(update: here are the pictures from the launch).
In a first for Maori tourism a free Maori visitor app to the lower South Island is being launched this Friday. KUMA, (Te Kupeka Umaka Māori ki Araiteuru) the Māori business network for the lower South Island is launching a free app linked to the recent project http://www.tikitourmap.co.nz which celebrates Māori tourism and cultural experiences for tourists visiting New Zealand.
The app has been designed by Otago Polytechnic Bachelor of Information Technology IT final year students CDC Tech Ltd, Amy Chadwick, Cameron Chadwick and Shaun Denholm as part of their graduation portfolio. The Android app is available now and the Apple app will soon be available from iTunes. Shaun Denholm, speaking on behalf of the CDC Tech team says “The app is fully dynamic, this means any changes made to the information on the Tiki Tour website are also fed through to the mobile application. We also ensured that the design elements were carried through from the website to ensure that there is a seamless look and feel through both platforms”
An easily downloadable map on the go, the Tiki Tour Map App feature Māori operated tourist attractions, location map with information, and with Kāi Tahu support, Māori stories and histories which are not publically available anywhere. The app will help guide visitors when touring the lower South Island, link them with Maori owned business and local histories to enhance their NZ holidays.
Head of Otago Polytechnic’s Information Technology capstone projects, Professor Samuel Mann says the Tiki Tour project has given the CDC team fantastic real work/ life experience that will help them immensely when the members graduate. “Throughout the entire process the relationship with the KUMA group will help make the students work ready upon graduation”.
Professor Mann adds “The Tiki Tour project is the latest milestone in the School of Information Technology’s relationship with iwi that has seen the long running Simpa partnership with runaka, last year’s award winning iwi-led smartphone developments, several graduations, and now Tiki Tours. Working with KUMA has shown to all the students the value of a Maori perspective in computing”.
Richard Kerr-Bell KUMA chairman says “KUMA is delighted to be working with these IT students and supporting them in their learning. This app will certainly reap benefits for the businesses involved with the Tiki Tour project. The app is part of an ongoing project providing value to member business and visitors. KUMA is also looking at the possibility of adding another layer of artists to the website which feeds through to the app”.
Dunedin Mayor, Dave Cull, says “It is fantastic to see young innovative Polytechnic students working with KUMA and the Tiki Tour Map and helping share Maori visitor information via the latest modern technology. The Council certainly supports linking students and businesses, creating job and learning opportunities for youth. This project is a fine working example of one of the five key strategies outlined in the draft Dunedin Economic Development Strategy”.
“KUMA continually searches for new ways to benefit members. Our core goal is whanaungatanga; being there for one another, encouraging, supporting and learning. We know that inbound tourists seek something unique and this is where Māori expressions of who we are can play an important role in education and the southern economy. The Tiki Tour Map and app offer a fantastic opportunity for visitors to experience Māori business and tourism with unique stories they won’t hear anywhere else” says Richard Kerr-Bell KUMA chairman explaining what the aim of KUMA is and what they will hope the website and app will achieve.
KUMA welcomes current and new members who are welcome to participate in the Tiki Tour project. http://www.southernmaoribusiness.org.nz/
Tikitourmap.co.nz app will be launched on Friday, June 1st at 12.15pm with the launch taking place at the Otago Polytechnic D Block, Harbour Terrace.
(Press release from KUMA Te Kupeka Umaka Māori ki Araiteuru).