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Matihiko Awards 2023

12 July 2023

Wild Bamboo celebrates first annual Matihiko Awards

The inaugural Matihiko Awards, a celebration of Māori excellence in the digital and tech sectors, took place last week, leaving attendees inspired and in awe of the remarkable creatives and digital experts present.  

At the event was Wild Bamboo CEO Nick Kemp. “It was inspiring to see the incredible mahi from so many Māori digital innovators, both new and established. We only have around 4% Māori in the tech sector right now, but I hope events like this inspire taiohi to embrace digital.”  

Organized by Te Hapori Matihiko, a community for Māori working or aspiring to work in digital and tech roles, the event aimed to recognize outstanding contributions and encourage young people to explore the digital space. Notably, the awards ceremony showcased the involvement of local Māori talent and organizations, with everything from the 3D printed awards to the exquisitely designed table centrepieces.  The evening's success was further highlighted by the balanced representation of both tāne and wahine.  

Among the highlights of the awards were the dual recognition of "new" and "established" talent in the industry. Each category featured nominees and winners for the "Tōtara," honoring individuals with over seven years of experience, and the "Tipu," acknowledging those who are new to the industry or in the early stages of their careers. 

The awards spanned a variety of areas, including the Corporate Change Award, Innovator Award, Pakihi Award, Kaiāwhina Award, Public Sector Award, Kaitiaki o te Taiao Award, Whiua ki te Ao Award, Rangatiratanga Award, Kaupapa Award, and Change Maker Award. In addition, two prestigious recognition awards were presented to an "Emergent Icon" and a "Living Icon." 

The Emergent Icon award went to Taikawa Tamati-Elliffe from Ngāti Gaming, an organization dedicated to creating career pathways for Māori individuals in the digital world.  He is also Māori Partnership and Pathways Manager at Center of Digital Excellence (CODE) a Dunedin-based hub designed to support a sustainable and equitable expansion of New Zealand's video game development industry. 

Robyn Kamira, a well-known figure in the industry, was awarded the Living Icon title. Kamira the founder of Pāua Interface has been a trailblazer for Māori women in IT since the 1990s.

Te Hapori Matihiko, the organization behind the event, was co-founded by Katie Brown (Raukawa and Ngāti Whātua) and Lee Timutimu (Ngāti Awa, Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Porou, Tuhoe), both renown Māori digital innovators. Their vision is to create a community for Māori working in digital and tech roles. The Matihiko Awards aim to recognise excellence in Māori contribution across a range of digital and tech kaupapa. The celebration and visibility of this success is an important step in creating leadership pathways for taiohi. 

Supporting the Kaupapa: 

Wild Bamboo, a sponsor of this year's event, expressed its support for the kaupapa and expressed its intention to provide even greater support in the coming years. The commitment of organizations like Wild Bamboo ensures the continued success and growth of initiatives like the Matihiko Awards, inspiring taiohi to excel in the digital and tech industries. 

For more information about Te Hapori Matihiko and its mission, visit their website at 




Highlights from the event

Group of young māori females standing in a line doing traditional dance

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