Kaumatua urged to become digitally savvy

By Mikaela Collins

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Marae Hart, 69, is pretty confident using technology and is encouraging more kaumatua and kuia to follow her lead. Photo / John Stone
Marae Hart, 69, is pretty confident using technology and is encouraging more kaumatua and kuia to follow her lead. Photo / John Stone

Northland kuia Maraea Hart is encouraging more people her age to become digitally savvy as she doesn't know what she would do without her computer, tablet, phone and laptop.

The 69-year-old from Pipiwai is a regular user of Facebook and often uses Skype, but she has recently joined the Kauri Club based at Pehiaweri Marae which teaches kaumatua and kuia computer skills, because she wants to learn more.

"I'm self-taught. If I have a problem I call my son. Social media is my way of communicating with family and keeping up with everything. I've got my phone and my tablet but I think there is more to learn," she said.

Ms Hart said she is one of few her age confident using computers and would encourage more people to become digitally savvy: "You're never too old to learn.

"I think they are a bit behind. A lot of them rely on their children and moko to help them set things up but then they say they press one button and it's all gone again," she said.

Ms Hart said the first time she used a computer it crashed but is adamant it was due to the shoddy computer rather than something she had done.

She said knowing how to use a computer has benefited her as she no longer has to run from place to place to pay bills and she can easily keep track of her family overseas.

"I've got a grandchild in Melbourne and a son in Perth and it is a way I can keep in touch with them. It's very important to me. I'd be lost without it, I don't know what people do when they haven't got it," said Ms Hart.

Ms Hart said she initially wanted to go to the Kauri Club, which runs every Wednesday, because her son bought her a new computer which has the Windows 10 operating system which she is not familiar with. Ms Hart said she wants to look at setting up a computer club closer to Pipiwai.

For more information on the Kauri Club contact Tema on 022 406 4853 or tfentoncoyne@northtec.ac.nz

- Northern Advocate

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