What’s On: New mobile app Ātea Nuku brings Paihia’s history to life


Open a window to the past and learn unique stories of early cultural encounters in Paihia 

We love any activity that combines history and exercise, so during these school holidays we’ll be downloading an innovative new mobile app from the talented team at Auckland creative tech studio Method.

Marking 200 years since the Church Missionary Society first put down roots in Paihia, local iwi (Ngāti Rahiri and Ngāti Kawa) and the Paihia Historical Legacy Society (PHLS) have worked with Method to create the new app called Ātea Nuku Timewalk Paihia.

Ātea Nuku is an experiential walking tour that brings the history and legacy of Paihia to life through location-based AR, audio, animation, 360 video and text. Opening a window to the past, you can stroll along the trail to learn unique stories of early cultural encounters in Paihia and the relationships fostered between the missionaries, their families and mana whenua.

Waitangi Marae chairman and Uri O Te Kemara (descendant of Te Kemara) Ngati Kawa Taituha said the legacy trail celebrates the bond between two cultures, which had been crucial to the signing of the 1835 Declaration of Independence and the ensuing Te Tiriti o Waitangi/Treaty of Waitangi.

“The bicentennial will be commemorated in a way that enhances the mana of everyone involved,” Taituha says. “What we can do is learn from the past to make a better future for Aotearoa, as intended through the visionary foresight of both Māori and the missionaries when Te Tiriti was drafted and signed.”

Users can access the stories by scanning QR codes through the app at 12 significant locations within easy walking distance of each other, including Te Tii Marae, the original Mission Village location, and Manukaihuia Hill, with views from the Paihia foreshore to historic Kororāreka. Featuring AR reconstructions, 360° video and more, all accessed via QR technology, Ātea Nuku shows the amazing ways in which historical locations can be brought to life.

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For more information on Ātea Nuku, visit the website or download the app through the Apple or Google Play stores.

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