Kupu refresh for Matariki

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AUCKLAND, Tuesday: Kupu, Spark’s te reo Māori translation app, is getting a refresh – from Colenso BBDO – in time for Matariki.

The app, which launched in 2018, translates the world around you into te reo Māori with a photo. This year, it reveals nine Matariki stars in objects found in your home, backyard or neighbourhood. 

The campaign, in guidance with renowned Māori astronomer Dr Rangi Matamua (Tūhoe), is designed to help New Zealanders better understand the intrinsic connection between Māori astronomy and the physical world.

For the month of July, Kiwis can find Matariki stars hiding in plain sight by taking a photo in Kupu. Once a star is found, audio of its origin story can be played in either te reo Māori or English.

“I love that a child’s fun is at the heart of the idea – the simple stuff of kids being kids and roaming about and exploring the world.”

It’s a clever marriage between previous campaigns, Kupu, the te reo Māori translation app, and 0800 Matariki, a suite of nine audio stories – one for each star in the cluster – rich in folklore and voiced by prominent Kiwi orators.

Colenso group ECD Dan Wright said: “We launched Kupu in 2018 to make it easier for New Zealanders to learn a little te reo Māori every day.

“And now we’re incredibly excited to use it to help share the amazing stories of the Matariki stars. These stories hold enormous value as part of what makes New Zealand special and it’s a privilege to help more Kiwis reconnect with them during Matariki.”

The campaign launched yesterday on Spark social channels.


Client: Spark
Client: Caitlin Hayns, Social Brand Partner
Client: Riki Hollings, Māori Development Lead
Creative Agency: Colenso BBDO
Media Agency: PHD Media
Partner: Dr Rangi Matamua

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