Colenso’s online tool replaces royal gossip with indigenous news

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AUCKLAND, Wednesday: Maori arts outfit Kōpū O Te Rangi – in partnership with Colenso BBDO – has created Pīkari Mai, a new online web browser tool that replaces royal gossip and news, with indigenous content pulled from a range of other news sources.

The plug-in works by using a data scrape to automatically scan web pages for keywords and visuals relating to the royal family. It then switches this content out for indigenous articles, sourced from multiple indigenous publishers.

People who use the plug in will see that royal content is redacted and replaced. 

Sam Bailey, [Ngāti Huarere, Ngāti Porou ki Harataunga], founder of Kōpū O Te Rangi & co-creator of Pīkari Mai, asked: “Sick of seeing coronation gossip all over the internet? 

“Our hāpori (community) is fatigued by royal gossip and I felt like we deserve the option to opt out. Pīkari Mai is a digital artistic intervention that gives our whānau whānui (wider family) something worth reading; indigenous news.

“We are fatigued by royal gossip and deserve the option to opt out. Pīkari Mai is a digital artistic intervention that gives our wider family indigenous news.”

“Celebration of the coronation perpetuates the myth that there is a single treaty document. Tangata whenua never ceded sovereignty. We created Pīkari Mai as a special artistic project to challenge the coronation by bringing indigenous voices to the front pages of the internet.

“We want to honour the volumes of Kaituhi (indigenous writers) who have a legacy of prioritising news stories written by, for and about Tangata Whenua,” they said.

“This toi Māori intervention, which has been co-created by Kōpū O Te Rangi in partnership with Colenso BBDO is supported by an outdoor, digital and radio campaign.

“Pīkari Mai is completely independent of any media organisations. It is not associated with or endorsed by any of the news sources and websites that it takes you away from, or takes you to.”

Colenso MD Angela Watson said: “Around the world the legacy of colonialism is reflected in everyday ways that you may never think of – from street names to statues – this has a lasting impact on the psyche and sense of belonging for us as Tangata Tiriti, and our relationship with indigenous peoples globally, and Tangata Whenua here.

“The upcoming coronation will dominate our airwaves and whether you’re a fan or not you can appreciate how this is a reminder of the attempt to erase Māori culture in Aotearoa.


Client: Kōpū O Te Rangi
Client: Hāmiora Bailey (Ngāti Huarere, Ngāti Porou ki Harataunga), Founder.
Agency: Colenso BBDO
Media Agency: Hearts & Science
PR Agency: Porter Novelli
Media Partners: JCDecaux, MediaWorks, Go Media. Phantom

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