Te Puni Kokiri

Language preference: Māori English

Language preference: Māori English

Creating high value jobs and opportunities that advance Māori in the digital technology sector.

Latest Results of Stage One Applications

170 applications have been received in the first round stage of the Ka Hao Māori Digital Technology Development Fund.

What is the Māori Digital Technology Development Fund about?

The Māori Digital Technology Development Fund is a contestable fund established to support initiatives that will create high value jobs and opportunities for Māori in digital technologies.

How did the fund come about?

In 2014, the government allocated $30 million over six years for a Māori ICT Development Fund to support:

  • Māori economic development by encouraging Māori participation in the ICT sector; and
  • access to Māori language and culture through ICT.

It was initially thought the Fund could be held and administered by Te Māngai Pāho, but Te Puni Kōkiri and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment have since assumed joint responsibility for the Fund. Te Puni Kōkiri is the lead agency.

How will the fund operate?

The Expert Advisory Group (EAG) have overseen the development of an operational framework and funding plan for the Fund. These documents were approved and endorsed by joint Ministers before the fund was launched. These documents also outline how the Fund will operate, the application process and assessment criteria.

What’s the purpose of the Operational Framework?

The purpose of the Operational Framework is to describe the key settings and processes for how the Fund will function. It describes:

  • the background for the Fund;
  • key principles for how the Fund will operate;
  • the long-term objectives of the Fund;
  • the initial priorities and outcomes that the Fund will target;
  • how the funding process will work, including:
    • the process for application and decision making;
    • organisations eligible to receive funding;
    • the activities for which funding can be used.

What’s the purpose of the Funding Plan?

The Funding Plan builds on the Operational Framework and specifies:

  • funding priorities and specific outcomes that will be targeted for the two-year period;
  • key features of proposals that will deliver those outcomes;
  • dates for the application process over each of the two-year periods;
  • key rules and requirements potential applicants will need to be aware of including selection criteria.

What is the meaning of the Ka Hao brand?

The Ka Hao brand is derived from the well-known whakataukī, ‘Ka pū te ruha, ka hao te rangatahi – The old net is cast aside and the new net goes fishing’. The accompanying byline ‘Casting. Creating. Connecting.’ builds on the wider meaning of the whakataukī.

The whakataukī is generally used to convey the ushering in of new and fresh approaches as a means of building on the work and efforts of the older generation. It is a meaning which aligns well with the purpose of the Māori Digital Technology Development Fund. Evidence suggests that rangatahi Māori are early adopters of new and emerging technologies, and incredibly savvy operators of those technologies. However this remarkable trend has not created or transferred into a significant Māori presence within the industry. Younger hands are not casting the new net nor building on opportunities provided by older generations.

The ability of technology to create new and different ways for Māori to stay connected presents a number of opportunities, but this new terrain remains under-explored for now.

The Fund attempts to bridge the gap between the potential of these opportunities and their discovery – to provide the means through which rangatahi can ‘cast the new net’ and gain access to the high value jobs and prospects of this growing industry.

It aims to achieve this through its focus on building skills and career pathways, growing business and supporting te reo Māori and cultural initiatives through digital platforms.

Who are the experts behind the Māori Digital Technology Development Fund?

The Expert Advisory Group (EAG)

In 2015, eight appointments were made to an Expert Advisory Group (EAG)

The EAG provides advice about how the Fund will work; and will make recommendations to the Ministers about how the Fund should be spent.


In 2015 the EAG held four workshop hui in Gisborne, Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland to discuss potential funding priorities for the Māori ICT Development Fund.

Workshop presentation – November 2015 [PDF, 533KB]

Below are the notes from each of the four workshop hui.

Following the workshops, the EAG met and developed the Operational Framework and the Funding Plan. A brand (Ka Hao) was also developed and the fund was renamed the Māori Digital Technology Development Fund.

What does the Māori Digital Technology Development Fund support?

The fund has three funding priorities and a range of associated outcomes that could be achieved by initiatives targeting these priorities.

What are the objectives of the fund?

The Māori Digital Technology Development Fund was initially developed with a very broad purpose statement which would allow it to support a wide range of initiatives, including:

  • Māori economic development by stimulating Māori participation across the ICT sector;
  • enhanced use of ICT as an input into Māori economic development through enabling better use of existing ICT, and research and development;
  • access to Māori language and culture through ICT;
  • digital literacy initiatives;
  • developing delivery mechanisms for Māori language content and supporting content production.

