More Māori women needed in technology sector, tech company founder says - 'who better to build for us than us?'

Some of the world's brightest minds have gathered today at Auckland's Waterfront Theatre for the launch of New Zealand's nationwide technology innovation festival Techweek.

While technology is New Zealand's fastest-growing sector, there is only a handful of Māori in the technology sector, with Māori women in particular being vastly underrepresented.

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Māori women are vastly underrepresented in the country’s fastest-growing sector. Source: Te Karere

One of the few Māori women in the field is Metia Interactive founder Maru Nihoniho, who says this needs to change.

"When I started Metia, there were no other women in the gaming industry in New Zealand, you know?" she said.

"It was something that I really had to do and learn and I had to go overseas and network and go to conferences to understand our industry. I had to rely on feedback.

"Who better to build for us than us? We understand us. However, there is not enough of us in the industry."

Recent data in the sector showed that only 2.5 per cent of the Māori workforce work in the technology sector.

Last year alone, the technology sector contributed $16.2 billion to the GDP.

"It's really important that we encourage our rangatahi or encourage our people to look at in the least, to look at the technology field as a career," she said.