It’s no secret New Zealand is known for its beautiful landscapes and local historic stories.
On the quest to keep culture alive, a new mobile app, Arataki, which takes visitors on cultural walking trails through Mount Maunganui, dubbed ‘The Mount’ (by locals), has just launched in Tauranga, New Zealand.
Lee Timutimu, the creator behind the app wanted to bring his two passions, storytelling and technology together.
So, what does Arataki mean? The word Arataki means to lead, to point out and to guide. Lee told Media New Zealand, “We felt this word aligns perfectly with the concept behind out cultural walking trails, hence the origin of the name for our company.”
The app was designed for travellers, who have little knowledge of the Māori (indigenous people of New Zealand) culture, who are eager to learn more.
Immersing travellers into the rich New Zealand culture, each time, the traveller arrives at a new site, new content becomes available to them including place names, landmarks, stories, history, songs and more.
The best part is, you don’t even need internet – perfect when travelling!
To bring the app to life, the Arataki team, teamed up with travel and Māori storyteller expert Joe Harawira.
“I am passionate about the art and craft of Māori storytelling and about reviving our oral traditions,” Joe says.
“In this digital day and age, it is very rewarding to see our tamariki (children) connect with our stories and histories through an age old oral tradition and method of delivery.”
Joe went on to explain that he’s passionate about sharing stories and history with both Māori and non- Māori, because the more they’re shared, the more likely these stories will continue to pass through future generations.
Lee has already began talking with other iwi (tribes) around New Zealand with the aim to grow the cultural walking trails nationwide.