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kawerau pūtauaki school

"through a gap in the trees"

ARA Journeys took year 5 & 6 students through a process of discovery and expression of cultural identity using the story of Te Takanga Ō Apa - the place where Apa fell in which Apa is kicked off the cliff you see towering above the forest across the river by a moa he crept up on through a gap in the trees during a hunt.

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our place

Kawerau Pūtauaki School is an exciting, inviting and innovative school, passionate about the teaching and learning of our tamariki. We provide a learning environment that values cultural identity, encourages personal achievement, and develops life skills for a changing world. A short drive away is Tarawera Park that overlooks the cliff on which the story is set.

our stories

This Tuwhiri Project gave the students an opportunity to learn about the story of Apa and re-imagine ideas explored in the Ngati Tuwharetoa ki Kawerau cultural landscape tour led by Kaiarahi i te Reo, Terence Monaghan - where stories are passed on orally while standing in places of significance.

Class discussion and research:
  • tohu respect for the plants and wildlife

  • the story of Apa-koki (Apa with the lame leg) and his significance in regards to sense making, metaphor and history

  • mana-whenua and their guardianship of stories  

  • the significance of the place 


Matua Terrance tells local stories on the Ngāti-Apa cultural landscape tour.

Decorative border in an aronui pattern

our mahi

Over a two day workshop Kaiarahi i te Reo Terence Monaghan, deputy Principal Jeff Dunn and ARA Journeys creative Ben Kenobi, led the students through an iterative process focused on the creation of a single character or event the students selected from their favourite part of the story.


Students see their first ideas in AR.

Our process:
  • using our Insta-Pou rapid prototyping techniques students made AR content that they could view live within the first few minutes of the workshop

  • assumption mapping the story kaitiaki and audience 

  • develop ideas through iterative process

  • communicate ideas through the design of in-game 3D textures and shaders

  • understand how our art is used in the production pipeline and assigning visual effects


our creations

Students worked individually to create pou using mixed media 2D physical artwork scanned in to the app and texture effects.

The pou appear as augmented reality models in the Tuwhiri app in a location at Tarawera Park, Kawerau.

Available now on Google Play and iOS.

"The kids were so in to it. We even had no issues with the more 'spirited' ones over these two days, they were no trouble and they were loving it."

Kaiarahi i te Reo, Terence Monaghan


Work by Tairawhiti , Aurelia and Stahz. 


step into these rangatahi-made augmented worlds


your students could make one of these too

We'd love to run a Tuwhiri in Schools project with your class.

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