With the loss of their waka at Ōtamarākau which were captured by the Arawa mid-launch or had been smashed in the surf, the Kingites were once more reduced to running for their lives.

The two factions fought their way along the length of Te Kaokaoroa beach, with the heavily outnumbered and out-armed Bay of Plenty tribes suffering great losses in the bloody process. The fighting continued right the way to the Te Awa o Te Atua river mouth, along which the survivors from the East fled for home.

For shame, this battle of Te Kaokaoroa holds little place in the history books…

RJ Davies - an excerpt from the ‘Afterword” of the Ministry of Education funded novel “Iti Pounamu" due out in April 2020.

A Team of Experts Behind the Wheel

Our core game-build team is Maraea, Peter, Corban and Alex. Our combined expertise and strengths provide for a powerful dynamic when it comes to creating, building and completing projects. We are a dream team. 

Supporting experts, Judge Layne Harvey and RJ Davies have previously spent time researching the battle at Te Kaokaoroa – Layne for the Ngāti Awa raupatu claims and RJ for the novel, Iti Pounamu. Dr Agnes McFarland is a native speaker and is able to provide the game with authenticity backed by academic research when it comes to te reo Māori. 

With Jarrod Dodd heading both marketing and sound design, it can be expected that the game will go to market with some serious noise. 


Project Manager

 Maraea Davies is an experienced producer and creative with a 20+ year career in Māori language TV production and radio media production. 

Maraea established Hei Tiki Creatives in 2014 and is a current co-director. 

In 2019 Hei Tiki Creatives began producing mobile apps and extended its production of interactive and animated books. This year the company began making its first game prototype and is now working towards the game pilot, Kaiā.




 Peter Palmer is the designer behind MokoTube, TaiohiTube (coming soon) and Kaiā. Peter handles design across multiple projects, including apps, interactive books and game concepts. 

Peter also takes care of storytelling, concept art and any creative work that requires technical application.  Peter’s strong suit is his passion for  gaming, game development and game analysis. 

Peter will manage the game design and development for Kaiā. 



Corban Hirawani is  the programmer behind MokoTube and is a full stack programmer who thrives on steep learning curves and tight deadlines. Corban’s tools are c#  Javascript and his strong suit is in problem solving. 

Corban is currently working on TaiohiTube,  a social media and game based app for taiohi. Corban’s overall focus is the development of new technologies and games.  

Corban will manage the programming, any AI requirements and general development on Kaiā.  



Alex McFarland is a published digital illustrator and animator with a catalogue of works funded by the Ministry of Education and Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa.  

Alex ‘draws’ on his passion for Māori folklore, love of characters and storytelling, as the illustrator for the interactive books we produce.

Alex is currently working on the illustrations for an interactive book series funded by the Ministry of Education, Aho Ngarahu fund. 



Writer / Researcher

In 2019 RJ cut her teeth as a writer on the full length novel, ‘Iti Pounamu’ for Te Aho Ngārahu (a Ministry of Education Iwi Stories project). Iti Pounamu, written in English and translated in to Māori for Māori medium schools, features two time travelling brothers who accidentally land in 1864 and retrace the footsteps of their tipuna. Iti Pounamu is the inspiration and base for Kaiā “No Way Through” . Iti Pounamu is due for release later this year and is the first in a series featuring time travelling brothers, Kahurangi and Manawa. 

Dr Agnes McFarland

Te Reo Māori

Agnes McFarland is a Doctor of Philosophy, senior lecturer at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiarangi and is highly skilled as both a proponent of te reo Māori and tikanga Māori and as an academic researcher.  Awards include the Ngā Kupu Ora Māori Book Awards Māori language category award and NZARE Ranginui Walker Doctoral Award.  Agnes is the Co-President of the New Zealand Association for Research in Education Council 2017-2019.  Agnes is actively involved in the recording, archiving,  teaching of local iwi histories. 

Judge Layne Harvey

Research Support

Layne Harvey is a Māori Land Court resident Judge for both the Aotea and Tākitimu districts. Prior to his appointment to the Māori Land Court in 2002, Layne Harvey was counsel for several iwi and hapū including Ngāti Paoa, Ngāti Kahu, Rongowhakaata and Ngā Uri a Te Kooti Rikirangi, Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Awa, Rangitāne and several of the Whanganui tribes before the Waitangi Tribunal. Layne Harvey is the deputy chairperson for Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiarangia and, Chairman of Te Reo Irirangi o te Mānuka Tūtahi.

Jarrod Dodd


Broadcasting veteran, Jarrod Dodd is station manager at Te Reo Irirangi o te Mānuka Tūtahi.  In 2019 Jarrod led the Sun FM team to take out the NZ Radio Awards Station of the Year best station in a Non Surveyed Market. This win followed a 2018 Station  of the Year win for Tumeke FM at the Iwi Radio Awards. Jarrod has worked in every area of radio, but it is his skill and experience in sales and marketing that has led the station into an enviable market position in the Eastern bay of Plenty  Jarrod is also a Hei Tiki Creatives co-director.  

Hei Tiki Creatives – the core values our projects are built on. 


Breaking calabashes

 We are all about innovation in the creation of Māori language and kaupapa Māori media. We do this by applying developing technology and popular methods of storytelling to traditional knowledge and values.


To the stars and beyond

Adventure, fun and learning are key words in the development of media we make as well as being the team ethos. 

 Learning should be fun and promote the development of individual and collective genius.


Realising identity  

  We believe that Te reo Māori together with the version of NZ history that incorporates the Māori perspective should be accessible to all tamariki. 

This understanding  forms our purpose as a company.


Community through identity 

Self awareness, self knowledge and a strong sense of identity allows us all to grow more fully and effectively into our potential as effective contributors within the fields of our interests, within our communities.