A pilot project that was put in place by Hangarau 18 months ago has laid a solid foundation for driving a culture of innovation.
Te Wānanga o Aotearoa introduced its first Innovation Hub at the Māngere Campus in Auckland in 2016 with the aim of restoring the memory of indigenous scientists, designers and innovative creators.
The concept has proved so successful, thanks in large part to the expert guidance of hub manager Kane Milne that Ratonga – tauira services - want to collaborate with Hangarau to establish other hubs starting with Porirua.
Kane says the Innovation Hub allows people to experiment with photography, video or music production, coding, app development, 3D design, robotics, and graphic design in an informal learning environment.
In March alone, 750 visitors – a mix of tauira, kaimahi and kaiako - used the hub which can engage up to 200 walk-ins per week.
“We come from a people of science. We come from a people of technology, of innovation, of deep understanding of the physical world," says Kane.
"Unfortunately, this truth is generally not told. This is why, as fast as technology is moving, as exciting and captivating as it may be, we must always work hard to honour and promote our whakapapa as scientists, designers and innovators.”
Kane says by increasing digital fluency and developing our critical creativity and capacity for innovation with technology, this will help Te Wānanga o Aotearoa to achieve its mission of Tauira Success.
The innovation hub is proving effective for the Adult Education Degree, with Auckland tauira leading their own livestreaming schedules to have class tutorials with their Hamilton-based kaiako.
The Bachelor of Education tauira are also making the most of the space, learning digital skills, such as video production, that they can use in the classroom.
Kane hopes to build on the success of the innovation hub to eventually host after school workshops aimed at helping secondary school students.