Manawatū, Augmented Reality Graphic Novel

  • Client
    Durie Whānau, the Rangitāne Whanui, Massey University and Tama Kirikiri.
  • Maui role
    Illustrated Graphic Novel, Augmented Reality App, Augmented Reality Content & 3D Solutions
  • External Link
Manawatū is an augmented reality graphic novel resource, developed as part of a $1.91 million, four-year programme by the Ministry of Education to improve access to and accelerate the development and delivery of quality te reo Māori localised curriculum resources. The design journey for this project was a chance for the studio to test out new innovation capabilities in the augmented reality space and with our preexisting passion for illustration and animation, we implemented the captivating stories from te iwi o Rangitāne into a resource that focuses on preparing our kids for their future.


This groundbreaking project was the first of it’s kind. The focus was to achieve a high quality resource for kura Māori and Māori medium schools. The Ministry of Education have also commissioned an English version to be rolled out to mainstream schools as well.

Māui Studios worked with multiple parties project managing the different components of the resource as it began to take shape. Once the story was complete, it was a matter of having it translated and quality assured by head of Massey’s Te Pūtahi-a-Toi, School of Māori Knowledge, Professor Meihana Durie, and Pūkenga Matua Hone Morris. Our team then flew to Palmerston North to book out a sound recording studio. There we met Tama Kirikiri, Mason Durie and their whānau and we successfully captured the narration of the story in both Te Reo Māori and English.

Meanwhile back in Studio our team had successfully created the mahi toi (artwork) for the graphic novel and were in colour stages. Project Manager, Vincent Egan was developing the long awaited Arorangi App for the Ministry of Education, a platform to host Māori stories and resources for kura students nationwide. This is where we began to beta test 3D modelling of the scenes, so tauira may experience the story in augmented reality.

After the consultation phase was completed and we had the story, our storyboard process involved weaving together a delicate balance of concept research that had been done on the Manawatū region inclusive of flora and fauna, natural environments and those who walked the land back in those times.



It is critical to nourish the creative spirit and imaginations of our tamariki and mokopuna, irrespective of which school they attend, or which language is their first. We also understand, there is an increasing need across Kura Kaupapa Māori to supplement teaching and learning activities with resources from iwi and about iwi. With the completion of this resource, it was launched by the people of Rangitāne, with the support of Tātai Angitū and Ministry of Education. Māui Studios is thankful and acknowledges all parties involved in the creation of this AR Graphic Novel.


Mythik Tane: VR Storytelling Mythik Tane: VR Storytelling