Te Hinaki Trust will give all Horowhenua children the opportunity to own a digital device for learning from home and school. The trust was created after Horowhenua principals begun to look at digital learning environments. Former Mayor Brendan Duffy gathered a number of principals and local businessmen to visit Manaiakalani (the hook from heaven) in Auckland.

Manaiakalani is a group of decile one schools that implemented a digital environment plan 10 years ago which has resulted in a transformation of educational outcomes in their schools.

One of the visitigng businessmen was Douglas Rowan (pictured), a solicitor from CS Law in Levin, he said the results were astounding.

"I have never seen a change in achievement patterns like I've seen with Manaiakalani. It was unbelievable."


Following their trip the group made a goal to bring the same model to Horowhenua and replicate the results.

In 2015 Te Hinaki Trust was formed with the goal of improving access to digital technology for all students, working alongside schools to raise educational outcomes and bridge the gaps between socio-economic groups.

"We don't want a society where children are not achieving because they are disadvantaged, not in Horowhenua," he said.

With the digital device students are able to do their homework online and interact with their teachers while doing their homework after school.

It is also increasing the number of devices that are being used in classrooms which means teachers use new ways of teaching and learning with technology.

"One of the phases in the development of our programme will be making sure there are no gaps in connectivity. It's about helping so kids can learn anytime, anywhere."

Rowan acknowledged co-trustees Foxton businessman Larry Ellison, Electra director Christopher Dyhrberg, IT professional Chris Corke and Caroline Connor director of Colbert and Cooper chartered accountants.

He also wanted to acknowledge Brendan Duffy for his interest in young people and their success.

"Duffy was a catalyst, working together with school leaders to make this dream a reality. He has been an outstanding advocate for Te Hinaki Trust that has had a positive impact," said Rowan.

The Trustees work with a Steering Group made up of principals, school trustee members and Te Takere working together to implement the Trusts goals which were developed by the schools who initially signed up to the Te Hinaki project.

So far 323 devices are in the hands of children across eight schools in Horowhenua, and the plan is to raise funding for 2000 devices.

"As we get funding we will be working with every school in Horowhenua." Rowan said.

Levin Rotary Club gifted $10,000 to the project recently and is building a charity house that will be auctioned and the proceeds donated to the trust.

Te Hinaki Trust is holding an open day at Te Takere, November 11 to share the trust's goals with the community and showcase some of the great work that is already going on as a result.

You can also sponsor a family by purchasing a device at $3.86 per week as a tax-deductible donation. Contact doug.rowan@tehinaki.nz