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Digital tour of Christchurch's Māori history

Sophie McKellar outside the Antigua Boat ShedsA Christchurch medical student has produced a digital guided tour of Māori historical sites surrounding the University of Otago, Christchurch and hospital campus.

Sophie McKellar did the ‘i-hīkoi’ project as part of the University’s Summer Studentship Programme. The 10-week programme allows medical and tertiary science students to experience working as a researcher under the guidance of experienced scientists.

Bringing history of hospital campus to life.

“The University of Otago, Christchurch campus and Christchurch Hospital are located in an area long occupied by Ngāi Tahu and the local sub-tribe Ngāi Tūāhuriri. The purpose of the guided walk was to provide an opportunity to connect with historical sites and stories,’’ McKellar says.

Working with the University’s Māori /Indigenous Health Institute (MIHI), McKellar developed a detailed guide, map, and video showing the route and significant sites.

Beginning at the University of Otago building at 2 Riccaton Ave, the tour (which takes less than an hour to walk) goes into Hagley Park North and the Botanical Gardens before crossing the Avon River at the Boat Shed and returning to the Christchurch Hospital site.

The tour guide discusses rongoa (traditional Māori medicine), the impact on Māori of the purchase of the land in mid-1800s, and parallels between the impact of the land purchase and Christchurch earthquakes.

McKellar says she hopes the i-hīkoi tour gives people a deeper understanding and respect for Ngāi Tahu and Ngāi Tūāhuriri as well as the significance of the environment they live and work in.

Visit the i-hīkoi site for more information about the tour