Written by Aree Kapa – Kairuruku Rangatahi
Ōtaki’s Māoriland Hub is a home for Indigenous storytelling… A hub for all Indigenous creatives whether it be film and television, tech and animation, music and audio, fine arts and food sustainability.
Māoriland was founded in 2014 with the Māoriland Film Festival. Over the past eight years, the festival has grown to be the largest international Indigenous film festival in the Southern Hemisphere, attracting filmmakers and funders from all over the world. As the festival has grown, so too has the organisation’s year-round activities. In 2017, Māoriland Charitable Trust opened the Māoriland Hub – a centre of excellence for Māori film and creative arts.
Māoriland prides itself on having rangatahi at the forefront of all its creative projects. It’s rangatahi strategy, Te Uru Maire is a vision to grow the next generation of Māori creatives within a supportive environment that nurtures their unique identity within a collective of their peers. Through Te Uru Maire, Māoriland supports rangatahi for the future of work as story leaders, creatives and entrepreneurs by giving them access to the tools and skills to create their own stories in their own communities and to connect with other Indigenous storytellers worldwide.
Te Uru Maire projects include the E Tū Whānau Rangatahi Film Challenge, M.A.T.C.H – the Māoriland Tech Creative Hub, Through Our Lens and Ngā Pakiaka Incubator Programme. Through these activities, Māoriland has created a pathway for rangatahi creatives to grow their skills and enter the creative sector – no matter their existing skill level.
Rangatahi are directly employed within the programme through Ngā Pakiaka – Māoriland’s rangatahi film leaders. This group of young creatives are aged 16 – 24 and are based around Aotearoa. Members of Ngā Pakiaka receive mentorship and are employed to deliver the E Tū Whānau Rangatahi Film Challenge to their peers. They also receive work through Māoriland Productions – a business arm of the organisation.
M.A.T.C.H – the Māoriland Tech Creative Hub Intensifier Programme is a rapid-fire way for rangatahi to grow digital creative skills and enter work. The six week programme is supported by the Ministry of Social Development and Vodafone Foundation and includes both peer and industry animation and digital skills training. At the conclusion of the programme, rangatahi enter a personalised work plan including a paid internship at the Māoriland Hub.
Māoriland has opened doors to job opportunities for rangatahi and continues to create spaces for rangatahi to decolonise the creative industry.
“Part of decolonisation is actually to provide spaces where rangatahi… where Māori can go and be Māori. A safe space where rangatahi are told that ‘yes, the way you think, the way you operate and tell stories is actually valid’. They (Māoriland) can give rangatahi opportunities based on what they’re good at.. and I feel like that’s something that rangatahi Māori need and something a lot of places just don’t provide” – Ihipera Osbourne
Māoriland Charitable Trust is a whānau, a home for rangatahi to learn new skills, reinforce their Indigeneity and find their footing in the industry. By preparing rangatahi with the knowledge and resources they need, and then stepping aside, Māoriland allows rangatahi to thrive at their own pace.
“It’s important to give Māori youth a voice, a place to situate themselves within that world so they can then excel in that realm. This place (Māoriland) has given me the expertise to express my ideas, to create media, to film the histories and stories of our tupuna and present them to the world” – Oriwa Hakaraia
Māoriland upholds the mana and inspiration of our storytellers. We are guided by our elders, and taught by our children.