Tech Step Initiative Launches in Kāpiti—Creating Tech & Innovation Pathways For Our Local Young People.

Event details:
Date: Wednesday 28th February 2024
Location: Te Raukura Ki Kāpiti
Time: 9.45am—11.00am
Cost: Free to attend—limited seats available for extended guests who work with or support young people and impact-led outcomes for our business community.

Please note the skills labs and workshops following our keynote speakers are reserved for the young people and students this event is intended for. We welcome all guests to join us for kōrero, connection and kai following a morning of storytelling with our keynote speakers. If you are a young person or employ a young person who might like to attend, please contact our general manager directly at [email protected]

Tech Step is an initiative funded by the Ministry of Business & Innovation, delivered locally by the Kāpiti Coast Chamber of Commerce. 

Its purpose is to inspire our next generation of tech enthusiasts and innovators through engaging storytellers, hands-on learning experiences and interactive workshops. 


Tech ventures offer a rich landscape of growth opportunities for Kāpiti, with evolving and untapped potential sitting quietly amongst the maunga and moana of our district.  

“With our Capital city more accessible than ever before and the food basket of Horowhenua expanding in the other direction, Kāpiti serves as a unique interconnection with access to sea, sky, land, and rail. Connections are the most powerful lever for creating impact. The opportunities for national and international growth and collaboration are endless, and our young people are now at the centre of this growth and innovation story—says Claire Mance, GM, Kāpiti Coast Chamber of Commerce.


Tech Step Kāpiti is driven by an authentic desire to engage young people who don’t always have equal opportunities to explore technology pathways and careers—namely Pacific communities, te ao Māori, neurodiverse students, kōhine Māori, and people with disabilities.

“Technology plays a game-changing role in re-designing societies and communities to be a more of a level playing field— from designing, building and distributing incredible mobility aids to utilising AI for hearing and seeing purposes to providing powerful connections between isolated groups. Technology is the way to a more equitable future, and in order to reap that future we need people with lived experience at the forefront of that innovation.”—Monique Leith, Chair, Kāpiti Coast Chamber of Commerce. 


The next generation of leadership was born into a world knowing nothing but technology—but where do they see themselves in that future? The social, economic, cultural, and environmental impact that tech provides for our district is fundamental. Our young people must imagine themselves amongst these pathways, and Tech Step Kāpiti aims to bridge that gap.

“We need to collaborate across multiple community and business groups to grow and succeed as a region. Our new generation of young people is at the heart of this, and Tech Step Kāpiti represents a great opportunity for us all to come together and learn from each other.”— says Scott Houston, Economic Development Kotahitanga Board Member. 


Keynote speakers, Katherine Corich (Sysdoc Founder & Air New Zealand Sustainability Board Member) and Pera Barrett (Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga, Te Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, New Zealander of the Year alumni, and charity founder and tech platform builder) will share their inspiring stories of how they found themselves working in tech. Both Katherine and Pera grew up here, attended school here, and launched successful impact-led start-ups on the Kāpiti Coast.

They will be followed by interactive workshops held by locals Dr Alan Samuel (Kāpiti Coast District Council and Doctoral Researcher in AI-Human Collaboration), Jackbord (a Kāpiti startup making the world of STEM more accessible), and Joshua Peauafi (Ministry for Pacific Peoples) who will help our young people problem-solve, collaborate, reimagine, and see themselves in the future of tech.

About Tech Step

Tech Step is an initiative funded by the Ministry of Business & Innovation—delivered locally by the Kāpiti Chamber of Commerce. The impact of this event showed just how powerful local collaboration can be, with special thanks to the Kāpiti Coast District Council—and the Kotahitanga Board—who continue to tautoko this event, sharing their time, ideas, and resources in support of our growing tech and innovation ecosystem on the Kāpiti Coast.