Journeys of Manu - Maramataka

Client: Panuku Development Auckland

Project: Te Mata o Rehua

Objective: Bring 12 stone carvings to life

As part of Manukau City's, Te Mata o Rehua project, local Māori and Pacific carvers produced twelve stone statues showcasing the seasonal signs of the maramataka (Māori lunar calendar).


To bring these amazing pieces of art to life, we created an augmented reality (AR) experience, blending the artistic expressions from the carvers interpretations and our digital representations of each theme. To deliver a truly unique experience, we redesigned our character to speak English and Te Reo Māori (the first AR character of his kind!). We also incorporated GPS technology to enhance user experience.


We believe the blending of physical art and AR is a way to provide mixed reality experiences that inspire imagination, bring stories to life, and engage people on multiple levels.


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"ARA's Journey's of Manu has provided a gateway for our communities in South Auckland to connect to the significance of place through tohu (elemental indicators and seasonal time markers ) for Health and wellbeing."

Alexanda Whitcombe

Systems Innovator, Health Families South Auckland

The Journeys of Manu - Puhinui Stream Challenge

Project: Puhinui Stream Challenge

Objective: Incorporate digital technology into the trail.

As part of a collaboration with Healthy Families Manukau, and The Southern Initiative, we built the first Māori augmented reality game, The Journeys of Manu. The game was designed to connect Māori and non-Māori, with the rich cultural and environmental history of South Auckland.


Manu’s first ‘journey’ was centred around one of Auckland’s polluted and neglected waterways, the Puhinui Stream. The stream was once a rich source of freshwater and kai (food) for many Iwi (tribes) living around Manukau. As part of the ‘Puhinui Stream Challenge’, Manu appeared when users scanned different ‘markers’ placed around the course, told a short story about the stream, and gave users a new digital taonga (token) at each marker.


The prototype blended augmented reality, gaming, indigenous storytelling, and orienteering, for a fun and informative mixed-reality experience.


Media Coverage: Māori Television   Radio Waatea  |  Healthy Families

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