However, feedback provided by participants at the hui held in 2015 highlighted that for a Fund of this size to have a tangible impact, it cannot set out to pursue every area included in this purpose.

In response the EAG decided that the Fund will have a targeted focus on a specific outcome to deliver positive, significant and enduring impact for Māori.

The long-term objective of the Māori Digital Technology Development Fund is to:

Create high value jobs and opportunities that advance Māori in digital technologies

What are the funding priorities?

To achieve its long-term objective, the Fund will support initiatives within three funding priority areas:

  • Funding priority 1 - Improving digital skills and pathways for Māori into digital technologies

This priority will grow the number of Māori in high-value jobs by improving and promoting pathways for Māori to enter the digital technologies sector, and by supporting the development of skills necessary to participate in sectors deploying digital technologies.

  • Funding priority 2 - Growing digital technologies businesses

This priority will grow the number of high-value jobs by supporting the development of Māori in digital technology businesses.

  • Funding priority 3 - Enhancing new Māori language and culture initiatives through digital technologies

This priority will support the development of new Māori language and culture initiatives through digital technologies, and in doing so, contribute to the development of skills necessary to participate in sectors deploying digital technologies and grow the number of Māori in high-value jobs.

The funding priorities link to a number of key outcome areas which provide more detail and guidance to applicants about the types of initiatives that could be supported.

Each successful application must demonstrate that the initiative will:

  1. create high value jobs and opportunities that advance Māori in digital technologies; and
  2. align to one or more of the three funding priorities; and
  3. achieve one or more of the funding outcomes relevant to the funding priority the applicant is targeting.

Those are the “Fundamental Criteria”. The diagram below illustrates the how those fundamental criteria are linked.

Who makes the funding decisions?

The Expert Advisory Group, acting as an assessment panel, will make recommendations to Minister Flavell (Minister for Māori Development) and Minister Goldsmith (Minister of Science and Innovation and Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment) regarding:

  • which proposals will receive funding;
  • the value of that funding (which may be less than requested);
  • any specific conditions on receiving the funding, such as realisation of claimed support from other partners;
  • the schedule at which funding will be provided, including any stage-gates that must be met to receive a further tranche of funding;
  • any specific progress indicators or outcomes that should be measured, other than those identified in the proposal.

There will be no minimum or maximum on the number of applications funded, and there will be no requirement that all available funding be allocated if there are insufficient quality proposals.

Final decisions will be made jointly by the Ministers.

How do I apply to the Māori Digital Technology Development Fund?

The fund is now open and Te Puni Kōkiri is inviting applications for the fund which must be submitted no later than Monday 5 December 2016.

Open Now

1. Complete the application form online here [PDF, 1.4MB]

  • Click on the link to open the Application Form.
  • Fill out the Application Form.
  • Click “File” then “Save As” and navigate to an appropriate location on your computer to save the Application Form.
  • NOTE: If you have made changes to a saved Application Form, click “File” then “Save As” and navigate to the location on your computer where your Application Form is saved. Click “Save” then “Yes” to the “Confirm Save As” message box.

2. In Dropbox, click on Choose files, locate your video file, and application form.

Use the following naming convention for both your video and application form. Enter your First Name Last Name for individual applications e.g. JohnSmith.doc or JohnSmith.mp4

Enter your Organisations Name in the title for any group application.

If you are submitting more than 1 application you will need to treat each application as a separate one. Use the same naming convention and numbering 1, 2, 3 to indicate multiple applications.

3. Submit your application

4. Click on Upload.

You should get an email confirming that you have uploaded your video and application form file.

Stage One – Idea generation

The fund will use a two-stage contestable application process to achieve its objective of creating pathways to high value jobs and opportunities for Māori in the digital technology sector.

Who can apply?

All proposals must have a ‘lead organisation’. The lead organisation is the one that Te Puni Kōkiri will contract with if the proposal is selected to receive money from the Fund.

Lead organisations may be any New Zealand-based legal entity excluding those established under or governed by the State Sector Act 1988 or Crown Entities Act 2004; or an entity that is 50 percent owned by one or more of those type of entities. The lead organisation could however partner with one of these aforementioned entities.

Entities established under the Local Government Act 2002 are eligible to be lead organisations.

Overview of the staged process

Te Puni Kōkiri will use a two-stage process to assess applications to the Fund. The purpose of the stage one application is to get applicants to suggest initiatives that can satisfy the Fundamental Criteria without having to invest considerable time and cost. Those applications that the EAG consider have greatest potential will be invited to prepare a full proposal for further assessment as part of a stage two process.

