Māori high tech digital attraction proposed for Auckland

Animation Research Limited (ARL) hopes to create a high-tech attraction using digital story-telling to bring to life New Zealand’s rich mythology.

Animation Research Limited is already making waves on the Auckland waterfront with plans for a vast Pou (Māori).  Now the company hopes Auckland will take on board another of its concepts – one which it believes could attract over a million visitors a year.

“Auckland needs a major tourist attraction that’s culture-based – New Zealand needs one,” said Alan Taylor, founder and CEO of ARL, one of New Zealand’s top computer animation companies.

A dramatic building would feature digital story-telling, primarily around the myth of Rangi the sky father, and Papa the earth mother. Digital content would change, regularly featuring work by upcoming Māori artists. Taylor says the attraction would tell the story of what he calls “A nation born of sailors – from the engineering and design expertise of Māori who built craft and navigated using the stars to reach New Zealand, to Rocket Lab which is now building spacecraft to send to the stars.”

Animation Research Limited

Animation Research first pitched the attraction as New Zealand’s pavilion for the Dubai World Expo 2020.  Taylor believes it would be the perfect complement to the Pou which is under consideration for Bastion Point.

The two ideas were originally part of the same concept conceived by ARL for the end of Auckland’s Wynyard Wharf.  The idea caught the eye of Ngāti Whātua Ōrakei, a hapu (subtribe) of Auckland.  The hapu brought the statue concept to Auckland Council which agreed funding up to $1 million over several years.

Although Taylor says, while it is a story for the whole of New Zealand, he believes Auckland is the best place to site the attraction.

However the Ngāti Whātua Ōrakei Trust is displeased that news of the Pou has become public at a point where discussions are still being carried out with other parties who might be involved.

Image courtesy of Animation Research Limited.

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