Wellington City Council supports Te Papa’s innovation incubator

16 August 2016

Yesterday Mahuki opened its doors to ten entrepreneurial teams who have been tasked to respond with digital solutions, to challenge sets faced by Te Papa and other cultural service providers across New Zealand and the world.

A pōwhiri (traditional Māori welcome) to welcome the teams and staff was held at Te Papa’s Te Marae.

Wellington City Council is a supporting partner of Mahuki with funding from the City Growth Fund.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown attended the pōwhiri. Along with Te Papa Chief Executive Rick Ellis and Kaihautū ((Māori co-leader) Dr Arapata Hakiwai, they welcomed the teams to Te Papa and Wellington city.

“In supporting the Mahuki programme, Wellington City Council and Te Papa are boosting and combining the talents of our cultural and creative tech sector,” says Mayor Wade-Brown.

“Wellington is a city where new cultural technology solutions are developed and can be exported to the world”.

Mayor Wade-Brown supports building critical mass in the city’s tech sector and start-up business ecosystem.

“Mahuki will bring cultural history and modern technology together to fund new ways of storytelling,” she says.

“Our smart Capital offers constant inspiration from a wide range of museums and galleries, entrepreneurs and global leaders. A good dose of nature, coffee and craft beer will keep the mental wheels rolling!”  

The Mahuki teams will work with Te Papa's experts and collections, and will have the chance to market-test their ideas with Te Papa's millions of visitors. They will work on real-world problems, informed by Te Papa's experience as a global leader in cultural experiences.

Te Papa Chief Executive Rick Ellis says Wellington City Council’s supporting partnership of Mahuki is a great opportunity to develop Wellington’s growing tech eco system.

“Mahuki’s teams of entrepreneurs will deliver positive results for New Zealanders, visitors to Te Papa and visitors to Wellington and the region,” he says.

Mahuki is the first Museum- led innovation incubator in New Zealand. Some of the biggest names in the museum and gallery world have innovation hubs – from the British Museum in London to the Metropolitan Museum of art in New York.

Te Papa has invested around $1 million to establish Mahuki. This includes housing the facility within Te Papa’s office space, supporting the entrepreneurs while they work, and helping them access international networks when their innovations are market-ready.

Notes for Editors

Mahuki can be translated as "perceptive" and relates to ideas that spring to the mind, and to the wellspring of inspiration.

The Mahuki programme runs for four months from 15 August 2016 and is based on-site at Te Papa.

The programme will involve 10 teams.

Entrepreneurs will have access to Te Papa's experts, resources and visitors to help develop and test ideas.

One programme will run each year and a programme of activities will be run around the main Mahuki programme during the remainder of the year

Vodafone is also a supporting partner of Mahuki.

Media contact

Te Papa, Ellie Campbell 029 601 0010

Wellington City Council, Richard MacLean, 021 227 8180