My name is Lee Timutimu. I affiliate to the tribes of Ngāti Awa, Ngāi Te Rangi, Tūhoe and Ngāti Porou. I’m the CEO & Founder of Arataki Systems. I’m also a proud husband and father of 4 tamariki (children).

From time to time, I receive requests to speak and/or participate as a panellist or mentor. As time has gone on, these requests have steadily increased. So I thought I’d provide some information to help organisations and individuals determine whether or not I am the right speaker for your next event.

PLEASE NOTE: Over the past two years, I have accepted and delivered many speaking roles most of which I have done at no charge. For me, this is definitely not a money-making exercise. In fact quite the opposite, I speak to share my personal story, and our business journey, because people find this incredibly interesting for many and various reasons. However, I’m at a point now where I need to take a stance on how and why I will accept speaking roles, as often there are costs (financial) and opportunity costs that I have had to cover myself every time I speak. Also, and more importantly, I need to value my time, and what I can actually bring to the table as a potential speaker.

Depending on what type of kaupapa (initiative) you have, or type of organisation you are (i.e. corporate, community, government agency, conference facilitator) will determine what charge out rate I will apply.

What value can I add?

Firstly, I’d like you to understand the things that I am passionate about. I think this will provide some context around the potential “value” I can add to your event or organisation.

I am incredibly passionate about:

  1. Te Ao Māori (the Māori world)
  2. Māori storytelling
  3. Technology

I will provide you with a little more detail on each of the passion drivers that I’ve listed above, in the hopes that you may find a “value” that you connect with.

Te Ao Māori

Te Ao Māori I define as “the Māori world”, and to me encompasses te Reo Māori (the Māori language) and Tikanga Māori (customs & protocols). Being Māori is incredibly important to me, and something I strongly identify with. Although I am not a fluent speaker, I hold our language in the highest regard. One day I intend to seek fluency in my language. Our customs and protocols inform much of the mahi (work) I do within the various businesses and community-based initiatives that I am involved with.

Basically, my unique value proposition is my Māori-ness. My cultural identity, my cultural capacity, my cultural intelligence, my indigenous world view. This is what sets me apart from most other speakers you will meet and may eventually engage with.

Furthermore, how an Indigenous Entrepreneur conducts business and views business in general (think quadruple bottom line!) differs vastly from your typical Entrepreneur. In a business context, it is my indigenous perspective that sets me apart.

I am Māori and proud!

Māori Storytelling

10 years ago I founded a Māori storytelling kaupapa called Te Reo Wainene o Tua. TRWOT is a kaupapa committed to the revival of our oral traditions through the medium of storytelling. TRWOT plays a part in the revitalisation and retention of our pūrākau (ancient stories). I am still running TRWOT to this day, and it is where I discovered my passion for Māori storytelling.

My LinkedIn profile says this “I’m incredibly passionate about Māori storytelling, and the importance it holds for our future generations in terms of the transfer of knowledge, the continuation of our narratives, and the retention and maintenance of our culture. I think one of the greatest challenges Te Ao Māori currently faces, is the gradual and inevitable loss of much of our stories, knowledge and history with the passing of our kaumatua (elders). It’s up to us to play a part in the capture, collation, retention and caretaking of our stories.“

I am passionate about Māori storytelling!


Technology has been a major part of my professional career path for almost 20 years now. Specifically, I have worked in the customer support space (think Helpdesk, Desktop Support, Infrastructure Engineer etc). The last two decades of experience working in this space has helped me to develop and fine-tune my RELATIONSHIP building skills, and my COMMUNICATION skills. These are all attributes that I have transferred into my own business, and that have helped us to build strong relationships and connections into many different sectors, engaging with a very diverse customer base.

I founded Arataki Systems in November 2016. Arataki is effectively the combining of all the things that I have a passion for – Te Ao Māori, Māori storytelling and tech. In this regard, I have the great privilege of living and working on my passion drivers every single day!

In terms of what Arataki is, well..it’s a pretty cool business which many people find interesting:

Arataki Systems build digital storytelling platforms that connect people with our culture.

Founded in 2016, we are a tech company based in Tauranga, New Zealand, wholly owned and run by Māori tech entrepreneurs. We have career backgrounds in Māori storytelling, tech and iwi relations. We’ve developed NZ’s first proximity-activated cultural content delivery platform. We offer a virtual self-guided fully immersive cultural experience. Our platform seamlessly connects users with cultural content and information, at the right time, in the right location.

Our goal is to bridge the cultural gap between communities. Our mission is to share 1 million stories.

Arataki combines all of my passion drivers into one!

Finally and more recently, I am the founder of the Māori Tech Association. The MTA is a collective that aims to support the aspirations of Māori in Tech as well as provide a supportive space for our small but growing community.


Still interested?

If you’ve read this far, then you must have some interest in what I can offer you as a potential speaker/panellist/mentor.

To take the next step, please fill in the contact form below and I will come back to you in due course. Most weeks I have a pretty hectic schedule, but I will respond as quickly as I am able.

Thanks for taking the time to learn about me. I look forward to meeting with you soon e hoa (my friend).

Nā Lee Timutimu.