Storytelling in the digital era - students graduate from Meta and Whāriki digital marketing scholarship

By Nick McDonnell, Head of Public Policy for Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific Islands


A cohort of rangatahi (young people) have graduated from Te Mātātahi, a Meta and Whāriki Māori Business Network initiative based on Meta’s Blueprint Digital Marketing Associate Certification and supplemented with career advice from leading creative and digital marketing agencies, at a ceremony attended by Minister Willie Jackson. The programme offered digital marketing fundamentals and practical tools, and with Whāriki’s support, an insight into projects that incorporate a Te Ao Māori lens.

Students spent time visiting digital and creative agencies, before coming together to celebrate their graduation with Meta, Whāriki, creative and marketing agencies, and receive their certificates from Minister Jackson.

Listening to feedback from graduates and their agency mentors, Te Mātātahi has had a significant impact in supporting the next generation of Māori digital marketers, helping them discover potential career pathways and what it’s like working in this industry.

Minister Willie Jackson noted, “We need people who have been trained, who have some experience, but also know their taha Māori side, their Māori identities, to be able to tell our stories. Our stories have been restricted through the years, not coming out through mainstream media, just coming out in terms of Māori media. Well done to Meta and well done to Whāriki for supporting such an initiative.”

One graduate Cain Palmer-Jubb (Ngātiwai) said, “Te Mātātahi has helped me dive deeper into my Māoritanga, while discovering my love for the digital space. This programme has helped me take the next step to becoming a digital marketing expert.”

Heta Hudson, Whāriki Chairperson, said the programme has allowed rangatahi to develop their digital marketing skills and understanding of the industry, as well as connect with potential future employers in the digital marketing industry. Meta and Whāriki have co-created this initiative, using our respective technical and industry network strengths.

“It’s been a privilege to help enable rangatahi Māori to learn the skills they need to dive into a constantly-evolving industry that's keen for fresh Māori talent and their perspectives."

"We hope this opportunity will allow graduates to step into an exciting career in the digital and marketing industries with authenticity," he says, "It’s been very special  to be a part of their journey."

Another student, Keani Erstich-Cole (Ngāpuhi, Ngāi Takoto, Ngāti Kahu) said, “Te Mātātahi” has been an uplifting and motivating experience, that has allowed myself and other tauira on this haerenga to see ourselves in the digital marketing space and beyond.

It has reaffirmed the sentiment that being Māori in all spaces and places is and should always be valued.”

Te Mātātahi follows on from a series of successful workshops for Māori-owned small businesses over the past two years, again in partnership with Whāriki Māori Business Network.

“Technology lowers the barrier to entry and can be transformative, not just for businesses, advertisers and community groups, but also for people looking to develop careers in a sector that previously may have not been an option. Scale, traditional career pathways and other hurdles are no longer the barriers they used to be. We’re looking forward to seeing what this cohort of rangatahi achieves” said Nick McDonnell, Head of Public Policy for New Zealand.

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