Colenso BBDO 66 Fly Creative FutureDeluxe Franklin Rd. Ka Mua, Ka Muri

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Directors
    Nick Worthington, Levi Slavin, Dan Wright, Kimberley Ragan, Dave Brady
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    Logan Maire, Harry Skelton, Erin Mattingly, Ning Zhu, Ryan Butterfield, Elle Kiddie, Liam Norris, Riki Hollings, Anaru Tuhi, Hamish Steptoe, Kees Bakker, Jodie Heron, Shane Taipari, Stefaan Van Leuven, Sidney Kennedy, James Gibb, Johnson McKay, Tim Hansen, Te Kohe Tuhaka
  • Kaitautoko / Contributors
    Dr. Rangi Matamua, Dr. Rachael Ka'ai-Mahuta
  • Client
    Lydia Askew


Spark, NZ’s largest digital services provider, has celebrated Matariki with Aotearoa in innovative ways for years. But this year, they wanted to do more.

Together with their collaborators and Dr. Rangi Matamua, they helped all New Zealanders find a deep, personal connection with Matariki, by seeing the past as a way to influence the future.

We consulted with Dr Rangi Matamua (Ngāi Tūhoe), Dr Rachael Ka’ai-Mahuta (Ngāti Porou, Ngāi Tahu) and Spark’s Māori development leads. All of which advised us at significant touch points throughout to help bring the experience to life in an emotional and authentic way.


Inspired by the proverb Ka Mua, Ka Muri (to walk backwards into the future), we asked New Zealanders to reflect on whānau who live on as stars and continue to guide our journey ahead, and hope for our intentions to materialise in the new year.

It’s a philosophy all New Zealanders can connect with, which was brought to life within a digital platform — a stunning digital galaxy where anyone could share a story of remembrance or aspiration and watch it turn into a star, as well as explore messages of love and hope left anonymously by others.

We worked fluidly with our partners to bring this to life. Sharing our Māori design partner’s 2D design elements with our 3D build partners, who supplied them to the creative agency, who started a three-way dialogue with our audio partner; all to create one cohesive, emotional experience.


The experience strikes a balance of Te Ao and Te Pō (light and dark) in theory and practice, as seen in visual elements and messages of hope or reflection left as stars. To protect the sacredness of stories left in the galaxy, karakia, written and orated by Dr. Rangi Matamua, welcomed and closed the experience.

All stars were created in both a female and male form, energy and mauri — in pairs of stars that bring balance. Male stars have niho taniwha adornments, indicative of protective power and leadership. Female stars have unaunahi, expressing nurturing power and creativity.
Spirals and manaia inspire the stars’ form and tell the Ka Mua, Ka Muri story of reflection to inform the future.

The skyscape has layers of universes and galaxies connected together through a modern take on a Tukutuku pattern. This directs our gaze upwards, beyond our own planet and to our connectedness to the eternities beyond. Tukutuku also inspired the UI of the experience, which can be seen in reimagined buttons, icons and display screens.

We wanted to add to the experience with a rich and immersive audio solution. We did this by creating a contemporary reimagining of traditional Taonga Pūoro using modern synthesisers and computers to give them cinematic audio effects. The result is a blend of tradition and technology, that retains the emotion and mana that is at the heart of traditional Māori Taonga Pūoro.

Finally, in adherence to custom, the stars will be released from social media to the real sky at the end of the campaign, where they can be remembered forever.


Response to the campaign was incredibly well received. 98% of New Zealanders who visited Ka Mua, Ka Muri engaged with it. Totalling 75 hours of experience engagement in just a little over a week of being live.