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waterlea primary school

guardians of our harbour

"Tuwhiri in Schools gave our tamariki a chance to explore our local stories in a new and exciting way using modern creative-technology practices used by ARA Journeys in the industry."

- Steve Matthews, Waterlea Primary School Teacher


our place

Waterlea Primary School is located just a few minutes walk from the Manukau Harbour - the source of many stories of migrations, tohunga, mischief, guardianship and gods.

our stories

The legendary Kaiwhare is said to have been a protector of the harbour and its people after he was ridden into the harbour by the elder Hape.

But what do their stories mean to us?

Class discussion and research:
  • tohunga those who listened to the signs of the natural world

  • taniwha and their significance of in regards to sense making and metaphor

  • mana-whenua and their guardianship of stories  

  • the significance of place

  • the role of narrative in expression and learning


The elder Hape from the Stories of the Manukau Harbour in the Tuwhiri App.

Decorative border in an aronui pattern

our mahi

Waterlea Primary School teacher Steve Matthews and ARA Journeys creative Ben Kenobi led year 6 & 7 students from Room 8 through fundamental industry standard processes.


Storyboarding to develop a story-world and characters based on our research.

Our process:
  • understand our audience

  • develop ideas through iterative process

  • communicate ideas through in-game art content design

  • understand how our art is used in the production pipeline


"It's amazing that our kids see augmented reality as a part of their future careers and on-the-job training."


- Amy, parent (not pictured).

our creations

Once the students chose where their creature would live on the site, they all got to create one of their own creatures and collaborate on one big class taniwha using mixed media 2D physical artwork.

The creatures appear as augmented reality artwork in 3D space at the end of the road by their school.

Available now on Google Play and iOS.


All solo and collaborative work shown in augmented reality on location. 


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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