Photo/ NZ Tech.