YiA Judges


Managing Director
Metia Interactive

Christchurch-raised Maru is the managing director and designer of award-winning video games at her company Metia Interactive. In 2007, her first commercial title, ‘Cube’, was released to worldwide acclaim, winning her a United Nations World Summit Awards Special Mention. She has since advanced the world of gaming from entertainment to therapy by developing SPARX, an educational tool wrapped within a 3D game to help rangatahi combat depression.

The game won multiple awards and Maru herself was awarded a New Zealand Order of Merit as well as Innovator of the Year in the MCV Pacific Women in Games Awards from Microsoft Xbox. Her latest game, Tākaro, is an interactive platform to strengthen rangatahi’s spatial awareness skills and encourage coding concepts that will build confidence in STEM. Maru sits on the Māori Television Board and in February 2018 she completed a Master’s Degree in Technological Futures