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Digital Technologies Hangarau Matihiko in the curriculum

We've revised the Technology learning area to strengthen the positioning of Digital Technologies in The New Zealand Curriculum. The goal of this change is to ensure that all learners have the opportunity to become digitally capable individuals. This change signals the need for greater focus on our students building their skills so they can be innovative creators of digital solutions, moving beyond solely being users and consumers of digital technologies. 

Schools will be expected to fully integrate the revised learning area into their curriculum by the start of the 2020 school year.

Digital technology will be fully integrated into the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa in 2018. It will be included as a strand of the Technology learning area in the New Zealand Curriculum, and as a whenu within the Hangarau Wāhanga Ako of Te Marautanga o Aotearoa.

Beehive press release, July 2016

About digital technologies

New Zealand is a digital nation and digital technologies are changing the way that we interact and the way we live our lives. Technology moves fast and our education system needs to change with it so that we can prepare our children and young people for the future.   

Integrating digital technology into the curriculum is intended to support students to develop knowledge and skills in digital technologies and lead them to opportunities within the IT sector. Students will learn how technology works, and how they can use that knowledge to solve problems. They will learn core programming concepts to become creators of digital technology, not just users.

“The information technology sector is one of the fastest growing sectors in New Zealand, with a demand for skilled graduates. This step will support young people to develop skills, confidence and interest in digital technologies and lead them to opportunities across the diverse and growing IT sector. We look forward to continuing to work with the IT sector to ensure we have a future-focused, world-leading education system.”

Hekia Parata, former Education Minister, July 2016


Sign up for updates on the Digital Technologies | Hangarau Matihiko curriculum.

Digital technologies in the technology curriculum

Previously, the technology learning area was centred on three strands:

  • technological practice
  • technological knowledge
  • the nature of technology.

The three strands remain, but the learning area now also identifies five technological areas:

  • computational thinking for digital technologies
  • designing and developing digital outcomes
  • designing and developing materials outcomes
  • designing and developing processed outcomes
  • design and visual communication.

These areas represent the contexts and settings in which students might learn about technology. The three strands apply to all technology learning, regardless of which area that learning is in.

Emphasis on digital technologies can be seen in the first two technological areas.

Computational thinking for digital technologies is about understanding the computer science principles that underlie all digital technologies, and learning core programming concepts to become creators of digital technology, not just users.

Designing and developing digital outcomes involves learning how to design and produce quality, fit-for-purpose digital solutions.  

In Te Marautanga o Aotearoa, an additional two areas are also being included:

  1. Ngā Aria o Ngā Whakatupuranga Hangarau Matihiko Arareo Māori (Concepts of Digital Technology) 
  2. Te Tangata me te Rorohiko (People and Computers) 

You can find further information about computational thinking and how to prepare for the integration of digital technologies on Enabling eLearning.


Digital Technologies | Hangarau Matihiko curriculum will be introduced to all schools in term 1, 2018. Professional learning development will be available from this time.

In term 1, 2020 schools are expected to be teaching the Digital Technologies | Hangarau Matihiko curriculum.

Resources and communities


Digital technologies in the New Zealand Curriculum
This site contains resources to support the proposed digital technologies changes in the technology curriculum.

Technology Online - Strengthening digital technologies | hangarau matihiko
This section on Technology Online offers stories, innovative ideas, and resources for teaching and learning within digital technologies | hangarau matihiko.

Computational thinking for school students and teachers – what's the big idea?
This talk given by Tim Bell (University of Canterbury) was part of an international online conference in 2016. It includes demonstrations with students.

Exploring computational thinking
This curated collection of lesson plans, videos, and other resources on computational thinking supports teachers with integrating computational thinking into their own classroom content, teaching practice, and learning.

Computing at school
This English website supports primary educators with the confidence, knowledge, skills, and resources to teach computer science. It includes free lesson plans and activities, designed to help teachers gain confidence in bringing computer science to life in the classroom. Teachers from any country can register and access the resources.

CS Unplugged – Computer science without a computer
This collection of free learning activities teach computer science through games and puzzles that use cards, string, crayons, and lots of running around. Suitable for all ages. The material is available free of charge, and is shared under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA licence.


The New Zealand Association for Computing, Digital and Information Technology Teachers
The aim of the association is to create a community of teachers to share resources, communicate, and speak with one voice to get technology recognised and supported. They are now welcoming primary school teachers, and offer great support and sharing.

Digital Technologies: Ideas, implementation, inspiration for the new curriculum
This group in the Virtual Learning Network (VLN) explores the new Digital Technologies strand in the technologies curriculum as it unfolds. Join the group to share your thoughts, ideas, experiences, and resources.

Professional learning

Computational thinking for educators
This free online course for teachers supports the understanding of computational thinking. It provides practical examples of how to integrate computational thinking into your classroom programme.

Updated on: 08 Dec 2017