Ngai Tāmanuhiri has launched Iwi Connect, which aims to help other tribal organisations to communicate more efficiently with their members, understand the needs of their people better and protect and preserve historical and archival material.
Mere Takoko, business development manager for Ngai Tāmanuhiri Trust, says with Treaty of Waitangi obligations to meet and many of its members living away from the area, the Trust needed a way to quickly communicate with members to canvas their opinions or share important information.
The trust also wanted to digitise its archives, some of which are kept in a shipping container, for members and future generations to access.
“Since adopting the technology, the tribe has developed a far greater understanding of how Iwi members are connected to each other and other Iwi,” she states.
The tribe now has vital communication tools to meet its legal obligations to manage assets on behalf of the Iwi.
“The tribe can now securely adopt campaigns and announce important events, share business opportunities and interact with Iwi members, friends and users. It also has vital communication tools to meet its legal obligations to manage assets on behalf of the Iwi.
“We are also growing the Iwi’s future with members’ direct input and as a result our membership engagement has grown from 25 per cent to 95 per cent," says Takoko.
“We now have a better idea of who we are and what resources we have within the Iwi. We also now spend a fraction of the time and money we used to spend on administration and far more time directly engaging and communicating with Iwi members.
“For Ngai Tāmanuhiri that’s building a mobile whanau online as well as face-to-face support on the marae and among Iwi,” says Takoko.
The Trust worked with Fronde for the project which included a comprehensive database and archive of important information about the Iwi, its members and what matters to them. It includes a register solution and a digital survey tool and voting system which can be accessed through any computer, mobile or smart device.
Paul Armstrong, chief information officer at Fronde, says Iwi Connect is an example of how innovative technology can liberate organisations and allow them to devote much more of their resources to things that really matter.
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“Fronde designed and built a smart cloud based solution that has helped nurture existing relationships between all members and friends of the Iwi, wherever they are, connect with new friends and whanau, and strengthen tribal identity,” says Armstrong.
Iwi Connect is an example of how innovative technology can liberate organisations and allow them to devote much more of their resources to things that really matter.
Takoko believes tribes around the country have a lot to gain from utilising Iwi Connect to deploy key services to members and to meet their Treaty of Waitangi obligations.
She is working with Fronde to commercialise Iwi Connect to other Maori tribes who have similar needs.
“Our mission is to help Iwi to transfer wealth and benefits to tribal members in a way that does not compromise their existing asset base and enables a safe and secure environment for members to have their say,” she says.
“The most fundamental thing any Iwi can do is connect with their own people living at home and overseas. Often organisations have no way of quickly communicating with members to canvas their opinions, achieve a mandate for key decisions or share important information.
"Going into the future we will also be looking for ways to inspire Iwi to adopt this technology so they can communicate with tribal members located around the world to promote and revitalise Te Reo, our Marae and key projects from education to health,” says Takoko.
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