Taputapu ki Ōtautahi: Exploring Māori Creative Design Businesses with Ngā Hononga ā-Kiwa

Last month we embarked on a thrilling haerenga (trip) to Ōtautahi (Christchurch) with Ngā Hononga ā-Kiwa - a Kaupapa Māori initiative focussed on connecting Māori in Business.

This unique trip was a celebration of innovation, artistry, and the fusion of traditional Māori culture with cutting-edge digital technology. Join us as we delve into the inspiring world of Ariki Creative and Māui Studios, where creativity knows no bounds.

Ariki Creative: Bridging Tradition with Technology

Our journey commenced with a visit to Ariki Creative, a digital tech powerhouse that draws inspiration from the world of kaiwhakairo. Ariki Creative is at the forefront of Māori creativity in the digital sphere, engaging in a wide array of creative endeavors, including videography, storytelling, branding, animation, and illustration. Stepping into their studio, it was inspiring to see Tāne Māori excelling in the digital realm all while staying deeply rooted in cultural traditions.

Māui Studios: A Beacon of Artistic Brilliance

Ngā Hononga ā-Kiwa 2023 cohort at Māui Studios

Our next stop took us to the magnetic realm of Māui Studios. These visionary artists captivate the imagination through their exceptional illustration work, centered around Atua Māori and storytelling. Māui Studios pushes the boundaries of creativity, elevating Māori narratives to new heights. A highlight of our visit was experiencing their groundbreaking virtual reality (VR) creations, providing an immersive journey into the heart of Marae. The ingenuity displayed at Māui Studios is nothing short of awe-inspiring.

Exploring the Intersection of Culture and Technology

Ngā Hononga ā-Kiwa 2023 cohort at Ariki Creative

As we navigated through Ōtautahi, we couldn't help but be enchanted by the fusion of culture and technology. Māori creative design tech businesses are not just thriving; they are setting new standards for artistic expression and cultural preservation. The collaboration and innovation on display during this trip have left an indelible mark on our perspective.

Relaxation and Reflection

Our journey wasn't all business; we also took time to unwind and connect with nature. He Puna Taimoana spa pools in New Brighton provided the perfect backdrop for relaxation. As wāhine (women), we cherished this opportunity to rejuvenate and bond with one another, all while soaking in the breathtaking surroundings.

The Spark of Inspiration

For me, as a Māori designer, this trip to Ōtautahi has been nothing short of inspiring. The fusion of technology and culture, as exemplified by Ariki Creative and Māui Studios, exposed me to different creative pathways that I am eager to explore in the near future.

Our journey through Ōtautahi's Māori creative design tech businesses has been a revelation. Ariki Creative and Māui Studios have shown us the limitless potential of blending tradition with technology, creating a synergy that resonates deeply with Māori culture and extends its reach to new horizons. Reflecting upon our haerenga, I carry with me a newfound appreciation for the intersection of culture and technology and the inspiration to forge our own creative paths.

This trip has been a testament to the enduring spirit of innovation within Ngāi Māori, and we eagerly anticipate the future collaborations and creations that will emerge from this haerenga.

Ngā manaakitanga o te wā ki a koutou!

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