The Terms of Reference provides that the principal role of Ngā Pū Waea is to assist in ensuring that Māori communities can be connected in a timely and efficient manner, and are able to maximise opportunities arising from the deployment of broadband. 

In undertaking its principal role, the Terms of Reference provides that Ngā Pū Waea will engage with the RBI and UFB contract providers and other relevant stakeholders regarding:

  1. options for maximising coverage and connectivity to marae, wānanga, kura, kōhanga, rūnanga, and other Māori organisations through affordable services (connectivity & affordability);
  2. trade training programmes and employment opportunities for Māori economic development through the deployment of broadband (opportunity);
  3. relationship brokerage with Māori at community, regional and national levels to support, among other things, economic development opportunities (including investment opportunities), land access and the use of existing infrastructure for the RBI (connectivity & opportunity);
  4. opportunities to enhance Māori health, social and cultural wellbeing through the deployment of broadband (opportunity & uptake); and
  5. emerging issues identified during engagement with Māori.

Ngā Pū Waea developed its work programme based on four themes:

  1. Connectivity – maximising the ability of Māori to connect to broadband. More information about 2012/13 projects is below
  2. Affordability – minimising cost and maximising value for Māori in connecting to broadband. More information about 2012/13 projects is below.
  3. Opportunity – identifying training, skills, employment, collaboration and investment opportunities for Māori. More information about 2012/13 projects is below.
  4. Uptake – promoting benefits of broadband to drive usage among Māori. More information about 2012/13 projects is below.


Mapping Tool & Analysis

Status: Completed. Updates ongoing.

The purpose of this project was to develop a mapping tool that identified the gaps and opportunities (for coverage and connection) and to maximise these opportunities in the early stages of the roll-out of the RBI and UFB. The mapping tool is an offline mapping tool housed by Te Puni Kōkiri. The mapping tool includes up to 1200 marae, all Māori immersion schools and wānanga. If you would like to know whether your marae will be within close proximity of an RBI or UFB connection, please contact the secretariat by email:

Feasibility and Design Study

Status: Completed
In May 2012, a feasibility and design survey was undertaken on improving connectivity for rural communities not covered by the Rural Broadband Internet (“RBI”) and Ultra Fast Broadband (“UFB”). A farming community in Raetihi (Atihau Whanganui Incorporation (AWI) ) was used as the pilot. AWI is a significant farming operation in the upper reaches of the Whanganui River. The key findings of the project were:

  1. Small communities are best serviced by fixed wireless or satellite as providing fixed line telecommunications services is not commercially viable in low density areas
  2. Remote communication systems should plan for growth and eight year upgrade cycles
  3. Infrastructure built around wireless network equipment should be long-lasting (25-40 years)
  4. Use licensed fixed wireless for backhaul as it is the best choice for providing backhaul to remote tower sites; and
  5. Build access networks with standards based equipment.

A copy of the report can be accessed here.

A second pilot, Waipiro Bay, was undertaken to test and refine the template for Rural Communications in June 2013 . The template for Rural Communications can be accessed here. This template outlines the largest wireless ISPs for each region, and discusses various principles for remote communications.

A copy of the report can be access here.

If you have any feedback about the template or have broadband connectivity issues that you wish to raise with Ngā Pū Waea, please send an email to


Pricing Structures and Mechanisms (Affordability)

Status: Completed
In May 2012, research was undertaken on the influencing factors on the cost of high speed broadband and alternative approaches to reduce the costs. The key findings from the research were:

  • Fibre connections are more expensive ($20 uplift for retail and $17 uplift for wholesale).
  • The content market is immature. Most content has to be imported.
  • There are some opportunities for local communities to share connection but not all with the same benefits.

As a result of these findings, Ngā Pū Waea wants to better understand the affordability of ultra fast broadband for Māori that live in low-socio economic areas (see project below).

A copy of the report can be accessed here.

Value for Communities

Status: In planning stages
Ngā Pū Waea would like to understand what factors influence broadband uptake in low-socio economic areas, and to investigate alternative approaches that might make ultra fast and fast broadband connectivity more affordable. It is envisaged that the study would take place in 2-3 communities where UFB has been rolled out.


Broadband Investment Opportunities (Opportunities)

Status: Completed

In December 2011, BERL was commissioned to provide a situation and economic analysis to assist in identifying investment opportunities for Māori in broadband.

Specifically, the situation analysis provided information on the industries and areas that are most likely to benefit from the roll-out of broadband and a targeted literature review on the role and experiences of indigenous people in the roll-out of broadband. The economic analysis included an economic model specifically quantifying the potential impact of investment into the UFB/RBI on the Māori economy. The key findings from the report were:

  • one of the factors limiting the adoption of ICT by indigenous people is accessibility. Access issues include the high cost of the technology, lack of adequate telecommunications links to remote communities and poor computer literacy together with the difficulty of improving computer skills.
  • there is a general lack of awareness of IT as a possible career path, which has severely limited indigenous people studying IT at a higher level and therefore choosing IT as a profession.
  • successfully targeted investment that stimulates broadband ‘roll-up’ could lift employment growth for Māori from 0.9 percent per annum to 1.2 percent per annum between 2010 and 2031 (equivalent to creating just over 400 extra jobs per year for Māori across a range of industries associated with broadband-enabled applications).
  • the successful deployment of broadband will also boost growth in the Māori economy, lifting growth in value added output (GDP) from 2.5 percent per annum to 2.8 percent per annum, which would be equivalent to adding just over $1,300 per year to every worker’s income.
  • the Māori economy could achieve the largest gains from prioritised investment into the industries of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing, Processing and Manufacturing, and Education and Training.

