Story image

How IT is shaping Māori storytelling for this year's Matariki

14 Jun 2018

IT is at the centre of a new project to fuse Māori culture and an interactive waka sculpture.

The project is the work of third year Wintec Media Arts student Norefjell Davis and supported by Wintec academic Dr Jeremy Mayall.

The pair are working with traditional Māori music specialist Horomona Horo to compose taonga puoro (traditional Māori music) that will become part of an app for the Matariki Interactive Waka Sculpture.

According to Project lead and Wintec tutor Joe Citizen, the app is one of many elements of the waka sculpture that use technology to share Māori culture, music, and storytelling.

The musical compositions will be an artistic interpretation of the seven sisters of Matariki.

"Ko te piko o te māhuri, tera te tipu o te rakau," comments Horomona. "The way the sapling is shaped determines the growth of the tree."

The sculpture will be placed on the banks of the Ferrybank reserve in Hamilton, and the app will become one of the interactive elements of Matariki storytelling.

“The build of the waka sculpture is almost complete and we are now focussed on the interactive visual and storytelling aspects of it,” Citizen says.

“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.”

Third year Bachelor of Information Technology student Ashton Church is designing the back end of the app, while Hamilton IT company Aware Group is supporting the project’s IT infrastructure.

Wintec’s Centre for IT, Business and Enterprise researcher is developing the website, with design input from Media Arts tutor Jordan Foster and students.

 "An interesting space is in 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,” comments Citizen.

The waka sculpture is still in development so it does not yet have a formal name or installation date, although it is expected to launch this month.

The six-metre sculpture will have motion sensors, LED strip lighting and surround sound to encourage visitors to interact with the steel structure.

Iwi advisors have been asked to form the final name for the sculpture.

How big data can revolutionise NZ’s hospitals
Miya Precision is being used across 17 wards and the emergency department at Palmerston North Hospital.
Time's up, tax dodgers: Multinational tech firms may soon pay their dues
Multinational tech and digital services firms may no longer have a free tax pass to operate in New Zealand. 
Spark’s new IoT network reaches 98% of New Zealand
Spark is the first company to confirm the nationwide completion of a Cat-M1 network in New Zealand.
WhatsApp users warned to change voicemail PINs
Attackers are allegedly gaining access to users’ WhatsApp accounts by using the default voicemail PIN to access voice authentication codes.
Robots to the fore – Key insights for New Zealand Business into RPA in 2019
From making artificial intelligence a business reality to closer ties to human colleagues, robotic process automation is gearing up for a strong 2019.
50 million tonnes of e-waste: IT faces sustainability challenges
“Through This is IT, we want to help people better understand the problem of today’s linear “take, make, dispose” thinking around IT products and its effects like e-waste, pollution and climate change."
Vocus & Vodafone unbundle NZ's fibre network
“Unbundling fibre will provide retail service providers with a flexible future-proofed platform regardless of what tomorrow brings."
IDC: A/NZ second highest APAC IoT spenders per capita
New IDC forecast expects the Internet of Things spending in Asia/Pacific excluding Japan to reach US$381.8 Billion by 2022.