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Cultural knowledge earns tech contest win

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An Ōtaki 15-year-old has won the first hackathon for indigenous youth.

Indigi Hack at the University of Technology, Sydney last week brought together eight teams of Indigenous youth from Western Australia, Sydney and Aotearoa.

Kaea Hakaraia-Hosking was one of seven rangatahi from Ōtaki who made the trip with support from the Māoriland Charitable Trust, which in May launched the Māoriland Tech Creative Hub programme or match.

Her winning pitch was for a game called, "The Protectors" in which players use cultural knowledge to defeat an invading force.

She received $5000 and will receive ongoing support from the university to develop the game. She aims for this game to have a real-world impact - by sharing Indigenous knowledge players will be encouraged to change their behaviour in their day-to-day lives.

Another Ōtaki 15-year-old, Te Akauroa Jacob, won the Jankaji Award for Cultural Knowledge with a pitch for a game to expand the vocabulary of Māori youth so they don't default to speaking English because they can't find the right word.

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