September 21, 2016
Virtual Kupe from Weta team-up
Polynesian explorer Kupe could be brought back to life through virtual reality in a collaboration between the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust and Sir Peter Jackson’s Weta Workshop.
Trust chair Neville Baker says they’re at the early stages of a project to create an enhanced tourism experience of Matiu-Soames Island, which came back to the iwi in its 2009 settlement.
The island in Wellington Harbour was named after one of Kupe’s sons, and it has had many uses, including farm, quarantine station, leper colony, staging post for Japanese prisoners of war and currently a nature reserve.
Mr Baker says the project will allow the filmmaker to try out virtual reality technology, with the iwi providing content in the form of stories, language and tikanga.
"We’re going to be working together to develop something that will be of major interest to tourists and we believe it’s a very good way of being able to provide who we are historically and those Maori and cultural pieces that need to be part of tourism in this country," he says.
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