She's the first Māori female game developer and now Maru Nihoniho's latest creation, Tākaro, is blazing a new trail.

The online game teaches rangatahi basic coding concepts in the hope to get more Māori into the digital sector.      

The digital world is a major aspect of today's society and Nihoniho says she uses the digital realm to educate our leaders of tomorrow.

“I created a game that would give you the understanding of what coding concepts are.”

Nihoniho is the founder and CEO of Metia Interactive.

Their main focus is to develop games with a dual purpose of infusing fun with education and training. And she says their latest product 'Tākaro' won't teach coding.

“It'll teach things like what is a loop, when do you use an 'if' and a 'while' so it teaches the concepts behind coding so the aim is that it'll build confidence in someone to take it that step further and actually learning how to code. It’s really important to understand the concepts behind anything before you go in and actually learn more.”

Māori in the tech sector and few and far between, Tākaro aims to entice rangatahi Māori to fill that void.

Metia Interactive was established in 2003 and has since gone on to create like Cube, Sparx, Paa Wars, Tākaro and also Guardians.

Nihoniho says they also aim to make all their games bilingual.

“Potentially we may make another game that will teach on a basic level how to cook to something about how to manage your pocket money or your finances. Any kind of game that has a strong learning outcome that will be beneficial for the community and most of all that our games are available in te reo Māori as well.”

Tākaro will be trialled next to assess and adjust any areas of improvement before the game is released to the public.