About Us

About Matakite Online Trust of New Zealand

We are dedicated to fostering a safe, collaborative, and friendly online environment that embraces pluralism and empowers communities. Our organisation is deeply rooted in a vision, mission, and set of values that guide us in our pursuit of digital transformation for charities, non-profits, and communities across New Zealand.

Our Vision

At Matakite, we envision a future where digitally transformed societies thrive, and diverse communities coexist harmoniously in the online space. Our vision is to create an environment where every voice is heard, respected, and valued.

Our Mission

Our mission is to be at the forefront of this digital transformation by assisting fellow charities, non-profits, and communities in harnessing the power of technology. We are committed to providing specialised digital solutions that empower organisations to achieve their missions more effectively and connect with their communities in innovative ways.

Our Values

  • Pluralism: We believe in the strength of diversity. We are committed to creating an inclusive online space where different perspectives and backgrounds are celebrated and respected.
  • Collaboration: Collaboration is at the heart of what we do. We work closely with our partners, clients, and communities to co-create solutions that drive positive change.
  • Integrity: We uphold the highest standards of integrity in all our actions. Our commitment to honesty and transparency is unwavering.
  • Innovation: We embrace innovation as a means to drive progress. We continually seek new ways to leverage technology for the benefit of our clients and society as a whole.
  • Empowerment: We empower organisations and individuals to take control of their digital presence and leverage it for their causes. We believe in the power of knowledge and skills to effect change.

The Story behind the Name Matakite

The name “Matakite” has a special significance for us. In the Kannada language (one of the oldest languages spoken predominantly in Bharat (India)), “Matakite” (pronounced as “Matukate” “ಮಾತುಕತೆ”) means having pleasant conversations with your loved ones. This beautiful sentiment reflects our commitment to fostering positive and meaningful interactions in the digital realm.

Just as having pleasant conversations with loved ones brings people closer and builds connections, we aim to create an online space where individuals, organisations, and communities can come together in a spirit of collaboration, support, and understanding.

The Story behind the Purpose

Matakite Online Trust of New Zealand was born out of a desire to bridge the digital divide and ensure that all voices have a platform to be heard. We believe that by facilitating pleasant and constructive conversations in the online world, we can contribute to the growth and prosperity of New Zealand’s pluralistic society.

Often, the technologies that can drive real change are either prohibitively expensive or too complex for nonprofits to readily integrate into their daily operations. At Matakite, we are dedicated to flipping the script on this challenge. Our digital transformation approach is all about breaking down barriers from both the bottom up and the top down, ensuring that technology becomes a tool for smoother, easier, more efficient, cost-effective, agile, and impactful operations. Our co-founders firmly believe that technology is not an exclusive club; it should be accessible and affordable for all. At Matakite, we revel in the art of simplifying the intricacies of high-end technology, tailoring it specifically for the nonprofit sector. After all, nonprofits are the lifeblood of grassroots change, and we are committed to empowering them to deliver the highest quality outcomes. We envision a future where technology is an enabler, not a hindrance, to the noble work of nonprofits across New Zealand. Together, we aim to make this vision a reality.

Join us on this journey toward a digitally transformed, inclusive, and vibrant New Zealand, where technology serves as a catalyst for positive change, and Matakite stands as a beacon of hope and collaboration in the digital landscape.

Thank you for being a part of our mission. Together, we can make a difference.


Our Co-founders:

Heather Newell, one of our esteemed co-founders, brings a wealth of experience and unwavering dedication to Matakite Online Trust of New Zealand. As a Fellow of the Fundraising Institute of New Zealand, Heather’s expertise in fundraising and community engagement is second to none. With over three decades of tireless commitment as a community leader, Heather has championed the causes that matter most to communities throughout New Zealand. Her passion for empowering nonprofits and her deep-rooted belief in the transformative power of technology are at the heart of our organisation’s mission. Heather’s leadership is instrumental in guiding Matakite toward a future where technology and community advocacy converge to create positive change for all.

https://www.aceaotearoa.org.nz/news-and-resources/news/heather-newell-2022-educator-year-tangata-tiriti
Heather Newell, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Matakite Online Trust of NZ

… and our Co-Founder:

