Coding and Gaming -Kawerau

Kawerau rangatahi were enthused and expectant as they got ready for their gaming and coding workshop. The session began with Environmental manager, Nicki Douglas from Te Arawa Lakes Trust sharing the vision of the iwi trust for the Bay of Plenty region.

She underscored to our rangatahi, the significance of every environmental initiative. Students listened attentively as she outlined the Te Arawa Lakes Trust project geared at measuring and monitoring the cultural health of Lake Tarawera through the use of indicators that are more meaningful to people such as:

  • “ Can I swim here in this lake?”

  • “Can I gather food in this river?”


Rangatahi learnt that guiding Te Arawa values (Te Whakapapa o te Wai) are: Wai, Waiariki, Waiora, Wairua and Waiata. This framework is designed to:

*Ensure that the Te Arawa Lakes are managed and restored with a ‘cultural lens’, alongside science and technology.

*Effect positive change - environmentally, socially, culturally and economically

*Improve awareness and knowledge about the traditional relationship of Te Arawa with the Lakes.

*Show leadership for intergenerational benefit

Armed with this understanding, students approached the gaming workshop with a sense of the connectedness between what was being learnt here to the kaupapa of enhancing our waterways.

During Terms 1 and 2, they had been actively raising community awareness of macro, micro plastics and the need for reducing its use. Now they were turning their attention to gaming as a means to engage our digitally minded tamaraki.

Ngā Hangarau Matihiko i ngā Kura Ara Reo Māori | Māori-medium ICT Research Report 2016: Digital Technologies (2017) reports that in March 2016, the Ministry of Education engaged Haemata Ltd to conduct a survey specifically on how Māori-medium kura are using digital technologies. The results found:

  • 65% of respondents use online dynamic content that can be downloaded and manipulated. Most of these respondents manipulate the language, content, and contexts of this material often translating English content into Māori for use with students.

  • Many respondents reported that they would like to access more Māori-medium digital resources to support the use of digital technologies in their learning programmes

  • 88% reporting greater student engagement as the main benefit of digital technologies.


Rangatahi shone as they grappled with coding, cognitive reasoning and mathematical models. Whilst Dave, our Gamesfroot expert, demonstrated the various steps; rangatahi were ahead of their game, smashing all expectations and producing some thought provoking virtual worlds at the end.