October 14, 2015
Board to advise on Maori digital spend
Movement finally on the fund to boost Maori participation in the information technology sector.
Communications Minister Amy Adams set aside $30 million in last year's budget as a cut price alternative to acknowledging Maori had a right to some of the spectrum needed for next generation data networks.
But it has languished for more than a year while decisions were made about who will control and adminster it.
Now Ms Adams and Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell have appointed an eight-member Maori ICT Development Fund Expert Advisory Group.
It will be chaired by Antony Royal, who also chairs the Maori broadband working group Nga Pu Waea and previously served on Te Huarahi Tika Maori spectrum trust.
Other members include technolgy entrepreneur Ian Taylor, Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga chief executive and current Te Huarahi Tika trustee George Reedy, Vanessa Clark, a former executive with global networking technology company Cisco, and Warren Williams, who is active in many Maori ICT special interest groups.
Di Grennell will represent Te Puni Kokiri, which administers the fund, Paul Alexander holds a seat for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and Georgina Whata represents Callaghan Innovation.
Ms Adams says the group will provide advice about how the fund will work, including its objectives and the design of an operational framework, and make recommendations to the Ministers about how the putea should be spent.
She says possible initiatives include projects to improve digital literacy, scholarships to encourage Maori to study ICT, or programmes aimed at increasing the use of ICT by Maori businesses.
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