Finalists Announced for Inaugural Matihiko Awards Celebrating Māori Excellence in Digital and Tech

June 13, 2023 – Te Hapori Matihiko proudly unveils the finalists for the highly anticipated Matihiko Awards, the first-ever event honouring Māori excellence in the digital and tech sector. The awards ceremony will be held on July 7, 2023, at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua.

“We are blown away by the tremendous response and the remarkable talent showcased in the nominations. The digital and tech industry has seen an incredible surge of innovation both within Aotearoa and on the global stage. These awards aim to recognise and celebrate the exceptional contributions made by Māori in this field,” says Katie Brown, co-founder of Te Hapori Matihiko. 

The Matihiko Awards will provide a platform to celebrate and honour Māori innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders who have achieved success in the digital and tech sectors. The event will culminate in the Hākari celebration, where the winners will be announced and applauded for their contributions. Each of the 11 categories has two winners, a Totara (rangatira) and a Tipu (emergent leader) . 

Lee Timutimu, co-founder of Te Hapori Matihiko, is excited for the potential for Māori in the industry, stating, “The Matihiko Awards serve as a testament to the incredible talent and ingenuity within the Māori community. It’s an opportunity to recognise their valuable contributions, inspire rangatahi, and encourage growth of Māori in the digital and tech industry.”

The diverse range of accomplishments and innovations shown by the finalists for the Matihiko Awards showcases the depth of talent within the Māori digital and tech sector. 

The Matihiko Awards finalists truly exemplify the remarkable work by Māori happening in the digital and tech sector across Aotearoa and internationally. We commend all nominees and finalists for their outstanding achievements and the positive impact they have on our industry.

For more information about the Matihiko Awards and Te Hapori Matihiko, please visit www.matihiko.nz

2023 Matihiko Awards Finalists and Winners: 

There are 11 categories and two winners awarded in each category, a Totara (rangatira – leader) and a Tipu (emergent leader).

Living Icon and Emergent Icon

Aleisha Amohia, Catalyst IT

Maru Nihoniho, Metia Interactive  

Taikawa Tamati-Elliffe, Ngāti Gaming – WINNER / EMERGENT ICON

Amber Taylor, Ara Journeys 

Dr Warren Williams, Digital Taniwha

Robyn Kamira, Paua Interface – WINNER / LIVING ICON

Change Maker and Emergent Change Maker Award 

(Sponsored by: Te Huarahi Tika Trust)

Jesse Armstrong, VAKA – WINNER / TIPU

Kaye Maree Dunn, MEA Limited 

Raymond McKay, RUN Aotearoa

Naomi Manu, Auraki Group – WINNER / TŌTARA

Shanon O’Connor, Tōnui Collab  

Amber Taylor, Ara Journeys

Kaupapa Award

(Sponsored by: The Spark Foundation)

Elle Archer, ELG 

Owyn Aitken, Remojo Tech – WINNER / TIPU

Peter Lucas Jones, Te Hiku Media  

Awhina Ngatuere, Toi Kai Rawa Trust / Ko Māui Hangarau

Veeshayne Patuwai, Mana Wāhine 

Potaua Biasiny-Tule, DNA – WINNER / TŌTARA

Dr Warren Williams, Digital Taniwha 

Te Kei o Te Waka Tainui – Te Pae Hononga‍‍

Rangatiratanga Award 

(Sponsored by: Te Puni Kokiri)

Pera Barrett, Shoebox Christmas Aotearoa

Denise Carter Bennett, Datacom 

Rahui Brownlee, KPMG – WINNER / TIPU

Kris Dempster-Rivett, Internet NZ / DECA – WINNER / TŌTARA (JOINT)

Raymond McKay, RUN Aotearoa  

Phil Kupenga, Next Chapter Consulting WINNER / TŌTARA (JOINT)

Tewaiehu Savage, Kōtui Ako Virtual Learning Network Aotearoa 

Potaua Biasiny-Tule, DNA

Whiua ki te Ao Award 

(Sponsored by: Ngāti Toa Rangatira)

Mel Gollan, RIPA Global – WINNER / TŌTARA

Jordan Koziol-Repia, KIWA Digital / Voice Q

Peter-Lucas Jones, Te Hiku Media

Tuterangiwhiu Grant-Cairns, Online Reo Agency 

Hohepa (Cory) McKenzie, Company-X

Kale Panoho, K&J Growth – WINNER / TIPU

Dylan Pahina, Altered State Machine

Kaitiaki o te Taiao Award 

(Sponsored by: Aurecon)

Sara Smeath, Circlr – WINNER / TIPU

Michele Wilson & Samantha Veitch, ehoa app

Owyn Aitken, Remojo Tech

James Morrison, Weatherstation

Mel Gollan, RIPA Global – WINNER / TŌTARA

Public Sector Award 

(Sponsored by: MBIE)

Kara Nepe-Apatu, Te Rau Hihiri

He Ara Poutama mō te reo Māori, Te Mātāwai, Te Taura Whiri, Ministry of Education, Kōtātā Insight, Nicholson Consulting – WINNER

Teresa Pollard, Te Pūkenga

Steve Renata, KIWA Digital

Kaiāwhina Award

(Sponsored by: InternetNZ)

Tina Clarke, Tolaga Bay Innovation Hub

Kris Dempster-Rivett, InternetNZ

Kaye Maree Dunn, MEA Limited – WINNER / TŌTARA

Tina Kaiawe, Te Kei o Te Waka Tainui – Te Pae Hononga – WINNER / TIPU

Hemi Ruka

Dougal Stott, Dev Academy Aotearoa

Charis Tutaki, Aurecon

Pakihi Award 

(Sponsored by: Waikato-Tainui)

Madison Henry-Ryan, Māui Studios Aotearoa

Peke-Tupaea Manawaiti, Pou Digital

Hoani Matenga, HIWA Systems

Raymond McKay, RUN Aotearoa

Kale Panoho, K&J Growth – WINNER / TIPU

Steve Renata, KIWA Digital – WINNER / TŌTARA

Innovator and Emergent Innovator

(Sponsored by: Payments NZ)

Maru Nihoniho, Metia Interactive – WINNER / TŌTARA

Te Miringa Parkes, Ūkaipō

Amber Taylor, Ara Journeys – WINNER / TIPU

Hiria Te Rangi, Tuaiwi Labs

Michele Wilson & Samantha Veitch, ehoa app

Corporate Change

Rahui Brownlee, KPMG – WINNER / TIPU

Denise Carter Bennett, Datacom

Riki Hollings, Spark NZ | Kora Aotearoa

Rose Schwass, Te Whatu Ora Tairāwhiti – WINNER / TIPU

Megan Tapsell, ANZ – GM Enterprise & Pacific Technology

Dan Te Whenua Walker, Microsoft 

Ernestynne Walsh, Nicholson Consulting

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Note to Editors:

About the Matihiko Awards: The awards, organised by Te Hapori Matihiko, celebrate Māori excellence in the digital and tech sector. These awards honour individuals and businesses who have made significant contributions to the industry, showcasing innovation, leadership and enterprise. The Matihiko Awards aim to inspire and encourage Māori participation and advancement in the digital and tech sector. The awards ceremony will take place on July 7, 2023, at the Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua.

The Matihiko Awards are supported by:

MBIE, Te Huarahi Tika Trust, The Spark Foundation, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Aurecon, InternetNZ, Waikato-Tainui, Te Puni Kōkiri, Māori Women’s Development Inc, Payments NZ, Māori IT, Māui Studios and Ariki Creative.

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