Given the findings from the situation analysis in the first piece of research (i.e. there was limited information on indigenous peoples’ experience of high speed broadband) and the need to demonstrate the benefits of broadband to Māori communities, BERL were commissioned in May 2012 to conduct six case studies on the real impacts and benefits gained from access to broadband and Ultra-Fast Broadband.

The case studies found that all of the case study participants have experienced positive impacts with access to broadband, and are anticipating significant further gains when moving to UFB. These include:

  • Increased mobility of staff
  • Increased flexibility
  • Access to new technology
  • Improved info sharing
  • Economic development and e-commerce opportunities
  • Cost savings

The case studies also illustrated a lack of awareness on the advantages of moving to UFB. Specifically, some of the participants were unclear about how UFB will be a necessity in the future to enable them to maintain and compete within the market and to deliver the best services to their clients.

The case studies also found that:

  • There was a significant difference between rural and urban user demands’
  • Participants also considered that Māori organisations in the health sector, Māori SMEs and Māori agricultural businesses would be the future winners from the roll-out of UFB.

Read the Situation and Economic Analysis Report.

Read the Case Study Report.

Ka Tipu Te Pā Harakeke (employment project)

Status: Completed

We contributed towards securing approximately 50 out of a total of 150 Te Puni Kōkiri cadetships in 2011/12 either through meeting with employers or through the Ka Tipu Te Pā Harakeke employment hui held in November 2011.

As Ngā Pū Waea established its relationships with partners in the industry, it became apparent that there were few meaningful linkages between demand and supply – industry (e.g. UFB and RBI providers, telecommunication service companies and civil contractors), education and training providers and government. They were unable to inform us on what skills would be needed, how many jobs would be available or show how skills transfer would happen.

With this in mind, Ka Tipu Te Pā Harakeke Hui – Developing the Nation’s Telecommunications Future (Hui) was organised to:

  • bring together the various sectors within the industry;
  • identify how the industry would engage with Māori Private Training Establishments and Wānanga to fill the
  • labour and skill shortages required in the ICT industry in the short, medium and long term; and
  • to identify what role Government could undertake in assisting with these outcomes.

The Hui was held on 3 November 2011 at Te Māhurehure Marae, Auckland. The Hui was well attended (a total of 55 people) by the various sectors. All CEOs of the RBI and UFB providers (except Enable Networks – due to the impending launch of their network) attended the event.

The Hui confirmed that:

  • there is not a coordinated approach for addressing the short, medium and long term labour and skill needs of the industry;
  • there is a global shortage of skills required to meet employer’s current business demands (from low skilled (where a person can pathway into higher skilled positions) to highly skilled) and are in some instances, importing skills from off-shore; and.
  • there is no Māori awareness of these opportunities.

More specific information was required to make some real gains into planning for the short, medium and long term labour and skill needs of the industry and to maximise the employment opportunities for Māori. A focus group of key participants from the Hui were invited to develop a workforce development plan.

Some information was provided on the demand for jobs from the roll-out of RBI and UFB. However, this information was not enough to develop a workforce development plan. This work stream, however, did identify that there needs to be an overall workforce development plan for increasing Māori participation in ICT. This work is now being undertaken by Te Puni Kōkiri and is due for completion at the end of 2013.

Read an article about the hui here.

Facilitating Training Opportunities

Status: As Required

Ngā Pū Waea is currently working with Ngāti Whātua to find training solutions for fibre optic work for their rangatahi in Auckland.


Wired Marae

Status: Active

The wired marae project creates platform for communities to engage in and utilise the benefits of technology innovation in everyday living, and to create pathways into the industry professions.

This project is in line with Ngā Pū Waea’s role to engage with RBI and UFB providers on training, employment opportunities, health, social and cultural wellbeing through the deployment of broadband.

There are five stages to the project:

  1. Provision of ultra-fast broadband to marae
  2. Set-up, cabling & infrastructure
  3. Set-up of operating systems & software
  4. Set-up of training and other activities
  5. Evaluation

There are two marae in Auckland and one in Whangarei that are participating in the pilot. The marae are:

  • Awataha, Auckland
  • Ōrākei, Auckland
  • Ōtangarei, Whangarei

View the Wired Marae Information Sheet here [PDF, 747KB].

Remote Diagnostics

Status: In Planning Stages

Ngā Pū Waea has identified that the deployment of broadband provides an opportunity to enhance Māori health in rural and remote areas. Ngā Pū Waea is currently investigating options for piloting remote health monitoring in rural and remote Māori communities.


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