Spark Ka Mua, Ka Muri

24 Feb 2022

The Matariki season is one of drawing closer together, to wānanga about new futures. We collaborated with Colenso and Spark to create a digital platform, that brings Aotearoa together to share their stories for the new year ahead.

Spark have been instrumental in bringing fresh and innovative thinking to normalising te reo Māori and celebrating our indigenous culture. Kupu app ( was revolutionary.

Ka mua, ka muri – to walk backwards into the future. For Māori, the stars tell stories of all that has been and has yet to be. They are our whānau who guide us in our journey ahead.

During Matariki we reflect on whānau who continue to guide us from the stars and dream of what the year ahead holds. Dr Rangi Matamua is a leading expert on Matariki and the role of stars in indigenous practises and beliefs.

Through close collaboration with Māori knowledge experts, every aspect of the experience expresses a te ao Māori view.

Ngā Whetū – The Stars

To enable people to share their stories, a digital platform was created in which messages are shared and transformed into stars, to adorn the korowai of Ranginui. A wonderful way to create positive unity after 2020 being such a challenging year.

These stars were all inspired by the form of a manaia and of makaurangi (spirals). The whatu (eye) of the manaia sees into our future and our past.

The waha (mouth) expresses our hopes and aspirations. The ringaringa (hands) embrace all our opportunities past and present. Along with the spirals, these represent the cyclical connections between all things. our hope for a return of good things and appreciation for the lessons of the past.

All the stars were created in both a female and male form. Pairs of stars in balance. Male stars have niho taniwha adornments, indicative of protective power and leadership.

Female stars have unaunahi, expressing nurturing power and creativity.

Te Rangi Tūhāhā

The skyscape has layers of universes and galaxies connected together through a tukutuku pattern.This directs our gaze upwards, beyond our own planet and to our connectedness to the eternities.

Taonga puoro flutes play ambient music, creating an immersive experience. Technology, story telling, art, culture and people come together to celebrate Matariki.

Accessed through mobile Ka Mua Ka Muri helps everyone find a deep connection with the significance of Matariki and embraces all New Zealanders within a Māori cultural experience.


Matariki, e ara e!

Colenso BBDO created this beautiful video to explain the thinking and inspiration behind the Ka Mua, Ka Muri project in collaboration with Spark NZ.


Spark NZ - Riki Hoffings, Anaru Tui, Lydia Askew
Advisors - Dr Rangi Matamua, Dr Rachael Ka’ai-Mahuta
Fly - Johnson McKay, Tim Hansen, Ladonna Broederlow
Colenso BBDO - Dan Wright, Kimberley Ragan, Dave Brady, Logan Maire, Harry Skelton, Erin Mattingly, Ning Zhu, Ryan Butterfield, Liam Norris
Franklin Rd - Shane Taipari, Stefaan Van Laeven, James Gibb, Sydney Kennedy, Te Kohe Tuhaka

Best Awards 2021

Finalist - Digital Campaigns
Finalist - Toitanga