Taikawa Tamati-Elliffe is a busy man. The 27-year-old works fulltime as the Māori partnerships and pathways manager for the New Zealand Centre of Digital Excellence (Code), the Dunedin outfit tasked with helping the country create a $1 billion video game development industry.
Taikawa is founder of Ngāti Gaming (which is a social enterpise and gaming organisation, that is using gaming as a platform to teach and learn Te Reo Māori.Their aspirations are to create career pathways for Maori into the digital world. This is inclusive of the following: Esports, Game Development and Narrative design, Content creation, Graphic design, Animation, Streaming and more. They are making strides towards having a Fluent speaking te reo Māori esports team on a international esports stage, essentially being the Māori All Blacks of esports. They are providing free foundation level te reo Māori classes taught by qualified tertiary level teachers and using gaming as a tool to teach te reo Māori. They have connected with over 500+ adults engaged in our kaupapa.
Ngāti Gaming is a safe place for us by us where any language or cultural questions whānau may have will be answered in a positive and informative manner. They are very protective of our safe space and understand our whanau come from a vast variety of backgrounds with that in mind they are working with navigators of whānau ora to ensure mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing is looked after.