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A hīkoi and pūrākau: Kawerau ā Maki uses technology to share iwi stories

Maioha Panapa / Mare Haimona-Riki

Te Kawerau ā Maki iwi has partnered with Sport Waitakere to create a walkthrough a unique whakapapa experience for locals and visitors.

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

Using headset technology, whānau embark on a one-hour-long walk while listening to pūrākau and taonga tukuiho, making the name for the initiative, Active Whakapapa very relevant.

“This programme is active communication as a type of strategy,” says Mike Tipene from Healthy Families Waitakere, who leads the initiative.

“It’s a model of how to teach some of the objectives of regional history, natural culture, language revival and language-related communications.”

Gifted by Te Kawerau a Maki, the stories are shared through a pre-recorded headset with voiceovers and music.

It’s been widely celebrated, with offshoots sprouting up across the motu.

Tyler Taua-Gordon is one of the tour leaders and says it was important they “return to the greatest things of the natural world,” and says this tour is for all to enjoy, both locals and visitors.

“Papatuaanuku and Ranginui - therefore, this is for the whole world and all the generations.”

Some of its biggest champions are schools with more than 1,700 students and staff having already participated in the kaupapa, aligning with the new history’s curriculum, Te Takanga o Te Wā in Te Marautanga o Aotearoa.

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