Te Pūkenga and Apple announce education partnership to deliver equity to Aotearoa tech sector


Te Pūkenga and Apple announce education partnership to deliver equity to Aotearoa tech sector

June 21, 2023 | 3 min read

Te Pūkenga, New Zealand’s largest tertiary education provider, together with Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI), today launched a programme to help address the tech sector gap for Māori and Pasifika peoples in Aotearoa.

As part of the effort, Te Pūkenga will upskill approximately thirty kaiako (teachers) from ten kura and schools in Tāmaki Makaurau | Auckland which serve a high proportion of ākonga (learners) from Māori and Pasifika communities.

Participating kaiako will learn iOS app development with Swift Playgrounds, including app prototyping and design, digital media development, computer programming and user experience methodologies, resulting in educators completing a micro-credential in Digital Technologies Training for kaiako (teachers). Teachers and their school communities will also receive ongoing support and a device grant from Apple, enabling them to implement their learnings effectively.

"We are proud to launch this programme into Aotearoa," says Te Pūkenga Tumuaki | Chief Executive, Peter Winder. "Both Apple and Te Pūkenga are focused on delivering equity to traditionally underserved groups. This programme draws on the strength of our national network representing the country’s largest training organisation to engage the power of Apple technology in promoting change."

In Aotearoa, Māori as 17% of the population make up just four percent and Pasifika 2.8% of the workforce in technology-related fields, with underrepresentation carrying with it intergenerational impacts.

"Reducing barriers to opportunity globally is a core focus of Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative," said Alisha Johnson Wilder, Director of REJI. "We’re excited to partner with Te Pūkenga and support their efforts to train and equip educators to help achieve education equity for Māori and Pasifika communities of Aotearoa."

This new partnership is an example of kura, communities, tertiary training providers and the tech sector working together in a targeted way to eliminate disparity.

To support the kaupapa, Te Pūkenga will:

  • create specifically designed training to ensure kaiako have the skills and ongoing support they need to confidently teach the curriculum using Apple technology.
  • facilitate workshops between ākonga and industry kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face) allowing learners to connect and gain awareness of the futures available in the field.
  • continue transforming vocational education focusing on the relentless pursuit of equity, giving effect to Te Tiriti and responding to the needs of priority learners including Māori, Pasifika and students with disabilities.

"The partnership responds directly to Māori and Pasifika ākonga and their whānau while together creating an environment encouraging entrepreneurship, empowerment and unlocking true potential," says Mr Winder.