We are a coordinated, community-centred coalition working together to achieve digital equity in Aotearoa.
The digital inclusion community is doing incredible work building bridges across the digital divide in Aotearoa. Digital equity work is happening in our schools, marae, libraries, mobile education buses, community centres and increasingly, in central and local government.
DECA members might be local initiatives making digital participation accessible, individuals passionate about digital inclusion, organisations that deliver digital skills training, programmes refurbishing laptops, iwi and hapū groups to name a few.
Friends of DECA walk alongside those doing vital frontline digital inclusion work to support and resource. Friends of DECA are companies making a difference, government agencies, local council and boards, social enterprises, academics, Community Foundations, funders and donors.
DECA Members and Friends of DECA align with the DECA kaupapa and understand that Aotearoa cannot be a leading digital nation without addressing digital inequity.
DECA shines a light on digital inclusion initiatives, identifies gaps, advocates and offers space for innovation and cross-sector collaboration.
We connect and support the digital inclusion community to be stronger, louder and have greater impact.
Click here to become a Member of DECA
Click here to become a Friend of DECA
The catalyst for DECA came out of Aotearoa’s 2020 COVID lockdown when the scale of digital exclusion was starkly revealed and the necessity of digital inclusion was beyond doubt. That same year, people and organisations from across the digital inclusion community consulted on, contributed to and signed the Internet NZ-led plan for digital inclusion, The five point plan for digital inclusion: COVID-19 and beyond.
During the development of the Five Point Plan in 2020, common themes from digital equity community included a desire for more clarity and cohesion, increased opportunities and support for cross-sector collaboration.
A small group of people, the DECA Establishment Group, came together to explore what the needs were, and how best to connect and coordinate toward the shared goal of digital equity in Aotearoa.
Over a year and a half, the Group developed an initiative to achieve this vision, using an inclusive, consultative and community centered process. This included many conversations with those working at the frontline of digital inclusion, and a series of hui and consultation with the wider digital inclusion community.
In May 2021 DECA welcomed the Equity Advocate and Community Manager. The Establishment Group transitioned governance over to a community-led Stewardship Group with a mihi whakatau in October and DECA was officially launched.
DECA is governed by a Stewardship Group, consisting of representatives from the diverse digital inclusion community, and supported by the DECA Equity Advocate and Community Manager and paid intern.
Kris works as the Executive Officer for the Taitokerau Education Trust in Whangārei and as a Digital Fluency PLD Facilitator to schools for Code Avengers.
He has an education background of 17 years experience as a teacher at primary and secondary levels in New Zealand and internationally.
Kris is passionate about tech education and career pathways for Māori, Pasifika, non-mainstream learners and those looking for career change opportunities.
Tainui, Ngāti Hauiti
He uri tēnei nō Tainui waka. Nō Whaingaroa ahau engari e pakeke ana au ki Ōtautahi. Kei aku nui, kei aku rahi, tēnei a Tainui iwi maioha e mihi nei.
Janelle is a highly experienced leader and consultant specialising in areas such as developing cultural competencies, Te Tiriti o Waitangi education and digital technologies. With more than 10 years experience in developing and delivering effective professional learning solutions, Janelle has become highly regarded in these fields and sought after to support the professional learning journeys of educational contexts, corporate organisations and government entities.
Janelle has been working in the equity space for her entire professional career and has supported many organisations and learning communities to navigate their equity challenges and improve outcomes for all. Janelle has been involved in leading professional learning programmes that support kaiako to implement the Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko curriculum into learning programmes for ākonga supporting them to be creators and innovators. She is passionate and committed to empowering Māori to live, create and innovate in ways unique to them and that will improve the lives of our people, our language, our culture and our Aotearoa identity.
Seumas (Ngāti Porou / Whakatōhea) is Executive Director at the Todd Foundation. He has over 20 years’ experience working with young people and community groups and holds a degree in Education and Sociology. He is a current Board member of Philanthropy New Zealand and Te Muka Rau.
Seumas also works on local community-led initiatives supporting rangatahi and whānau to better access the digital world.
