Locales 22 Ngā Ara Tipuna

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Chris Hay
  • Ringatoi Matua / Design Director
    Leigh Bardsley
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    Lucas Bullmore, Ellen Pullar, Rebekah Lillie
  • Kaitautoko / Contributors
    Roy Taoho, Nathaniel Leith, Robin Marshall
  • Client
    Central Hawke's Bay District Council/Te Taiwhenua o Tamatea

Ngā Ara Tipuna was initiated by mana whenua of the Waipukurau-Takapau rohe, who wished to share their authentic stories of this land and its significance. The project, realised in partnership with Central Hawke’s Bay District Council, needed to cater to the needs of four very different audiences: mana whenua, local residents, education groups, and visitors to the area.

Informed by a series of meetings and focus groups with hapū representatives, residents, teachers, highschool students, and prospective visitors, we devised a flexible solution: a free, self-guided, mobile phone tour of the network of pā and extensive wetlands that covered this rohe 400 years ago.

The key objective was to provide a counterpoint to existing Eurocentric histories of Waipukurau-Takapau. This would allow mana whenua to celebrate their stories and pass them on to the younger generation. It would also awaken locals, visitors and education groups to the fascinating histories that are obscured by the contemporary built environment of the towns.

The mobile tour is the keystone of an interconnected suite of media we created, including: interpretive signage, sculptural structures, whakairo (carvings) and other artwork, and a content-rich website for use in the classroom or at home.

We co-designed Ngā Ara Tipuna with representatives from Rākautātahi Marae, Takapau. They chose to showcase the site of Pukekaihau Pā (now Hunter Memorial Park, in central Waipukurau) and seven other places of cultural significance across the rohe in the mobile phone tour. Within the mobile tour, maps assist users with wayfinding between locations.

At each stop users are presented with perspectives from mana whenua on why this place is important. They can engage with the stories in video, audio or text form, depending on their needs and preferences.

The mobile tour integrates visually, thematically and technically with the signage and other structures on the landscape. Oral history pou at each stop feature QR codes, prompting visitors to use the mobile tour.

The mobile tour is fully bilingual, available in English or te reo. The QR codes direct to the English version understandable by all audience segments. We made it simple to toggle between the two languages, however, based on feedback from hapū representatives that they wanted flexibility to switch backwards and forwards between te reo and English. The English language version also highlights te reo words, with new language learners in mind, through onscreen titles within the videos and in-text translations.

We refined the user experience through user testing sessions with representatives of our four audiences. One improvement that came out of these sessions is a home screen navigation that allows users to choose between navigating the tour primarily via location (‘map view’) or primarily by story (‘card view’). Another is the ability to continue playing the video narration as audio only, even after leaving the browser, making it easy for users to listen to the stories while walking around at each stop. Throughout the mobile tour we used simple swipe and scroll navigation: modes familiar to our education and international audiences.