Support builds for Hamilton’s interactive waka sculpture

The design for the Matariki Interactive Waka Sculpture

Funding success for the Wintec team planning an interactive waka sculpture for Hamilton’s Ferrybank Reserve means production for the community project can now move ahead.

Project leader, artist, Wintec tutor and PHD student Joe Citizen is ‘stoked’ to announce a major donation of $30,000 from the Brian Perry Charitable Trust for the Matariki Interactive Waka Project.

“We’re absolutely stoked to accept this very generous donation. It’s wonderful that they’re backing this community-focussed project, and we’re proud to be associated with them.

“This is a win-win situation for us. The generous support from the Brian Perry Charitable Trust has put the project well within reach and enables us to build something that will last for generations to come.”

Marlene Julian from the Brian Perry Charitable Trust says the trust is committed to developing strong partnerships with like-minded organisations to deliver their vision of building stronger communities.

“The Matariki Interactive Waka Project fits our brief as a long-term project created for the community by a community. It involves many hands and minds, and also contributes to youth, education, culture and community in a way that reflects our values.”

Citizen is working in partnership with Wintec’s Māori Achievement team, Wintec students, staff and industry partners. The project received Stage One approval from Hamilton City Council by a unanimous vote in April this year. This means the project has approval for installation within Ferrybank Reserve, and the exact location will be determined when the concept is finalised.

A range of collaborators from local industry and within Wintec are working to create the sculpture that will reflect kaupapa Māori concepts of interconnectedness and tell the Matariki story on Hamilton’s riverbank.

The design will be informed by the work of Wintec early childhood educators, who are producing storyboards for this year’s Matariki celebrations. The digital and interactive design is being done by Citizen as part of his PhD studies, with Wintec researcher Andy Fendall developing the visual display features.

Engineering for the sculpture’s prototyping, civil engineering, power supply and generation, and environmental sensor network, is being carried out by Wintec engineering students. The construction will be carried out by students from Wintec’s Māori and Pasifika Trades Training initiative, under the mentorship of the engineering firm Longveld.

The six metre sculpture will have motion sensors, LED strip lighting and surround sound to encourage visitors to interact with the steel structure. It will be installed on the FerryBank Reserve at the south end of Hamilton’s CBD in June 2018 for Matariki.

Follow the progress of the Matariki Interactive Waka Project on social media using hashtags #MIWP and #BYUSFORUS.

Watch the video here.

Find out more about the Brian Perry Charitable Trust here.

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