Revolutionary new augmented reality te reo resource ‘Manawatū’ developed

Tātai Angitu Kaihautū Mātauranga Māori, Tama Kirikiri, looks at the new graphic novel with children from Mana Tamariki in Palmerston North | © Massey University

A new augmented reality resource developed by Tātai Angitu, author and Rangitāne descendent Pere Durie, and design company Māui studios seeks to breathe life into the ancient stories of significant places in the Manawatū.

The resource, a graphic novel with accompanying augmented reality app, is the first of its kind to be developed entirely in te reo first before being translated into English. The Māori Medium resource will be made specifically available in mainstream schools.

“Kaiako Māori are most often in the position of having to translate English resources into te reo Māori to use with their ākonga,” Māori Medium sector lead Tama Kirikiri says. “To be part of this ground breaking project, creating a first of its kind resource for both Māori medium kura and English medium schools is really exciting. Gen Z tamariki in kura today are part of the Youtube and Google generation where digital technology is integrated in their everyday lives. Utilising augmented reality and a high quality graphic novel to engage tamariki in this kōrero will speak directly to them and will certainly inspire them as creators of tomorrow.”

The full project team also included the head of Massey University’s Te-Pūtahi-a-Toi, School of Māori Knowledge, Professor Meihana Durie, as well as leading volcanologists Jonathan Procter and Stuart Mead.

The graphic novel shares the whakapapa of the place names of the region and was developed as part of a $1.91m, four-year programme by the Ministry of Education. The Ministry of Education have now also commissioned an English version of the resource to be rolled out to mainstream schools.

Targeted towards year 7-9 pupils, the resource was designed to give kura Māori and Māori medium schools a high-quality te reo resource. The graphic novel gives tamariki the opportunity to learn about the stories of the Manawatū and Rangitāne.

“It is critical to nourish the creative spirit and imaginations of our tamariki and mokopuna, irrespective of which school they attend, or which language is their first. We also understand there is an increasing need across kura kaupapa Māori to supplement teaching and learning activities with resources from the iwi and about the iwi,” author and Rangitāne descendent, Pere Durie, says.

To learn more about the process of developing this resource click here.

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