Hainoame is an experienced, values- driven leadership with over 20 year track record in research, community development, social mobilisation of disadvantaged communities, advocacy and civil rights, entrepreneurship and philanthropy funding. She’s an active techie with game-changing prototypes underway.
Hainoame has worked on a number of projects for New Zealand government agencies, universities in Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia, and independent projects focused on Pacific mobilisation at scale. She is an experienced community development leader and social activator who currently Co-Chairs the Pacific Peoples’ Advisory Panel for Auckland Council and sits on various governing non-government organisations and collective networks.
Hainoame holds a Master in Arts (Hons) in Education from the University of Auckland with credentials in Food Compliance (Victoria, Australia) and NCALE. She is also working towards a second Masters in Technological Futures. She is fluent in both Tongan and English, and is learning te reo Māori.
Vic believes everyone in Aotearoa deserves the right to reach their potential in life and in business and her energy is focused on creating opportunities for people to thrive.
Her day jobs include Managing Director of OptimalBI.com, data and information specialists, and OptimalPeople.co.nz, who are financial reporting and bookkeeping specialists. She is also Director of Noted.com, a fast growing SAAS company delivering solutions for kaupapa Māori heath, private practices and social services providers.
Vic’s skill set lies in governance and connecting the digital equity space ecosystem in Aotearoa so we can collaborate and support the great mahi of community led organisations.
Vic is currently the Chair of the charitable trust Digital Future Aotearoa, an organisation that works alongside local communities to support the raising of the digital capability of Aotearoa.
Felix is a true advocate of the Chinese community and a passionate public servant. He is actively involved in the disability advisory committee at Counties Manukau District Health Board and is the chairman for the North Shore Chinese Network Trust.
Felix is currently employed as the Asian Service Manager at Age Concern Auckland, is a Justice of the Peace and also serves the community by supporting the MP in the Epsom electorate.
Previously he was the Asian Service manager at Independent Living Charitable Trust for over seven years. Felix is the father of two lovely kids and loves spending time with his family. Outside of work, you will often find Felix playing badminton or going out to sea and soaking up the fabulous Auckland sunshine.
Jodi is a recent and passionate convert to the kaupapa of digital equity, and believes strongly in community driven action by supporting trusted community leaders and groups to effect positive change in communities.
Jodi studied law at the University of Canterbury and completed a Masters in Intellectual Property law at the University of Houston. She has worked as a lawyer in law firms and corporates in environmental and intellectual property law, and for the NZ government as an international trade negotiator and in digital economy policy.
She is currently the Acting Policy Director at InternetNZ, a not for profit with a mission to create an Internet for all New Zealanders that is safe, accessible and a place for good.
Jodi grew up in Dargaville and Oamaru, and has lived in Wellington for almost 30 years. She lives with her husband, her two teenage children and a cat called Prudence. She loves reading and watching movies, and when COVID isn’t destroying the live music scene she can be found singing in bands or in a duo with her husband.
Saia is of Tongan and Fijian descent, and a proud South Aucklander from Mangere. He is passionate about enabling and connecting people and achieving equitable outcomes.
Currently, Saia is a Digital Transformation Manager at PwC, and a board member of EMA (Employers & Manufacturers Association). Outside of work, Saia is actively involved in entrepreneurial activities and community initiatives with a focus on technology, digital empowerment, leadership, and youth development, both in Aotearoa and abroad.
Rose Hiha-Agnew is programme director for the National Action Plan for Community Governance, supporting the detailed design, planning, development and roll-out of the plan. Rose brings extensive experience in management and governance across iwi, community and governance organisations.
During her career in local and central government Rose has led environmental, Te Ao Māori, sustainability and large-scale transformational programmes for infrastructure. This has included management of around $20 million in partnership investments with iwi and communities across New Zealand.
Rose’s governance experience includes chairing Keep New Zealand Beautiful and co-chairing the Endangered Species Foundation. She is passionate about sustainable, economic, cultural and environmental opportunities that enable inclusiveness and lead to positive community outcomes.
Helen is the Programme and Relationships Lead at the Todd Foundation. She has a wealth of experience through previous roles with the Vodafone New Zealand Foundation, J R McKenzie Trust, and as co-founder of the community organisation Film for Change Aotearoa.
