Former Māori Television presenter Te Arahi Maipi and now co-founder, creator, and producer of Mahi Tahi Media, says he was inspired to develop his cartoon series by his own tamariki and mokopuna to showcase Māori superheroes besides Iron Man, Thor, and Cocomelon.
“We've got our own kōrero and our own heroes. So we thought we would come up with a concept, largely for something to appeal to our young ones and to see their own atua and their own kōrero and animation to inspire and entertain them,” he says.
Mahi Tahi Media, a production company, has released 'Taiohi Gods,' a new Māori animation series for tamariki.
'Taiohi Gods' is a series about six rogue teenage Māori gods who are exiled to modern-day Aotearoa. There they learn the mortal world isn't so bad as they try to fit in.
The animated series was created for two main reasons, Maipi says. One is that the tamariki learn about the Māori gods at Kōhanga Reo and Kura Kaupapa, which provides them with context for what they learn on a daily basis.
“No. 2 is that there are many tamariki throughout Aotearoa, Māori or Pākehā, who haven’t heard of Tāne. They don't know that Tangaroa is the God of the sea.”
This, according to Maipi, is another way for the current generation to have a deeper understanding of Atua Māori.
“Particularly … for them to get to know, to get familiar with these Atua so hopefully when they go a little bit older, they want to know a little bit more about their kōrero and they want to know a little bit more about those stories.”
Maipi believes that he is aware that Covid messaging is everywhere and in everything and that he wanted to establish a platform, specifically for our tamariki, "that there is a world that exists that isn't Covid related."
“The main thing is that we want them to have this as a tool to entertain but also for them to learn some stuff about Atua Māori.”
Taiohi Gods is now available to watch on Heihei and TVNZ OnDemand