Ōtara 4.0: a Māori and Pasifika Creative Tech Speaker Series by Media Design School

3 weeks ago by

This week we heard from Media Design School on their speaker series, Ōtara 4.0, a collection of five evenings featuring speakers of Māori and Pasifika heritage from the creative technologies sector who share their career stories and insights.

This post is proudly sponsored by Media Design School.


Currently, Māori and Pasifika only represent about 2% of those working in the creative tech sector, a statistic that Media Design School aim to change.

Ōtara 4.0 is a series of exciting and innovative Talanoa sessions allocated over five consecutive Wednesday evenings. Various guests from the creative technologies sectors have shared their career stories and provided insights into their chosen career paths. In addition to having a background in creative technologies, all speakers are of Māori or Pacific heritage, and in most cases, have a personal link to South Auckland.

The after-school sessions have been held at Hillary House Leadership Centre, the iconic family home of NZ mountaineer, explorer and innovator Sir Edmund Hillary. The relaxed and casual sessions have been hosted by young, Ōtara born and bred MC, and star of TVNZ’s latest show ‘O-Town Dreaming’ Jesse Gibson, along with entrepreneur, music producer and freelancer, TJ Buford.

Media Design School and the Ministry of Education are primary sponsors of Ōtara 4.0, which was initiated by Pasifika artists/creatives Iokapeta Magele-Suamasi, Ali Cowley and Andrew Tui, with South Auckland youth at the heart of this collaboration.

The sessions so far have covered Animation & Visual Effects, Gaming, Media Design, and Digital Art, eSports, comics and wrestling! With guest speakers Ali Cowley (Samoa), Creative Director, Evo Leota-Tupou (Samoa/Tonga), Pacific Kids Learning, Kennedy Kioa Toi Faimanifo (Samoa/Māori), Manatoa Productions, Amber Taylor (Māori), Ara Journeys, Ray Cocker (Tonga), GameTan, Hulu Tuinukuafe (Tonga), Digital Arts Network, David Parkinson, TBWA & Anaua Tuihalagingie (Tonga), Digital Arts Network, along with the world-famous Michel Mulipola (Samoa), a.k.a ‘Bloody Samoan’.

Their final session is happening this Wednesday 15 June and will be covering AI / VR Production with guest speakers Nanai Jr (Samoa), Soul Machines, Thomas Greentree (Samoa), Game Developer, wrapped up by Ali Cowley (Samoa), Media Design School.


You can check out the streams of their previous events here:

Animation and VFX: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRyHhP3KPk4&list=PLHtYNLasNR4Yr1_OeG7o32i9aAzlYCfcD&index=3

Gaming: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2S6wtxHlAM&list=PLHtYNLasNR4Yr1_OeG7o32i9aAzlYCfcD&index=28

Media Design: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPOzN7IXbbo&list=PLHtYNLasNR4Yr1_OeG7o32i9aAzlYCfcD&index=29

Digital Art, eSports, Comics & Wrestling: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znl-MWymOBk&list=PLHtYNLasNR4Yr1_OeG7o32i9aAzlYCfcD&index=30


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