May 11, 2016
Ngati Ruanui Digital Superheroes
A group digital superheroes from Te Runanga O Ngati Ruanui Trust’s innovative 2NuiCODE programme will be winging their way to the home of high-tech research and enterprise later this year.
2Nuicode stems from a relationship forged by Trust kaiarataki Debbie Ngarewa-Packer and Stanford University through several Maori leadership summits she attended alongside the country’s most influential Maori leaders
Initially designed to create lasting opportunities for Maori in the ICT (Information and Communications Technology) sector, she soon identified pathways for Ngati Ruanui Rangatahi to leverage off her extensive networks.
Thus 2Nuicode was born.
Debbie’s passion to inspire our youth has driven her to create a comprehensive, positive and evolving programme.
The 15 students, between year 8 and 11, will fly out for Silicon Valley and Stanford University near San Francisco, California on July 15.
Home to Google, Apple and NASA’s Ames Research Center, Trust Kaiarataki Debbie Ngarewa-Packer said it was the perfect opportunity to show their young charges where a career in ICT could take them.
“Because our Rangatahi are naturally creative, we need to expose them to global trends and initiatives that spark their imaginations and foster their entrepreneurial spirit.
“There is less than one per cent of Maori studying Information and communications technology and only about 2.5 per cent employed in the sector.
“With incomes double that of the national median, it is a sector we must embrace while carving out our own identity.”
Run by Youth Co-ordinator and Innovator Vince Nuku, the programme is currently focussed on coding and robotics.
“Since this programme began in January I have seen our Rangatahi grow in confidence and skill.
“From app design to programming they learn how to turn their ideas into functioning reality.
“Seeing their determination and hunger in attacking each challenge has been rewarding for us.
“Our older generations can now see the power of the digital world through the eyes and experiences of our future leaders.”
Once proven successful, Nuku said they would look toward replicating it throughout the community.
“The sky is the limit for this programme and the level of engagement we have had so far proves there is a hunger for computer science.”
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