With a Bachelor of Arts (Criminology, Psychology and Film) and a background working in the not-for-profit sector Helen brings solid foundations to the DECA stewardship group. She sits on the Frozen Funds Board, is part of Philanthropy New Zealand’s Youth Advisory Group and sits on the governance teams of several systems change focussed initiatives in Aotearoa.
Helen is extremely passionate about collaborations creating change, community-led mahi, rebalancing power to value community leaders for their expertise, and ensuring equity is central to everything. She also believes the optimism, passion and energy of Aotearoa’s rangatahi is where the future lies.
Helen describes herself as a systems change nerd and is also married to a nerd (Ben Anderson, CTO of DeliverEasy). She is mother to Arlo June Anderson and fur-baby Bella. Originally from Whangārei, she is now a permanent resident of Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington).
Anissa is DECA's Community Manager and Equity Advocate.
She has a long and colourful history as an organiser, consultant and social change agent in Aotearoa and in her sixteen years working internationally.
She grew up in Samoa, Otara and Papatoetoe in South Auckland. An at-risk kid made good, Anissa started her career in the not-for-profit sector at the tender age of twelve as the youngest ever nomination for the YMCA leadership programme. Representing Aotearoa at the YMCA’s World Camp in the US in her teens, home left her at age sixteen. She went on to run an eco-peace project in wartime Croatia, co-founded the Social-Cultural Centre in post velvet revolution Prague and was one of the first people arrested on climate change related charges at a direct action as co-organiser of a parallel conference to the 1995 COP1 in Berlin.
Anissa has consulted or freelanced worldwide supporting community-led mahi. A self confessed strategy geek, she specialises in relationship-based collaborative systems change models, working with start-ups and small-medium sized community organisations and initiatives.
Writing is how Anissa makes sense of the world and she is proud to be serving her community as a celebrant.
Ironically, Anissa lives in an internet dead zone in a rural area of Greater Auckland.
Words, systems change and deep ecology are at the centre of her life.
I grew up on Waiheke Island and moved to Wellington to study at Victoria University/Te Herenga o Waka this year. The pandemic cut my travel plans short but I was still able to travel to South America for 3 weeks and use the opportunity to expand my interests in politics and culture. Upon returning to New Zealand, I did two internships with two really valuable organisations, the Garden to Table Trust and with the Waiheke Resources Trust, whose Board I was then invited to join.
My experience with both these community organisations provided me with valuable knowledge of the internal functions and operations of non profit organisations. Having used 2020 to foster and direct my values of environmental and social justice, I was inspired to commence a double major in International Relations and Public Policy, with a minor in Development Studies, at Victoria University. This year has been great in introducing me to international and political systems and the ideas that underpin and influence their existence.
My care for a just society that produces outcomes that are fair and equitable to its citizens has made me very excited to contribute to the digital equity movement!
Huge thanks to DECA Establishment Group. These folks met weekly for over a year, with many hours out of busy lives given to hui, small working groups, workshops and relationship building. Their mahi, time and experience are the firm shoulders DECA stands on today. Kia ora e te whanau!
then Policy Lead Internet NZ
Digital Futures Aotearoa, NZRise
CEO Spark Foundation
Kaiwhakahaere Whare Hauora
Policy team Internet NZ
Internet NZ Community Engagement Team lead
CEO Todd Foundation
Programme Manager and Relationships Lead Todd Foundation
Members, Friends of DECA and Constellations align with our founding values and kaupapa:
We respect our Māori heritage and the knowledge, wisdom, and best practices that come with tikanga Māori. We acknowledge Te Tiriti o Waitangi and apply its ancestral intent to help us create spaces for all to be self determined.
We are led by the needs of the people and communities we serve. Digital equity should be available to people at the pace and place that they want.
It is important to understand who we all are and how we relate to each other, acknowledge the work that has come before, and establish good relationships for the work ahead.
We support approaches that create lasting change, and get going with the mahi even if it's not perfect.
You can click here to see the DECA kaupapa