A new E-sports arena has opened, with hopes that it will attract young people to the digital world.
Ngāti Ruanui operates the E-Sports Arena at Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ruanui offices in Hāwera.
The facility provides opportunities for more young people to access the iwi's digital programmes.
"We are really excited to be opening our new E-sports facility. It's a dynamic space for our tamariki and rangatahi to learn and grow," Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Ruanui Kaiw'aka'aere Rachel Rae said.
This week, schools and kura from all over the region have been trying out the new facility with tutors Vincent Nuku, Marea Rudolph and Nicola Coogan.
The arena has been eight months in the making and was created to provide local tamariki with opportunities in the digital environment they may not have had before.
"The programme has been designed to create lasting opportunities for rangatahi in the digital and gaming sector. It helps rangatahi to upskill and provides the opportunity to earn NZQA Creative Digital Credits, while growing opportunities as professional gamers."
With 12 computers created for gaming on-site, youth have been playing games such as League of Legends and Fortnite.
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Rae said the facility is targeted for teenagers and will be running various workshops and after-school programmes going forward.
The E-sports arena is attached to the organisation's 2NuiCODE programme, which stems from a vision of Māori Party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer.
Initially designed to create lasting opportunities for Maori in the ICT (Information and Communications Technology) sector, she soon identified pathways for Ngati Ruanui Rangatahi to leverage off her extensive networks.
"Aunty Debbie founded and has led this project to create this facility so we're very proud that she will be with us," said Rae.
Rae talked about a trip in 2016 where they took rangatahi to California, visiting Stanford University and Silicon Valley, a global hub for technological innovation.
"We are trying to bring back some of what we saw their back home."