Ending With Impact (EWIP) Booster – Building an Immersive Tour Creator for Tangata Whenua



This project aims to develop an Immersive Tour Creator tailored for Māori communities in Aotearoa New Zealand. This user-friendly platform will facilitate content capture, post-processing, and tour construction, allowing Māori communities to preserve, share, and celebrate their culture through immersive storytelling. We strive to empower communities to maintain control over their content and mātauranga, providing a safe and culturally appropriate solution without reliance on complex software or compromising ownership.

Previous SfTI projects, Ātea and EWIP, laid the groundwork for immersive storytelling using VR and 360-degree videos. We collaborated with Te Rau Aroha Marae, creating a 360-degree video tour of Rakiura, showcasing the potential of immersive technologies. While communities have shown interest, an easy-to-use tool for application creation is needed. Our Immersive Tour Creator fills this gap, enabling communities to confidently engage with immersive technologies, create captivating content, and uphold manawhenua.

The project focuses on creating an Immersive Tour Creator using VR hardware and 360-degree video technologies. The hardware package includes carefully selected gear for content creation, while user-friendly software facilitates seamless workflow management. Embedded knowledge guides provide resources for effective content creation, drawing from previous explorations. The tool aims to democratize immersive tour creation, empowering Māori communities to document kōrero and share them meaningfully.

The tool’s delivery will initially benefit Te Rau Aroha Marae and subsequently other Māori communities, impacting:

    1. Knowledge Preservation: Ensuring cultural heritage accessibility following Tikanga Māori.
    2. Cultural Exchange: Fostering cross-cultural understanding as Māori communities share their stories.
    3. Educational Applications: Enriching learning experiences in Māori schools through immersive content creation.

Our intuitive Immersive Tour Creator contributes to the preservation and celebration of Māori culture. Building upon previous collaborations, this tool enhances cultural empowerment, confidence in technology, and the willingness to share stories. By marking a significant step towards immersive storytelling engagement, the project supports the aspirations of tangata whenua o Aotearoa New Zealand.



This project is funded by a grant Ending With Impact (EWIP) Booster – from the Science for Technological Innovation National Science Challenge (SfTI) Kia Kotahi Mai: Te Ao Pūtaiao me Te Ao Hangarau programme hosted by Callaghan Innovation and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.



Kris Tong, HIT Lab NZ, University of Canterbury

Project Team