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$30m challenge to draw Maori to tech

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The chair of Ka Hao Maori Digital Technology Development Fund, Antony Royal, says the whole education sector should be getting behind the sort of initiatives the fund is throwing up.

The fund was created from the $30 million offered by the previous Government as a consolation for its refusal to set aside for Maori any of the 700 megahertz spectrum needed for the fourth generation of mobile data networks.

Some of the grant recipients reported back to a Maori digital forum in Auckland yesterday as a preview to the annual NetHui.

Their work ranged from encouraging children to learn digital animation, writing games with Maori concepts, and teaching computers to learn Maori.

Mr Royal says it highlighted a huge historical problem of getting Maori kids to see careers in technology were valid for them.

"And it’s still happening in these schools today. There are some schools that are doing some really good progress in this area, but overall as a judgment on our education system it hasn't yet got to a stage where we can give it a green tick," he says.

NetHui continues today, including a discussion session on Maori digital futures.

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