Augmented Reality Tourism APP at Bastion Point

By Te Rina Kowhai

Ngāti Whātua ki Ōrākei’s newest Tourism digital app 'Auckland Virtual Tours' was put to the test today at Bastion Point, pushing the boundaries of traditional Māori tourism with augmented reality.

Ngāti Whātua ki Ōrākei Tour Guide Aurtum Martin says “The benefits are that it is self-catered for you to download and the content is all the same. So say I might miss something out but the app has everything you want.”

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Whai Maia Business Development Manager Jamie Cook says “The first objective is to ensure the stories of Ngāti Whātua ki Ōrākei are widely shared.

Tourists have been coming to this place for a long time, so what we have done is added the history, genealogy so that it allows the person to understand in depth about the place.”

In 2016 the tourism industry contributed over $12 billion of the country's GDP and Ngāti Whātua want to capitalise on that market.

Innovation Officer for Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Whai Maia Te Aroha Morehu says, “we know approximately half a million Aucklanders turn up to this specific wāhi ia tau (place every year). Even activating 10% of that would generate some economic benefits for us.”

Rawinia Morehu was one of the children who trialled the app today she says “we heard stories from all different places here”

Rich in history the augmented reality experience is designed to connect locals and international visitors alike with the history of Auckland City.

Te Aroha Morehu says “I think even schools is going to crave for a curriculum that drive’s an enthusiasm to get out to our wāhi tapu and understanding of what they are where they come from, traditions, pūrakau that are right beneath our feet.”