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Motuarohia Island

Motuarohia Island in the Bay of Islands is an ancient Māori pā site. It is also the location of a significant interaction between James Cook and local hapū in 1769, where several Māori were injured.


The project was to tell this story in a way that reflected the contested nature of the meeting and the contested nature of it’s representation in history.

We worked closely with the Department of Conservation and local hapū to design a set of six multi-sided storytelling pou. Each of the pou can be accessed from a Māori perspective or a European perspective, each telling a part of the story from when the Endeavour first sighted the pā ( and was sighted by Māori) and including the first interactions, the shooting, and later discussions with Tupaia.

It is designed as an easy to follow trail leading up to the pā site.