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Protecting Our Whakapapa

Local technology innovator Kiwa Digital welcomed today the launch by the University of Auckland of its new cultural interactive app Te Kūaha.

Produced with the support of Kiwa Digital during the lockdown, the app is a new interactive mobile app for staff and students to help them understand more about te Ao Māori in their work and study.

“Ngā mihi ki a koutou Te Whare Wānanga o Tāmaki Makaurau ki te whakapuaretanga o Te Kūaha. Congratulations University of Auckland on the launch of Te Kūaha. We acknowledge the University’s leadership within the tertiary sector and its commitment to embed understanding of te Ao Māori throughout the organisation," says Kiwa Digital CEO Steven Renata.

The project is one of many language revitalisation projects Auckland-based Kiwa Digital has been successfully developing since it moved all its processes remote at the start of lockdown.

Script writing, illustration, voice recording, video production, coding, app production and deployment are underway in home studios set up from locations as diverse as the suburbs of Auckland and Wellington, to a coastal settlement in Northland, to the heart of Belfast’s Irish speaking community in Northern Ireland.

Projects underway and still to be launched this month are:

  • Two further cultural apps to support government workforces in their understanding of and engagement in te Ao Māori.
  • A learning tool for Pacific Peoples accessible in 10 Pacific languages.
  • A new series of digital stories that beautifully capture the multilingual/multicultural character of contemporary Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • Training modules for the Sámi Educational Institute in northern-most Finland, a unique school with a central role in the renaissance of the Sámi region and Arctic knowledge.
  • Zoom training for Belfast language and economic development agency Forbairt Feirste, enabling staff there to develop apps to promote Gaelic language and economic development.

“We are full of admiration for these groups, who despite the challenges the pandemic brings are totally committed to their projects, ensuring cultural treasures and way of life are protected. In these difficult times, we all have much to lose in the richness of indigenous wisdom and ways of contemplating the world. ” says Renata.

“As our Irish partner commented on a call recently ‘Let’s get this done and let’s hope it is the beginning of something much bigger as we move forward in this global village of ours, promoting and protecting the most authentic and best of all our indigenous cultures.’”

Kiwa Digital Ltd

Kiwa Digital works with indigenous groups around the world, using technology to communicate knowledge authentically in formats that are relevant and accessible. For more see

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