Meet our ConnectED Haeata Whānau Engagement team


When bringing together the team for ConnectED Haeata, we realised we needed a kind of ”hybrid of human” to support the dual understanding required for whānau engagement. Someone who could both engage with our many cultures of New Zealand, and also have a sound knowledge of technology and people skills. We were lucky to find two such people, Maria Kahukura and Dwayne Duffield, who together make up the ConnectED Haeata Whānau engagement team.

What is ConnectED Haeata?

ConnectED Haeata is a collaboration project that provides free WiFi to over 360 Haeata students. This has been made possible by the combined effort of the project team including GCSN, Chorus, Network 4 Learning, Haeata, the Ministry of Education, Cyclone, and our most funders including Todd Foundation, Rātā Foundation, Kelliher Charitable Trust, Pub Charity and One Foundation.

Both students and whānau benefit from ConnectED, as it allows students to continue their education from home and whānau to connect with teachers and the greater opportunities that the internet and technology offer.

Meet the ConnectED Haeata Whānau engagement team

Team members Maria Kahukura and Dwayne Duffield have been a huge part of the success of Haeata ConnectED. We were given the opportunity to chat with Maria and Dwayne and discovered their side of the story for this collaborative project.

Maria Kahukura

Maria Kahukura

Maria is a well-respected community member, having worked within the community for a long time. She understands and speaks basic te reo Māori and supports whānau to understand the importance of being connected. Maria has become the go-to person on campus to support whānau in getting connected.

Dwayne Duffield

Dwayne Duffield

Joining the team in September 2018, Dwayne is the resident ConnectED On-Site Engineer. Having studied Network Engineering he has a vast knowledge of the different device operating systems and hardware.

Dwayne is available for the technical support as he understands the ‘backend’ of the solution which gives him an edge when trouble shooting Access Point infrastructure limitations.

Further support team members are Irihapeti Mahuika: Director of Learning at Haeata Community Campus and Andy Kai Fong: Principal at Haeata Community Campus.

What is your favorite part of the ConnectED Project?