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Paving the Digital Path for Māori and Pasifika Talent

Come and listen to inspiring Māori and Pasifika creatives who use technology to pursue vibrant careers in Aotearoa and across the globe.


Wednesday 26 May
6:00pm - 8:30pm

Media Design School , Kupe Room, Level 1,
10 Madden Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland, New Zealand
Free event
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What's it all about?

How can we encourage more Māori and Pasifika people in creative tech, and who are the movers and shakers in this space?

Māori and Pasifika only represent about 2% of those working in the creative tech sector, yet form a larger part of the population of Aotearoa, especially in diverse Tāmaki Makaurau. 

Hosted at our innovative new campus in Wynyard Quarter, we aim to provide a platform to kōrero and talanoa about ways Māori and Pasifika art and design forms have become increasingly relevant and dynamic in this digital era.

This community event listing is made possible with the support of NZTech


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Ali Cowley

Animator, Director and MDS Lecturer

Ali Cowley (Samoan) has worked in the creative industry for over 20 years specialising in illustration, storyboarding, production design and 2D animation. Ali was an animation director on prime time animated show Bro'Town and is currently tutoring Art in the Gaming degree at Media Design School.

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Maru Nihoniho

founder and Managing Director of Metia Interactive

Maru Nihoniho is the managing director, game producer and designer at Metia Interactive, an award-winning game development studio. She leads a team of developers that include artists and programmers. As well as designing and developing original IP she also produces 3rd party games across multiple platforms including PlayStation, iOS, Android, PC, Mac and other technologies such as Virtual Reality.

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Jacob Luamanuvae-Su'a

Senior Facial Animator at Weta Digital

Jacob Luamanuvae-Su'a is a senior facial animator who works for WETA Digital in Wellington and has worked on many familiar animated faces you'll recognise from the movies including Golum from Lord of the Rings and Thanos from the Marvel Blockbuster 'Avengers'.

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Te Aroha Grace

Chief Relationship Officer at Figure Group

Te Aroha Grace works for Figure Group, an orgnaisation that uses the Te Ao Māori world view to guide their designs and digital creations, including the learning platform, Huatau. Te Aroha also afilliates with Ngāti Whātua and has been instrumental in developing MDS's relationship with the local iwi.

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Evo Leota-Tupou

Social Entrepreneur | Founder of Pacific Kids' Learning

Evo Leota-Tupou is a social entrepreneur, freelance graphic designer, and founder of Pacific Kids' Learning. She successfully worked in different countries and is now based in Auckland.

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Johnson Mckay

Cultural Transformation Advisor at Fly NZ

Johnson Mckay works with government, business and diverse communities to design creative solutions for a thriving Aotearoa. He is a passionate advocate for inclusive practises that bring together all New Zealanders to design an authentic Aotearoa together, where everyone has a voice and te reo Māori and Māori cultural perspectives enrich us all.

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Mary Aue

South Auckland STEM Programme Manager

Mary is a proud Niuean from the villages of Hakupu and Vaiea but is currently residing in Mangere.

Mary Aue is the founder of Coconut Wireless – the social media platform that has amassed more than 440,000 followers and has a reach of two million people every week. She also manages the successful South Auckland STEM programme.

Mary is passionate about promoting all things Pacific, whether in New Zealand or abroad.

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Raynor Cocker

GameTan Founder

Raynor Cocker is the foudner of GameTan, co-founder of Ora Kura, and founder of the Māori and Pasefika Tech Activation Trust.

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Nanai Jr

Technical Artist at Soul Machines

Nanai Jr is a Technical Artist at Soul Machines in Auckland. He is also a proud graduate of Media Design School (3D and VFX).

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Pat Mose

High School Careers Advisor & Musician

The talented Pat Mose will be our emcee, as well our DJ during the event! With a strong background working in student marketing and higher education, Pat is currently working as a Careers Advisor and Teacher at Henderson High in Auckland. He is also an accomplished musician and was recently featured on 'Soul Sessions'.


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