Vodafone, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu creating digital pathways for iwi


Celebrating the first anniversary of their strategic partnership, Vodafone New Zealand and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu are proud to have built strong foundations to foster digital employment pathways for iwi, and work together to improve social outcomes in Murihiku.

Vodafone NZ CEO, Jason Paris is proud of the achievements of year one and he’s excited about the opportunities for Ngāi Tahu and Vodafone to continue working together, with digital equity and connectivity the focus for year two.

“We’re proud to partner with Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu to foster employment pathways for iwi members and it’s been awesome to see two Ngāi Tahu interns become permanent Vodafone employees. Working in the IT and marketing teams, Storm Waugh joined us as a Test Engineer and Caleb Stevenson as a Marketing Automation Specialist and Email Developer.”

A haerenga to Murihiku Marae in August provided an opportunity for Vodafone and the Vodafone Foundation to build deeper relationships with rangatira from Waihōpai Papatipu Rūnanga and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. The Vodafone Aotearoa Foundation has committed to spending $3 million over six years on activities to support disadvantaged rangatahi in Murihiku Invercargill via funding for community initiatives.

“To be welcomed onto the marae, share stories with kaumatua and rangatira and connect to the takiwā was an incredible privilege. It’s strengthened our relationship with Ngāi Tahu and sets a solid foundation for future initiatives,” adds Jason.

“Digital equity will be one of the focus areas for the Vodafone Foundation in Murihiku next year and I’m looking forward to working with Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu on their digital strategy and seeing how we can help increase digital connectivity for whānau and hapū in the takiwā.”

The key to a long-term successful partnership lies in the creation of shared value, purpose and mutual support.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Group Head Strategic Relationships, Rakihia Tau says, “Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu is looking forward to strengthening our partnership with Vodafone through meaningful collaboration and mutually beneficial projects. Our hope is that we can role model what good strategic partnerships between business and iwi can look like and to work together to achieve better outcomes for whānau and hapū.”