Māori women are far and few between in the tech industry making it hard to diversify, but the sector is hoping to change that, with youth as their special weapon.
Yesterday intermediate and high school students were invited to a one-day full-on festival of innovation and discovery focused on Storytelling and Tech run by Tech Week 2019.
Leading all virtual, augmented and mixed reality projects and a key speaker at the event was Wrestler co-founder Kat Lintott.
She said for the industry to move forward it needed a pipeline of Māori and non-Māori to start creating.
"There are no women and no Māori in this space and when we are trying to create teams that are diverse it is impossible.
"If we can encourage more young people to get through and start then in 10 years time we will be able to have more diverse developers and creators."
Videographer Tamati Kawha said because the industry was young it originally had a bad rap, but the digital space has since proven itself.
"We [Kat and himself] might have been the first generation of kids that were geeking out on games and our parents would have been saying 'stop playing all these games'.
"But now games have really proven itself and so has the digital space to be twice as big as movies and music."
Organiser Tatiana Kiwi-Knight said although the students were already digital natives she hoped they would walk away from the day inspired to take part in tech and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) pathways.
"I think tech can be quite scary, there is the misconception that you have to be a nerd and we are just trying to break down those barriers."
Students were asked to think about how tech could help tell their story as it was embedded into the tech industry.
"You need to be able to communicate with people and stories are the best way to do that.
"Te Arawa are known for being amazing storytellers and we already have an amazing ecosystem of them doing that already but we need more of our rangatahi to be involved in tech creation, not just using it."