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Mitchell Pham

Digital Council for Aotearoa New Zealand #weeknotes (15)

By Mitchell Pham, Chair of the Digital Council for Aotearoa New Zealand.

Stakeholder engagement continues

Last week, the team’s stakeholder engagement continued with Techweek 2020 playing a central commitment in our calendars.

On Monday, chair Mitchell Pham took part in the APEC Business Advisory Council’s Techweek 2020 session. By Tuesday, he’d been interviewed by Simon Pound at the Spinoff and appeared on the EMA’s Techweek 2020 session, exploring the theme of Rebuilding New Zealand’s Economy Digitally. On Friday, meanwhile, Mitchell judged a FinTech Hack-a-Thon hosted by Harmoney and joined the team for the Digital Council’s Techweek TV session.

Other Digital Council members were equally as busy around the country.

Nikora Ngaropo, for example, spent last Thursday talking about all things digital with rangatahi Māori as a guest speaker at this year’s Ko Māui Hangarau expo in Tauranga.

The summit is aimed at young people interested in hearing about digital innovation, technology and innovation from Māori tech innovators and entrepreneurs from around the country.

“For years, as head of a Māori-led design, innovation and tech company, I was one of just a few Māori working in the creative technologies industry, at that level. There was just so little Māori representation. So it was awesome to be invited to the expo as a guest speaker and talk to today’s rangatahi about the opportunities.”

Nikora showed rangatahi some of the work his company NNMD has been involved in over the years — from working on New Zealand Fashion Week to projects with Auckland Airport. He also showed the audience some of the new developments in the gaming sector.

“What were young Māori curious about? Lots of things — they wanted to know where the world was going; how to stop burn out; and the of role technology, including its likely effect on them and how to contribute their voice to the technology world. It was a great day,” says Nikora.

Other speakers included Dan Te Whenua Walker, cloud infrastructure and applications lead at Microsoft; Teresa Pollard, regional head of Datacom North Island; Clayton Low, CTO Arataki Systems; and Kahurangi and Chey Milne, directors of Arataua Media.

Sharing early insights into automated decision-making

Last week, we released our early insights into automated decision-making at a Techweek TV event on Friday 31 July — thanks to interviewer Ryan Ashton and the team at Techweek 2020 for hosting us.

To read a summary of the findings, check out Friday’s blog or read the full report on

Overall, we’re aware there’s been very little research done on the New Zealand context, which is why it is exciting to explore these issues in this year’s major research project.

It’s also a great opportunity to share relevant and timely research findings with an international audience.

We’d like to thank our research partners the Brainbox Institute and Massey University’s Toi Āria: Design for Public Good for their work to date.

And we look forward to launching the final report in December.

Watch Techweek TV panel discussion on Play Stuff

To hear research leads Marianne Elliott and Colin Gavaghan, as well as members of the wider Digital Council, talk more about the research work and the work of the Council, watch our Techweek TV panel session on Play Stuff.

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Mitchell Pham Mitchell Pham is a director of the CodeHQ in New Zealand and Vietnam, and co-founder of the Kiwi Connection Tech Hub – a platform for NZ technology businesses to accelerate presence & engagement in South East Asia