Māui Stories

Story-telling with augmented reality

Māui Stories - Banner Image

The challenge

Commemorating the arrival of Captain Cook in New Zealand, the Tuia 250 kaupapa celebrates the themes of Dual Heritage and Shared Futures to capture stories of our people and place.

In Te Tai Tokerau – Northland, Te Au Marie Trust was established to develop a regional programme that would provide enduring legacy outcomes for Northland’s people and places in the form of Tuia Tai Tokerau: A Shared Future.

Te Au Marie Trust commissioned a digital rendering of local cultural narratives to be located at the Hihiaua Cultural Centre in Whangārei. The digital interpretation needed to utilise dynamic storytelling techniques and technology to reach a diverse audience of people.

The solution

bigfish and Awhiworld teamed up in a creative collaboration to deliver a captivating and inspiring experiential installation. Working in close collaboration with the Hihiaua Cultural Centre, ‘Māui Stories’ was created.

Māui was chosen as the central theme for the project due to his universal appeal and cultural significance to Te Tai Tokerau, Aotearoa and mātauranga Māori. The project explores the concept of “Who is Māui?” by sharing a selection of stories of Māui and his connection to Ngati Wai using augmented reality (AR).

The local narratives of Māui’s stories were scripted and brought to life in AR through visual and audio elements created in collaboration with Poutama Hetaraka and Fred Harrison. The permanent Māui Stories installation includes three carved pou, each displaying a unique illustration, drawn by Poutama, and housing the tablet and headphones which when initiated, bring to life the AR technology and Māui stories, in both Te Reo and English.

About Awhiworld
Dr Maggie Buxton is a creative practitioner and producer with an extensive track record in place-based creative practice. She has a PhD using emerging technologies to activate culturally significant places. Partnering with creative technologist Kim Newall, they have created AwhiWorld, a multidisciplinary creative studio specialising in innovative, interactive, place-based works.

AwhiWorld’s passion is collaborative community-based projects that transform how people encounter the spaces and places where they live, work and play. Work includes activating derelict buildings and sites; bringing magic mundane walkways and alleyways; and educating audiences about histories, stories and cultural artefacts in specific locations. By mixing emerging technologies (LED and LCD interactive screens, augmented and geo-locative mobile apps, 3D projection mapping) with traditional arts and cultural taonga, their projects are strategically designed to meet multiple needs and outcomes for clients.

What we did

  • Graphic Design
  • Campaign Development
  • Video
  • Photography
  • Videography
  • New Product Incubation
  • Application Development
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