Navigators’ ‘untold’ stories presented for young people

Animation Research Ltd managing director Sir Ian Taylor is about to release Matauranga, a digital...
Animation Research Ltd managing director Sir Ian Taylor is about to release Matauranga, a digital resource to help teachers tell the story of the Polynesian voyagers who discovered Aotearoa. PHOTO: ANIMATION RESEARCH
Abel Tasman, James Cook, Jean Francois Marie de Surville — stories of the explorers’ lives and achievements are well traversed in New Zealand schools.

However, the story of the Polynesian voyagers and how they crossed the largest expanse of ocean on Earth to discover Aotearoa remains largely untold.

Animation Research Ltd managing director Sir Ian Taylor aims to change that.

The Dunedin company has been working with a group of city teachers to create the Matauranga platform — a free resource to help teachers tell the story.

It is released today and will be available to every school in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

"The reason we have built this platform and are gifting it to all of our young people is that this is a story that has remained untold in our schools for decades," Sir Ian said.

"If we wonder why it is that our Pasifika and Maori tamariki do not perform well in science and technology subjects, perhaps it’s because this story has been denied them.

"We are hoping to change that by creating a resource that tells this story in an engaging manner and then moves on to make the connection between those voyagers, who were scientists, engineers, mathematicians and innovators, to today’s Kiwi innovators and sailors who have thought outside the box from the first time they ever competed for the America’s Cup ... in a plastic boat."

Sir Ian said there were other stories on the platform.

"There’s also the story of how today’s sailors walk in the footsteps of Kupe, and the science, innovation and technology of our tipuna [ancestors]."

He said the stories were designed to inspire further discussions about science, engineering, mathematics and innovation.

"We are really confident that the incredible story sells itself and it will help our tamariki, of all cultures, to understand that innovation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics is in their DNA.

Sir Ian said the platform would continue to grow, as more chapters of New Zealand’s history were added.

"We will also be looking at the Land Wars and trade and a whole lot of other things, in a way that truly links them to today and connects them to science, technology and maths."

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