Topic: Rereātea - Midday News

Wintec incorporates taonga puoro into Matariki project

By Regan Paranihi

Norefjell Davis, a third-year Media Arts student at Wintec, is working with traditional Māori specialist Horomona Horo to create an app for the Matariki Interactive Waka Sculpture where contemporary expression of taonga puoro will be part of it.

The app is an interactive aspect of Wintec’s waka sculpture that will provide a unique storytelling feature for Matariki.

Horomona says working with the students will help inspire them to grow and follow their dreams. 

"Ko te piko o te māhuri, tērā te tipu o te rākau," he says. "The way the sapling is shaped determines the growth of the tree."

Joe Citizen, project lead, and Wintec tutor says the app is one of many features of the waka sculpture using technology to display aspects of Māori culture, music, and storytelling.

"The build of the waka sculpture is almost complete and we are now focussed on the interactive visual and storytelling aspects of it."

"This part of our project work is as exciting as developing the physical structure as it takes it from a sculpture which embraces Māori cultural elements into the IoT (Internet of Things) space. As well as the app, this includes the IT infrastructure for the sculpture and a website." 

There are many hands involved with putting this project together. Aware Group, Hamilton IT company, are supporting the IT structure alongside tutors, researchers and Media students who are creating an online platform for the waka sculpture.

Citizen says, "An interesting space is on the IT side of the project which sees a convergence between our engineering and IT students. By integrating these previously different domains together, students are able to find solutions in the rapidly developing field of the Internet of Things, whilst also being embedded in Māori achievement values."

He also says iwi advisers have been approached to form the final name for the Wintec waka sculpture and the date for the final installation will be announced soon.