February 21, 2024

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Photo: Kiwa Digital

Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Hon Carmel Sepuloni  launched a unique creative project in Tāmaki Makaurau today at the new Media Design School Campus in Wynyard Quarter. 

Aho Wahine is a series of interactive bi-lingual apps that breathe new life into the traditional stories of Aotearoa, interpreting them from the point of view of the female characters.

Speaking at the launch, Hon Carmel Sepuloni said,

“Aho Wahine encapsulates for me many of the great things about the creative sector: culture and collaboration, innovation, and a spirit of sharing. The Aho Wahine initiative builds on the success of Ngā Atua Māori produced for Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori back in 2015.”

The apps have been produced by leading cultural creative agency Kiwa Digital, in collaboration with a talented group of Māori storytellers, artists, musicians, translators and narrators that includes:

  • Story by Ramon Te Wake
  • Te Reo Māori by Hēmi Kelly
  • Artwork by Munro Te Whata and Tapuariki Brightwell
  • Narration by Ruth Smith, Ani-Piki Tuari
  • Music by Maree Sheehan.

Congratulating the creative team, Steven Renata Managing Director of Kiwa Digital said “The project celebrates the resilience of the creative sector and acknowledges the powerful intersect between creative, technology and te Ao Māori.”

The project was supported by Copyright Licensing New Zealand (CLNZ) through its Contestable Fund. In welcoming the launch, Chief Executive Paula Browning said “Every year CLNZ invests in authors and publishers who are undertaking projects that will protect, support and grow the industry in Aotearoa. Publishing Aotearoa’s stories is important for our understanding of ourselves, but also allows us to send them elsewhere so that others can learn about us and so that we can generate export revenue that helps to grow our creative businesses.”

The launch was held in Media Design School’s new home – a state-of-the-art, purpose-built campus in the heart of Auckland’s thriving Wynyard Quarter. As the only education provider to have a presence in New Zealand’s Innovation Precinct, students are learning in the epicentre of NZ’s tech industry, with networking and collaboration opportunities on the doorstep.

Aho Wahine is available on the App Store and Google Play; search on Aho Wahine, or use the links on www.kiwadigital.com/showcase

About Kiwa Digital:

Kiwa Digital are the world’s best Cultural Creative Agency using technology to enable indigenous voices to be heard authentically. For more see www.kiwadigital.com

About Copyright Licensing New Zealand:

Copyright Licensing New Zealand (CLNZ) plays a key role in making creative rights valuable assets for all New Zealanders, be they rightsholders like creators or publishers, or

users such as educators and students. It enables New Zealand’s creative people to record and manage their copyright, as well as package the copyright in such a way that users can access the work through a simple licence. CLNZ is a not-for-profit organisation, jointly owned by the Publishers Association of New Zealand and the New Zealand Society of Authors.

About Media Design School:

Founded in 1998, Media Design School was the first school in New Zealand to recognise the growing influence of emerging creative industries and develop qualifications to fuel them with talented graduates. Today, they are ranked as the #1 animation school in New Zealand and they remain the country’s most awarded digital design school. Their new 5* Green Rated property in Wynyard Quarter has been built with sustainability and functionality at the heart of every decision. Fully customised classrooms, cutting-edge technology, and thoughtfully designed, flexible working spaces come together to create a learning environment unlike any other in New Zealand.

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About The Author

MUSKRAT Magazine

MUSKRAT is an on-line Indigenous arts, culture magazine that honours the connection between humans and our traditional ecological knowledge by exhibiting original works and critical commentary. MUSKRAT embraces both rural and urban settings and uses media arts, the Internet, and wireless technology to investigate and disseminate traditional knowledges in ways that inspire their reclamation.

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