Whata Mātauraka

This was an installation at Te Papa Museum with the purpose outlined below. The installation consisted of a wood and composite piece which coincided with the art put forth by the client. The interactive display was made in Unity.

The interactive display was made in Unity with custom vertex shaders. I wrote these shaders to get clickable regions that, I felt, represented the commissioned work’s subject matter.


Although Aoraki (Mt Cook) is not in Otago, all Kāi Tahu are connected to it through tribal whakapapa (genealogy). It is a significant landmark for us all, which is why it is represented here.

This confuses some outsiders – Māori and Pākehā – who find it difficult to recognise that we can live successfully in two worlds. Assimilation into a Eurocentric society sometimes made it hard for our tīpuna (ancestors) to maintain a Kāi Tahu identity. But many managed this and managed it well. Here we share some of our stories.

Throughout the display, aspects of the southern Māori dialect are used, especially the soft ‘k’ in place of the northern Māori dipthong ‘ng’. For example, our tribal names Kāi Tahu and Kāti Māmoe are elsewhere sometimes expressed as Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Māmoe.

 1.4.9_Whata_Matauraka  1(b)_Aoraki_Pou  1-3-1-0(b)-Mauri-Stone-Entrance