Kapai Kaiti and Tai Rawhiti Tech Trust

Our vision is to promote the use of digital technologies in the Tairāwhiti district, aimed at reducing the digital divide, particularly by providing courses at Computer Hubs within walking distance of those in areas of high social deprivation, such as Kaiti. Our current focus is to work with Kaumatua, most of whom find it difficult to learn from their whanau because the younger ones lack the necessary understandings and patience.

The intended outcomes are that those who suffer most from inequality of opportunity will be better able to participate in the digital community and be supported with the knowledge and skills to be residents in the online world. It is important for the elderly to be digitally connected to retain their understanding and vigour for the world. Kapai Kaiti classes are very busy.

Student A’s Journey
From birth I was always going the wrong way. The doctor had to turn me around.  I got sent here by WINZ/Workbridge – working most of my life and I dislocated my shoulder, it froze. This took me ages to recover. Then I got rehabilitated. 5 years ago my wife was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Dealing with my shoulder and my wife’s illness. Got 3 kids – 2 sons in their 20s and my daughter who is 10 now. Had another child born without a brain who did not survive birth. This was an emotional journey. As a child was surrounded by death. Aged 12 – two brothers were playing around the Kaiti Hill (there were caves there). The hillside had collapsed and buried my two brothers. My wife was too scared to go to the doctor so I went and he told me. I drove around town for a while before going home to tell her.

I’m Ngapuhi so being amongst Ngati Porou in the beginning was hard. My wife was a local (Angi) from a big family. It was a bit tough however I listened and understood their point of view.  I’d love to work – but with my shoulder and job opportunities I enjoy coming here. I do a lot of counselling – talk to people, share things. The last few years since my wife died I have concentrated on raising my daughter. Adam at Workbridge asked about my computer skills, no skills – so I came here. It’s been good I enjoy the company, tutor, enjoy learning. Enjoy every second of life. My parents live at Patutahi and I have brothers and sisters around. I enjoy every day. From then until now I have learnt some much. Six or 7 months ago I wouldn’t even try. I’ve learnt so much – email, Facebook everything. It’s interesting being the only male in the class – I think about stuff differently.

Student B’s Journey
In 2015 I retired from the world of finance. I had always been interested in Whakapapa so I thought maybe I should do a computer course. My ultimate goal is to write a book of memories that would include whakapapa charts and photos. I have an idea on how it would be presented but I need help.  I had used computers daily during my career and I had been on various Bank courses but now I wanted to go back to computer basics. My first goal was to tidy up my home computer and then move on to gain the knowledge I would need for my book.  My husband and I moved to Australia in 2001. We returned to our home town of Gisborne in October 2016.

By chance in March 2017 I met a friend in town and during our catch up I mentioned that I was interested in doing a computer course. I had checked a few courses online but I hadn't found one that I was comfortable with. She invited me to check out Taitech where she was a tutor. I started the following week, it was just what I needed. I have now decided to progress to the next course.  I have enjoyed my few months with Taitech, our group is very friendly and the teaching methods work for me. A goal of mine is whakapapa. That is using my computer skills and knowledge how can I compile my stories and history of my family into a book – a unique resource that can be used by my family.

Student C’s Journey
Over the last 2 years I have been unwell with stage 2 breast cancer. I have always been very independent but due to my unwellness I had a lot of unhappy times.  I lived in Mt Maunganui, had a home, a beautiful relationship, worked for Housing NZ for 20 years. I had everything and then I lost it all.   I came to Gisborne to get away from everyone – I wanted to be alone, I went into hiding, didn’t want to talk to my family, I felt sorry for myself.

I did think – shit happens but why did it happen to me? I never smoked, I had a healthy lifestyle although I did have a social drink. I needed help. I came to Gisborne at Waitangi Weekend 2016 to visit my ex- in-laws, my daughter phoned and told me she had problems so I told her to come here She decided to move here and while it is not a place I wanted to come to… Here I am.

I have a strong relationship with my daughter and her children, they are my life.  Initially I went on the sickness benefit, and then decided that if I can’t look after me how am I going to look after my daughter and moko. So I made a plan in my head I wanted to have a positive attitude What am I going to do for myself to get my life back. I went to see the Cancer Society mainly to share my journey, the Chaplain at the hospital,  Doctor, and then started looking for a job.  I got a Green Card and went to see Steve Allan and Adam Tapsell and found they were so supportive.

Here today I don’t have the material things that I had in a previous life… but I am happy to have my health and now I can share my journey.  I enjoy what I am doing now I love meeting people, go to the Gym, take my moko for walks.  One day I was talking with my Case Worker and she referred me to Adam at Work Bridge. While I had experience with computers my confidence needed a boost and they in turn referred me to Tairawhiti Technology Trust.  This has given me the confidence I needed and whilst I now have a part-time position as a Data Entry Officer I still come to the courses because of the people, the companionship and I’m still learning.

Student D’s  Journey
I have had a variety of work and as I got older the job opportunities got less and less. I grew up at Makarori and I am now back there with my Partner. However I have felt isolated living that far out from town but it is the only rental we could get at the time. I am on the Dole and this in itself is stressful, I have felt humiliated at times

I was referred to Workbridge by WINZ and they referred me to Tairawhiti Technology Trust. They offered a computer course and I thought yes this is a start to a new beginning. There is “light at the end of the tunnel” and I feel that this course has been awesome.   I want to work with computers – from home but still in the community.