From the younger generations to the elder ones, there has been something for everyone throughout Rotorua Techweek.

The Techweek programme, which has run from May 17 to today, featured nine events ranging from the impact of big data, 3D printing and digital storytelling, through to a $10,000 eSports tournament and kids' events with playdough circuits, cubelets and mBots robotics.

A Storytelling and Tech Festival with a stream for students and a stream for businesses was held yesterday.

Chorus and Senior Net partnered together to hold Tech and Tea on Wednesday at the Rotorua Library, where people could find out how the latest voice assistant devices could make their day-to-day life easier.


Chorus tech expert Kurt Rodgers says the talk discussed voice assistant technology, such as Alexa and OK Google.

He says they had 50 or so people from the older demographic attend.

"Often we might think they are not are not interested in technology, but we find they are very interested in digital technology.

"But, because they didn't grow up with it like the younger generation, sometimes they are a bit apprehensive about how to use it."

Kurt says they can find using technology a little fiddly and unnatural, but using your voice is a natural skill for human beings, so this voice assistant technology is a natural way for this generation to interact with the digital world.

He says the older demographic need more support to encourage them to engage with the digital technology.

Chorus got involved to try and give a spur of confidence to elderly members of the community about using this technology, he says.

"It's safe and easy to use."


Kurt says it was lovely coming to Rotorua to do the session.

"We had a great turnout here in Rotorua, and even had some people from Tauranga come.

"People are definitely very keen to learn more about the digital world and how to interact with it."

Michaela, 4, Ariana, 7, and Talia, 4, enjoy the Squishy Circuits session. Photo / Shauni James
Michaela, 4, Ariana, 7, and Talia, 4, enjoy the Squishy Circuits session. Photo / Shauni James

Squishy Circuits for under 5s was also held on Wednesday at the library - a hands-on activity to introduce children to electronics, and where children used playdough to turn lights on.

Rotorua Library digital tech educator Jessica Wilkes says it is cool introducing children to electronics, robotics and programming when they are young.

"It's great seeing the little lights go on literally and figuratively."

She says it is important to inspire them at this age to help them be more likely to pick sciences at high school.

Rotorua Economic Development Techweek organiser Tatiana Kiwi-Knight says Rotorua Techweek has been awesome.

She says the launch event last Friday talked about AI, data and 3D printing, and started good conversation about there are a lot of opportunities for Rotorua.

Tatiana says they are excited for next year, with the plan being to build on the momentum.