Dr. Vinay Karanam, another visionary co-founder of Matakite Online Trust of New Zealand, is a true luminary in the fields of science and technology. With two doctorates to his name and a distinguished status as a chartered mechanical engineer, his qualifications are unparalleled. As a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers (FIE) and a Fellow of the Institute of Managers and Leaders (FIML), Vinay’s expertise extends far beyond academia. He is a hands-on leader who has not only delivered numerous award-winning community projects but has also spent over 15 years dedicated to the mission of simplifying technology and making it accessible and affordable for all. Vinay’s commitment to bridging the digital divide is a driving force behind Matakite’s mission, and his remarkable blend of technical prowess and community-focused leadership is a beacon of inspiration for our organisation and the communities we serve.

https://www.aceaotearoa.org.nz/news-and-resources/news/seniornet-nz-senior-hangouts-programme-2022-community-programme-year-tangata
Dr. Vinay Karanam, Co-Founder and Chief Digital Officer (CDO) of Matakite Online Trust of NZ

We are a registered Charity. We help non-profits, charities and communities to become digitally transformed.


group of people on conference room

The Board of Trustees at Matakite Online Trust of New Zealand embodies visionary leadership, providing invaluable guidance and shaping the direction of our organisation. Their collective wisdom and forward-thinking approach pave the way for innovative solutions and impactful initiatives.

Our Board of Trustees:

Rajaprasanna Rajamannar (Raj) [Chair]

Civil Engineering and Construction has always deeply interested me and I have progressed academically by completing my Masters in Construction Management in the Auckland University of Technology. I had the opportunity to complement my Masters education with a job as a site engineer in an infrastructure project in West Auckland.

Before I had taken up my Masters, I had worked in job profiles involving construction execution and project management, in a reputed EPC Construction company, Larsen & Toubro Ltd. I was assigned as a Project Engineer and had to plan, monitor and report on the progress with respect to project timelines. During this tenure, I had the opportunity to apply my academic learning, as well as complement it with practical experience. Some of the challenges which I learnt to handle were progressive planning with sub-contractor, correlating BOQ and prioritizing sequence in line with available resources, coordinating with interactive departments (Engineering, Procurement, Quality Assurance) for timely clearances.

It is my firm belief that with growing demands for infrastructure, the Industry offers immense opportunities to learn and also contribute. During my Masters in Construction Management, I was able to learn the principles, legal requirements and the compliances, supply chain management, all of which I wish to apply, while also learning the nuances of the Industry for self-growth.

Wei Zhao (Joy) [Secretary]

Joy Zhao is a motivated professional specialising in workplace training and dedicated to instructional design. She possesses expertise in operational training needs analysis, curriculum development, online learning creation, and effective implementation of learning solutions.

Joy, who holds an overseas degree in Computing Science, has passionately expanded her skills in the fields of eLearning and adult education & training. She has earned tertiary and national qualifications in various areas, including Applied eLearning (MIT), Digital Multimedia (AUT), Adult Literacy and Numeracy Education, Adult Education and Training (Te Wananga o Aotearoa), and Assessment Practice (Skills Active) etc.

Her extensive work experience as a facilitator at MIT, a computing tutor at Te Wananga o Aotearoa, and senior training, education & qualifications  advisor at NZ Defence Force has empowered her with a wealth of skills in training solutions development, implementation and quality assurance.

Catherine Munford (Cathy) [Treasurer]

Cathy has been a prominent contributor to the community. With over 35 years of experience in health industry in the area of analytics, she brings her wealth of knowledge to the board with her keen eye for the details.

In this role, the trust’s financial well-being is overseen by her, and her deep knowledge of the organisation’s mission ensures its financial health and longevity. Cathy’s expertise and dedication mirror the commitment to transparency and accountability held by the board of trustees, rendering her an indispensable member..

Born and raised in Upper Hutt. She has a great understanding of the New Zealand’s nonprofit sector and local market.

Dr Reginald Newell (Reg) [Legal Advisor]

Dr Reg Newell is one of the founding members of this organisation and has been playing an instrumental role in shaping the organisation to its present glory.

Reg, a seasoned legal expert with over 40 years of experience in the field, is a valued member of our team. His extensive legal career, which has been dedicated to serving clients in New Zealand, brings a wealth of wisdom and insight to our organisation. Reg’s deep knowledge of the legal landscape, coupled with his unwavering commitment to excellence, greatly enhances our ability to navigate complex legal matters and uphold the highest standards of legal integrity.