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Our story

Mō te Kaupapa |

He Kōrero is a digital platform produced by NAIA. Our kaupapa is a series of short animations that capture the stories of our tīpuna/ancestors and their incredible exploits. The intention is to educate, inspire and encourage connection to whakapapa and te ao Māori. They have been produced bilingually, in both English and te reo Māori.

He Kōrero is led by our Chief Storyteller, Rocky Roberts.  

Our pūrākau have been told and retold over hundreds of years and cared for by lots and lots of people. Like all those before who have looked after these taonga, being able to retell them today for our tamariki and rangatahi on a digital platform has taken the effort of lots and lots of people.


Ki a koutou ngā mātanga, ngā pūkenga kua whakapeto ngoi, kua whakaheke korou kia ora anō ai ko ēnei o ngā kōrero mō te anamata o te iwi, mō ngā uri ā muri ake nei kia Māori te tū. Nei ko ngā mihi o te kapa o NAIA ki a koutou katoa.

Ngā Haumi |
Our Supporters:

Ka kore e ārikarika ngā mihi ki a rātou kua taunaki i tēnei o ngā kaupapa. To the sponsors and supporters of He Kōrero we thank you.

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Te Kapa | Our Team

Pūrākau Advisors

It is important to us to ensure that those holders of the mātauranga for the hapū and the iwi support the way we retell these pūrākau and that the authenticity of the story is protected. 

Maurice Manawatu portrait image

Maurice Manawatu
Ngāi Tahu (Ngāti Kurī, Ngāti Hinematua)

Maurice hails from Kaikōura and for over 30 years has been sharing the stories of Ngāti Kurī with visitors to the region and with his own hapū. After the Kaikōura earthquake Maurice played the lead role in seeing the stories of the hapū being retold in artworks that now feature prominently on State Highway 1 along the Kaikōura coastline. He is now part of the Ngāi Tahu Archives team and leads a project which supports growing the knowledge of iwi members to tribal histories and pūrākau.

Joseph Hullen Portrait image
Joseph Hullen
Ngāi Tahu (Ngāi Tūāhuriri, Ngāti Hinematua)

Joseph has spent a lifetime gathering traditional kai and listening to the stories of his people of Ngāi Tūāhuriri. He is part of the Ngāi Tahu Whakapapa team charged with protecting the genealogical records of over 70,000 tribal members and their ancestors and works with whānau to help them understand their connections and histories. He represents his people on conservation boards, and local trusts which seek to restore native areas for traditional food gathering and post the Christchurch earthquake ensure that local narratives, histories and art informed the rebuild of the city’s central recovery plan.

Iaean Cranwell portrait image
Iaean Cranwell
Kāi Tahu (Kāti Makō, Kāti Irakehu, Kāti Kurī) Kāti Māmoe

Iaean is an advocate for the restoration of our natural spaces and places and currently represents the hapū of the Canterbury region as a manawhenua Expert on Environment Canterbury. Iaean has been deeply involved in the restoration efforts around Te Roto o Wairewa and its surrounds. He codeveloped Aoraki Bound, a course like Outward Bound but focused on helping young Māori engage with their natural environments. Iaean leads the efforts of his marae Wairewa in protecting and sharing Ngāti Makō, Ngāti Irakehu kōrero and histories with other hapū members and wider communities.

Chief Advisors

We ensured rangatahi feedback was a key part of our pūrakau development process. We hope they are proud of what they have helped create.

Aki Pou advisor portrait
Aki Pou
Rerekiao Perenara-O'Connell advisor portrait
Kaia Brown advisor portrait
Kaia Brown
Katerina Brown advisor portrait
Katerina Brown
Suayd Hakaria advisor portrait
Suayd Hakaria
Tāiki Pou advisor portrait
Tāiki Pou
Te Aotahi Rice-Edwards advisor portrait
Te Aotahi Rice-Edwards

Design and Creative

It is important to us to ensure that the designs in the animations appeal to our audience and are authentically Māori. To do this well we have drawn on the skills and experience from overseas as well as here in Aotearoa. Morgan (Kaitiaki Studios) ensures toi Māori is used appropriately and is celebrated throughout our pūrākau.  

