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Online tool switches out royal coverage for indigenous news

A free online web browser tool, Pīkari Mai, has been launched to replace royal coverage with indigenous content pulled from other news sources.

Co-created by Kōpū O Te Rangi in partnership with ColensoBBDO, 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, says: “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.

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“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.

Sam Bailey.

“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.

Angela Watson, Managing Director of Colenso BBDO, says: “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.”

Download Pīkari Mai for free at pikarimai.co.nz.

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