It has been a challenging year for Maori whanau in the ICT industry but we are seeing some real gains” said Mr Rei Sciascia, chair of the Digital Maori Forum (DMF) and passionate advocate for businesses and communities who utilise information and communication technology.
The DMF have met with Maori whanau who utilise computers to learn, mobile phones to stay connected, databases to organise hapu records, websites to promote land trusts and Maori ISP’s who help connect homes to the internet” said Mr Sciascia.
“Iwi are starting to develop their own ICT Strategies, schools are introducing new digital tools and techniques and more whanau businesses are connecting to the world online and through their smartphones, which will be huge over the holiday season.”
“The Maori ICT industry, however, faces uncertain times with the Government rejecting Maori calls for inclusion into the 4G spectrum and now a $30m Maori ICT Fund dividing an already fragile industry” lamented Mr Sciascia.
“Most Maori whanau have been unsupported in their mahi and this fund has the potential to wipe out some of them, as it empowers Government friendly forces and disempowers smaller players in the regions, for instance.”
“The DMF has met with various Maori ICT, Technology and Innovation leaders and all are excited that such a fund exists but remain cautious that political gains could potentially mean Maori ICT industry loses” offered Mr Sciascia.
“The DMF continues to support the Waitangi Tribunal claimants for spectrum and look forward to supporting Maori ICT success at all levels, in every rohe in the new year.”
Media Contact: Rei Sciascia 0272838873