Finally a Ngāti Awa history book that takes readers from the page to video via a phone app and a QR code. And it has been made by Ngāti Awa rangatahi.

Whakatane High School students Shaianne Stowell (Ngāti Awa) & Merritt Stowell (Ngāti Awa, Whakatōhea), both from Te Teko, held the audience captive as they launched their pioneering book ‘Walking with the Ancestors’, a guide to Ngāti Awa historical places.

The book is among first of its kind with a QR code for each historical place able to be scanned by users’ mobile phones in order to access videos featuring well known local identities who provide the history of each area. The pocket sized book also contains a map and a brief on each historical place.

The launch at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiarangi today was attended by the Hon. Hekia Parata, Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiarangi Council Members Ta Wira Gardiner and Judge Layne Harvey and CEO Prof. Wiremu Doherty, his Worship the Mayor Tony Bonne, and Whakatane School Principal Chris Nielsen.

Merritt and Shaianne made special mention of William Stewart and Linda Bonne and their mentorship and support of the two students in their entrepreneurial vision to realise the creation and production of the books.

The project was initiated under the Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme through Whakatane High School and completed with the help of Thomas Mitai and the team at Tech Pa, Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi and other sponsors in the community.

The books are $10 each and available for purchase from Whakatane High School.


An interview with Merritt and Shaianne in studio at Tumeke FM

An interview with Te Whare Wānanga  o Awanuiarangi CEO, Prof. Wiremu Doherty at the launch of Walking With The Ancestors’.

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