Stage one

The stage one application process involves preparing:

  • a short written application describing a single idea or initiative and the matters referred to below
  • a short video in support of the application

that embraces the following 1-2-3 concept:

  • 1 idea or initiative
  • 2 pages (of written material)
  • 3 minutes (maximum) of video content

This application will provide a high-level description of the planned initiative including:

  • a high-level description of initiative and what it will achieve
  • who will be the lead organisation and which partners are expected to be involved
  • an indicative budget range
  • what will be delivered and under what timeframes.

What initiatives won’t be funded?

The Expert Advisory Group has an open mind to all applications that meet the Fundamental Criteria, but to assist potential applicants it offers some guidance below on initiatives that it is unlikely to recommend for funding from this Fund:

  • initiatives that promote or support digital literacy only;
  • initiatives that benefit very few Māori – noting that applications that relate to funding priority two from Māori small-medium businesses would not be excluded;
  • scholarships, especially if student loans are available for course participants;
  • start-up ventures, where there are a number of other avenues of support available for such ventures;
  • development of apps or websites, noting that platforms that allow others to develop capability or content are likely to be looked on more favourably;
  • development of strategies;
  • initiatives that are turning existing Māori language and culture content that is currently in analogue or paper format into a digital format.

Tips for recording video using your smartphone

We advise the following tips for recording video using your smartphone:

  • hold the smart phone horizontally, rather than vertically;
  • hold your smartphone very still, either in two hands or with a stabilising device;
  • shoot somewhere with plenty of light;
  • have your script and any props all ready to go before you shoot;
  • let your passion for your initiative shine through!

Further tips can be found here:


Tips for filling in the application form

The 1-2-3 process is a fairly user-friendly way of conveying your digital concepts and ideas. However, we have also compiled a list of other tips to provide further support and assistance to you as per the below:

  • answer the question
  • provide relevant supporting evidence to demonstrate your skills, experience and connections that will help you deliver your initiative
  • highlight the positive difference, and / or the uniqueness of your initiative and the impact that will make for Māori in digital technology.

Stage Two – Assessment of full proposals

If the Expert Advisory Group approves a stage one application to move to stage two, the applicant will be invited to submit a more substantial proposal.

The stage two application form will be sent to successful stage one applicants.

The formal proposal will provide a detailed description of the planned initiative including:

  • what will be delivered or developed and associated timeframes;
  • a description of the expected impact on the outcomes of the initiative, including where possible specific quantitative estimates of the number of individuals that will benefit (if relevant), and how success will be measured;
  • a detailed budget of the proposed use of funding including timeframes;
  • other funding sources or in-kind support that will be applied to deliver the initiative;
  • the intended future of the initiative beyond the period for which they are applying for funding, including potential sources of funding once money from this Fund is spent;

The full proposal will also include a detailed description of the organisation(s) that will deliver the initiative, including:

  • the organisation’s relevant experience and expertise in delivering similar initiatives;
  • the key individuals involved and their skills and experience;
  • their connection to the community or group they propose to support;
  • any financial or in-kind support they receive from government and non-government organisations.

Criteria for assessment

The Expert Advisory Group will make recommendations based on the following considerations:

  • Alignment: Does the proposal align with the Fundamental Criteria?
  • Proposed solution: Is the proposal a credible solution for delivering the outcomes targeted?
  • Sustainability: Is the solution intended to continue after the funding being sought from the Fund is spent? If so, how will you raise funds to continue the initiative?
  • Capability: Does the lead organisation and it’s partners (if any) have the experience and expertise to deliver the initiative, including understanding of, and connection to, the community or group it is seeking to serve?
  • Leverage partnerships: Does the proposal leverage other sources of expertise or funding – government or non-government – to increase the total value of the proposal?
  • Māori language and culture: Does the initiative enhance the use of te reo Māori and / or understanding of Māori culture?


Each of stage one and two are open for two months each. Below is the timetable for the first round of funding applications.

Key process milestones Estimated dates for Round 1 in 2016 (to be confirmed following Joint Ministerial approval)
Stage one applications open
Stage one applications open 6 October 2016
Stage one applications close 5 December 2016
Decision on which applicants to invite to stage two 16 December 2016
Invitation to participate in stage two 19 December 2016
Stage two applications close 10 March 2017
Recommendation to Joint Ministers 24 March 2017
Decision by Joint Ministers 14 April 2017

Support available

Te Puni Kōkiri and the EAG will provide support to applicants through the following mechanisms:

Media Releases

Questions and Answers

View Questions and Answers here [PDF, 246KB]

Back to top