November 12, 2020
Virtual reality brings ancient forest to life
A vision of an ancient forest has been made possible thanks to virtual reality.
A collaboration between Manaaki Whenua-Landcare Research and digital agency Waxeye has blended contemporary science with mātauranga Māori to create Karanga a Tāne Mahuta, a VR trip around Hokianga's Warawara Forest from a te ao Māori perspective.
Lead researcher Kiri Reihana says over the course of the five minute session a giant hokioi eagle guides viewers through the prehistoric forest, its present and future, and shows the struggle to protect the area from pests.
"At the end of it there's a 360 degree drone shot we took from the actual forest. One kaumātua explained it as 'I know what it's like to fly,' through the end of this experience so there has been an amazing response from the whānau in the area," she says.
Karanga a Tāne Mahuta was released last week as part of a wānanga at Whangape for secondary school students.
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