Skip Content
Katie Brayne at TWoA tent at  WOMAD

A Virtual Reality pōwhiri developed by Te Wānanga o Aotearoa is turning heads at WOMAD 2018.

More than 500 people have donned Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets and watched the fully immersive and realistic pōwhiri experience over the three-day festival.

Katie Brayne, a movement coach from Taranaki, thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

“I’ve been in a live powhiri before, but I really enjoyed that because it gave me time to look at it from a different perspective, to be there and enjoy the process.

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa lead developer for the virtual pōwhiri project Joshua Brown says the experience is great for people unfamiliar with the traditional Māori custom.

It will also provide a unique view of a pōwhiri, so people familiar with the pōwhiri process will also enjoy and learn from the experience.

The virtual pōwhiri uses stereoscopic video and spatial audio techniques to ensure the immersive experience is as realistic as possible. Users will wear an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, with three headsets running for the duration of the festival.

Vivienne Merito, national lead for brand and recruitment at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, says the pōwhiri - which was filmed on Ōtāwhao Marae in Te Awamutu - is an authentic experience befitting the values of WOMAD.

“One of the things I love about WOMAD is the authenticity of the cultural experience, so it is important this is done well.”

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa is a programme partner of WOMAD 2018.

 Back to news & events

Published On:

Article By:



Other Articles

  • 24 January 2023

    From Kenya to Aotearoa - Toi and its many connection's

    Jennifer Dickerson, a self-proclaimed "Third Culture Kid" due to her unique upbringing around the world, has discovered who she is through art.

  • 19 December 2022

    Masters opens door to book project

    Juggling work as Communications Advisor for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa while completing his masters, and writing a book has meant Tracey Cooper’s plate has been rather full recently. Fortunately with his exegesis completed, book published and work in wind-down mode for Christmas he’s able to take a breather and reflect on his journey through study.

  • 15 December 2022

    ‘Rererangi ki te Ao’ Opens doors at Kirikiriroa Airport

    Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Kairuruku and Pouwhenua Whakairo (master carver), Professor Kereti G. Rautangata, (nō Ngāti Mahanga, Ngāti Koroki Kahukura) and his team of carvers have left their mark on a significant piece of the Waikato landscape.

  • 14 December 2022

    Making a difference with mau rākau

    Tamiaho Searancke, who started learning the art of mau rākau at age three from his kuia and kaumatua, has guided another cohort of tauira through their journey of learning the ancient Māori martial art.