Treaty negotiations have brought Te Whakatōhea closer to a settlement for past grievances, and also closer to a digital future.
For the Eastern Bay of Plenty iwi's lead negotiator, building the iwi's digital capabilities is now a vital part of its future.
"We were really aware, as we were entering our treaty settlement process, that the things that are going to create opportunities for our rangatahi in the future, are not only infrastructure on the whenua and infrastructure in the moana, but infrastructure in the rangi, the cloud, the internet and the digital capacity," lead negotiator Maui Hudson said.
"That's where a lot of value will be created."
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When Covid hit a year ago, the iwi was in the middle of treaty negotiations. They quickly moved from face-to-face hui to "zui".
"We were doing a lot of that kanohi ki te kanohi and so we needed to shift from meetings with the Crown, advancing negotiations, meeting with our people ... and in those we had to move onto Zoom," he said.
Hudson says digital technology will not only create opportunities for Te Whakatōhea rangatahi but can also help the iwi better connect with their people.
"There's a couple of projects that Whakatōhea has been involved in," he said.
"One of those is the creation of a Whakatōhea Waiata app and so now all of our waiata, we can now download, see the words, listen to the rangi."
The Waiata app is just the first of several Hudson hopes would be a suite of apps rangatahi can develop in the future.
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