Mukpuddy Studios Team

Mukpuddy is an animation studio based in Tamaki Makaurau. They have done an amazing job keeping the integrity of our pūrākau while still making them fun and engaging. Check out their mahi here:

Brett Underhill, Porkchop Bob Studios icon logo
Brett Underhill | Porkchop Bob Studios

Brett is a renowned creative with heaps of experience based in Florida. He led the animation and illustration for our first three pūrākau, and now advises on the character design and animatics with the Mukpuddy crew. Check out his website and examples of his work at

Morgan Mathews-Hale, Kaitiaki Studios portrait image
Morgan Mathews-Hale | Kaitiaki Studios
Ngāi Tahu (Ngāti Makō, Ngāti Irakehu), Waikato, Ngāti Porou

Morgan is an artist and designer who wants to support the growth and future of a multicultural NZ through whakapapa, whenua, creativity and inspiration. Morgan worked alongside Brett to ensure the integration of toi Māori throughout our animations, her creative flair bringing magic and her mindfulness ensuring this was done appropriately and in line with manawhenua advice. You can find out more about Morgan on her website

Collage of illustrations from episodes of He Kōrero

Educational Resources

Ensuring that we are providing resources that help the lessons from our pūrākau be taught in schools and in the home. 

Grant Hakaria Education portrait
Gaynor Hakaria education portrait
Grant and Gaynor Hakaria 
Ngāti Kurī | Ngāti Porou, Ngāi Tahu

Between them Grant and Gaynor Hakaria have decades of teaching experience, in mainstream, bilingual and immersion settings. Grant is a lead teacher in the bilingual unit at Te Waka Unua in Christchurch. Gaynor is a Resource Teacher of Māori in Christchurch and has been supporting teachers in kura and schools with resource development and teaching strategies for years.   

Reo Māori Advice and Narration

Ensuring that all of our work promotes and supports the reinvigoration of te reo Māori and mātauranga Māori is core driver of NAIA.

Hōhepa Waitoa, Mahi Mahi Productions Portrait
Hōhepa Waitoa—Mahi Mahi Productions
Ngāti Porou

Hōhepa has lectured in Māori studies, is a composer, a screenwriter, a playwright, a director and founding member of the haka group Ngā Manu a Tāne. His elegance in te reo Māori and ability to translate it for multiple audiences made him our ideal choice to lead the translation of our pūrākau to ensure they would resonate with our tamariki mokopuna. His company does some amazing work – check them out on

Our NAIA Project Team

Charisma Rangipunga NAIA portrait
Charisma Rangipunga
Ngāi Tahu (Ngāti Makō, Ngāti Irakehu, Ngāti Kurī, Ngāti Hinematua), Taranaki, Ngā Rauru, Ngāti Kahungunu
Rocky Roberts NAIA portrait
Rocky Roberts
Ngāi Tahu (Ngāti Kurī, Ngāti Hinematua),
Ngāti Rārua
Awhina Scott NAIA portrait
Awhina Scott
Ngāti Kahungunu, Te Arawa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa
Anteisha O'Connell NAIA portrait
Anteisha (Teish) O’Connell
Ngāi Tahu (Ngāti Makō, Ngāti Irakehu), Te Ātiawa, Ngāti Rārua, Ngāti Kahungunu
Kahu Te Whaiti NAIA portrait
Kahu Te Whaiti
Ngāi Tahu (Ngāti Kurī, Ngāti Wheke, Ngāti Hinematua), Ngāti Kahungunu ki Te Wairarapa, (Ngāti Hinewaka)
Anna Brankin NAIA portrait
Anna Brankin
Kāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, Waitaha
Mel Tuliau NAIA portrait
Mel Tuliau
Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Pikiao, Waikato,
Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Tūwharetoa
Holly Maitland NAIA Portrait
Holly Maitland
Ngāi Tahu (Ngāti Makō, Ngāti Irakehu)
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