Taumata Arowai


Māori illustration, Story telling through a Te Ao Māori lens on Te hurihanga wai.


Taumata Arowai are New Zealander’s water protection agency. Their role sits in the kaupapa of protecting the health of te wai, and the health of te tangata, in balance: ko wai, ko au, ko tātou. Illustrating the water cycle through the Te Ao Māori lens, Wonderlab supported their story telling at various field days, events and online too. A close collaboration with the client,  Māori illustrators and young Māori artist ensured an authentic result. Ka rawe!

The objectives

Collaborate for an authentic result, spanning the Pākāhā and Te Ao Māori worlds.

The goal

Using illustration to show the Te Ao Māori view the cycle of water. Personifying each state as water changes to condensation, precipitation, rain, rivers, lakes and oceans…

The process

We worked with two illustrators to collaborate closely between the Pākēhā and Māori world. A unique piece of work that represents both.

The deliverables

The water cycle illustration was featured on diverse materials, including pull-up banners and colouring sheets. It also made appearances on social media posts among other platforms. All gods and maidens were labelled in both Te Reo and English for clarity.


Visual story telling through inter cultural collaboration.