New app for those willing to take on the Hākarimata track

By Jessica Tyson

A new app, Kaakarimata Koorero, has launched for anyone daring enough to take the challenge to climb the 1,349 steps of the Hākarimata track, located outside Ngaruawahia.

Chair of Te Arataura, Rukumoana Schaafhausen, says the app has been made to educate visitors about the history of the area.

“It’s estimated that close to over 200,000 people use the Haakarimata Summit Track every year, but very few of those users would understand the importance that this place to the people of Ngāti Tamainupoo and Ngāti Maahuta,” she says.

“We’ve used our kōrero to promote and educate people about the unique aspects of this area and brought it into the 21st century by using technology to invite track users to share our backyard and in doing so encourage them to protect and respect the area.”

Haakarimata Koorero can be downloaded from the App Store

The app is based on augmented reality, using real-world environments overlaid with multiple computer-generated sensory information.

“The late Hera Haunui, a revered ruuruhi in tikanga and reo, is on the app sharing her story about the Haakarimata and it's knowledge that we’ve captured," she says.

“We know that we can pass on to future generations now.”

The app was launched by the Ministry of Conservation yesterday and includes maps, a video, environmental information and a step counter.

Once the app has been downloaded to a mobile device, track users can listen to different stories as they climb to the summit of 374 metres above sea level. 

Apart from the initial app download, internet access is not required. 

View from the top. Source: Jared Leith