Conference Talk

The original storyteller

Lee’s kōrero (presentation) will be centred on ‘indigenising space’: How our oral traditions and our storytelling form the basis of all forms of Māori design, and how the world can turn to indigenous knowledge, values and language to reimagine the future of design and storytelling.

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Lee Timutimu

Kaihautū / CEO, Arataki Systems

Lee is a proud father and husband. He hails from Aotearoa New Zealand and is a descendant of the tribes of Ngāti Awa, Ngāi Te Rangi, Tūhoe and Ngāti Porou. Lee was born and raised in a small coastal town on the East Coast of the North Island called Whakatāne, but now lives with his whānau (family) in Kirikiriroa (Hamilton). Lee is CEO & Founder of Arataki Systems – a Māori owned, whānau owned tech company. Arataki Systems are the creators of a proximity based phone app that enables users to unlock authentic historical content and stories in places of cultural significance around Aotearoa New Zealand. An interest in computers, design and storytelling has seen him go from IT engineer to analyst to film maker and now small business owner. Lee has worked in the IT industry for 20+ years and in the Māori storytelling space for 13 years. With deep networks and relationships into the Māori tech ecosystem in Aotearoa, Lee wears many pōtae (hats). He’s the Founder & Co-Founder of multiple community initiatives that seek to empower Māori communities through technology. His overarching vision is to increase both the representation and participation of Māori in tech. Lee is incredibly passionate about Māori storytelling, and the importance it holds for future generations in terms of the transfer of knowledge, the continuation of cultural narratives, and the retention and maintenance of his culture. He considers one of the greatest challenges Te Ao Māori (the Māori world) currently faces, is the gradual and inevitable loss of much of their stories, knowledge and history with the passing of kaumātua (elders). He has dedicated himself to the capture, collation, retention and care taking of his peoples stories.