Creative Technology Northland started in a booth at Beagle Radio in March 2018. It was then that Matt Keene of Mahuta Digital and Dr Maggie Buxton of Awhiworld came up with the idea to start this group. Both knew locals working in the industry and saw an opportunity to join the dots, to promote the burgeoning sector and to build capacity across a wide network.
Our first meetup was TechWeek 2018. On a stormy night at ONEONESIX nineteen people turned up to eat snacks and share their mahi. From there a Facebook group was formed. That group now has over 160 members and is growing rapidly. Regular meetups with talks and demos build capacity within the group as does active mentorship and support of younger members and students. Workshops and collaborative projects also build cohesion and this website is aimed at promoting the stories from this sector to a wider audience.
It is important to acknowledge that a number of organisations have supported CTN along the way. As part of TechWeek Facilitation, Northern Inc brokered Creative Northland to pay for snacks and koha for ONEONESIX at our first event. Both organisations, as well as the NZ Chambers of Commerce Northland and a number of private businesses across Northland have continued to be supportive of our network and have provided one-off funds and sponsorship for specific workshops. Our most recent venture, Strandlab was a collaboration between Awhiworld, Mahuta Digital and NZ Chambers of Commerce Northland as well as a number of private industry partners. Creative Technology Northland and Propagarium Research Group were collaborating organisations by nature of Matt and Maggie’s involvement.
Creative Technology is a multidisciplinary field that includes engineering, hobbiest electronics (e.g. Arduino), hacking, making, UX, digital storytelling (interpretation), digital/coded design, most forms of modern media and communication, tech entrepreneurship and invention, and creative arts that have a coded/digital component (e.g. modern cinematography, digital post production and visual manipulation, interactive installation, animation, midi, experimental sound etc). The diverse nature of the field means that despite outside funds that have facilitated specific events, the Creative Technology Northland network remains firmly independent. We also resist the temptation to form a traditional ‘trust’ or other entity. Our goal is to remain relevant to our sector through being agile, inclusive, collaborative, and by doing things for ourselves and taking risks.
For more information about Creative Technology Northland contact Dr Maggie Buxton. To join to our Facebook Page go here.