Toi Whānui

Enabling technologies

Innovative and emerging technology platforms, products and services for industry and end-users, including artificial intelligence, cyber security, virtual reality and software as a service (SaaS). Toi Whānui involves inventions that are applied to enable and improve user capabilities. It is the largest of the Toi Mai workforces and has grown rapidly (largely through migration), but has low employment of Māori, Pacific people and women.

Te Wao Toi Whānui workforce development plan

Major systemic change is required in vocational education coordination, funding and provision if New Zealand is to realise the potential of its digital technology industry.

This is the finding of Toi Mai Workforce Development Council’s first workforce development plan (WDP) for Toi Whānui, Te Wao Toi Whānui.

The plan highlights the challenges and opportunities in attracting, training and retaining Toi Whānui employees and offers advice and recommendations for building this workforce into something thriving and sustainable.

Te Wao Toi Whānui is the result of engagements with technology businesses, government, rangatahi, learners, employees, education providers and members of the Pacific and tāngata whaikaha communities – combined with research and data to produce insights on what is needed to ensure a thriving workforce and productive digital technologies industry.

The plan outlines two main actions and two main recommendations for Toi Mai, Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), and the wider industry to undertake, and Toi Mai invites all Toi Whānui industry members, learners, education providers, and those with an interest in the sector were asked to provide feedback on these actions and recommendations. Consultation closed on 10 June 2024.

Toi Mai would like to thank all the people across the motu whose honest and open feedback enabled us to gain compelling insights so that together we can shape a better future for Toi Whānui and the people of Aotearoa.

We would also like to acknowledge and express our gratitude to Anton Matthews for his metaphor that brought ‘Te Wao Toi Whānui’ to life, and the Toi Whānui team for the significant role they played in bringing this important kaupapa to fruition ngā mihi nui.

Te Wao Toi Whānui is a result of genuine mahi tahi and we are indebted to your generosity of time and contribution.


Sunil Bhargav, Aspire2

Laura Chamberlain & Graeme Muller, 

Paula Cooper, Tātaki Auckland Unlimited

David Clearwater, Dev Academy

Robyn Kamira, Paua Interface

Maryanne Madden, Matihiko

Anton Matthews, Hustle Education

Hamish Smith, Otago Polytechnic

Louisa Taylor, Canterbury Tech

Research Participants

Melissa Absolum & Mehanz Ahmed, Māngere East Primary

Ron Amosa, AWS

Dean Brennan, IT’s Accessible

Marcus Bristol & Keltie Thangam, Pushpay

Nick Churchouse, Snapper

Malcom Clarke, Digital Technologies Teachers Aotearoa (DTTA) / Kowhai Intermediate

Frayne Cooke, Plait Health

Tracey Cotter-Martin, Datacom

Matt Cowie & Matt Oakley, Toro Technology

John Creighton, Burnside High School

Murray Davey, Department of Internal Affairs

Stephen Gadsby, IBM

Joel Gibb & Chiara Potter, CDC Data Centres

Stuart Gregory, Te Puni Kōkiri

Michael Grimmer, MOTAT

Chandra Harrison, Access Advisors

George Hiotakis & Natalia Kornyk, Sharesies

Hamish Johnston, Technology Education New Zealand (TENZ)

Jenny Kempster, Ormiston Junior School

Chris Kumeroa, Global Risk Consulting

Simon Lendrum, Commercial Communications Council

Evo Leota-Tupou, Pacific Kids’ Learning

Callum McMenamin, Department of Internal Affairs

Peter Mellalieu, Peer Access Pro

Daniel Merriott, Digital Skills Agency

Dan Milward, Gamefroot

Nikora Ngaropo, Young Animators

Nina Oberg Humphries, Tagata Moana

Stu Potter, Stardust Me

Kemp Reweti, Pūhoro Academy

Karen Ross, Datacom

Paul Semmons, Waitakere College

Steve Sim, Ministry of Justice

Angela Simpson, Serko

Graeme Simpson, Statistics New Zealand

Sarah Stack, Spark

Simon Strombom, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Sonny Taite, Te Whatu Ora

Megan Tapsell, ANZ Bank

Te Ariki Te Puni, Education Perfect

Tracy Voice, Ministry of Social Development

Kawana Wallace, OMG Tech

Stuart Wakefield, Ministry of Education

Evan Wilson, Qrious

Tech Talanoa Participants

Livi Ah Hoi

Nelson Ah Hoi

Mele Alatini

Lemoe Alatipi

Martin Anae

Julia Arnott-Neenee

Kotisi Fakalata

Lisale Falema’a

Rita Forsythe

Frances Fuamatu

Tana Isaac

Sio Isara

Otako Kaufusi

Jade Keil

Fred Lefaoseu

Issacc Liava’a

Akerei Maresala-Thomson

Patrick McKibbin

Ioe Misa

Niu Sila Mulitalo

Winona Ngaro-Malifa

Caitlin Parr

Asheel Ramanlal

Kailah Saupese

Kenape Saupese

Fomai Savea

Peter Siania

Heston Stanley

Helen Steven

Ritati Tautua

Darlene Tuiono

Julius To’o

Michele Whiting

Tāngata Whaikaha Hui

Dorenda Britten

Alan Cox

Marnie Hart

Chandra Harrison

Sarah Kinley

Peter McGlinchey

Darryl Sherwood

Dylan Watts

Keep up to date with all things Toi Whānui

Barriers to diversity in the Aotearoa tech sector highlights the many complex barriers to inclusion that have been holding tāngata whaikaha, in particular, back from entering the tech sector’s workforce.

This research builds on the findings contained in two reports released by Toi Mai earlier this year into the ‘Leaky Pipeline’ – the barriers to access for young women in the creative technology (Createch) sector.

Download a printable version of the report here.

Download a word version of the report here.

Alternative formats, including Braille, large print, audio, Easy Read and NZSL translations, are available here.