NgAi Tahu is the pre-eminent Māori tribe of New Zealand’s South Island. In 2010 to 2011, Story Inc worked with the NgĀi Tahu MĀori Rock Art Trust to create a new interactive visitor centre based in Timaru, to showcase the ancient rock art which is scattered across the beautiful landscapes of South Canterbury and North Otago.
The project was unique in that it involved the simulation of an outdoor environment in an indoor context, and challenging since the exhibition was created in a listed historic building. Rather than taking visitors to the rock art, we brought it to them.
Observing correct cultural protocol was vital for this project, we worked directly with members of Ngāi Tahu, the Trust and with experts in the field to verify culturally significant information and provide accurate Māori translations of the content. Negotiating these close relationships reaffirmed our abilities to work with multiple stakeholders, local iwi, landscape and cultural heritage interpretation and management.