Earth Guardians
Character Design Competition winners

From over 300 spectacular entries, these Earth Guardians stood out. Congratulations to all our winners!

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Prizes include a tour of Weta Workshop to see concept design in action

Awards and prizes

New Zealand Ultimate Concept Artist Award
Massey University and Wētā Workshop
Wacom 16" Cintiq Pen Display

New Zealand Rising Stars Highly Commended Awards x10
Massey University and Wētā Workshop
$150 towards travel to Wellington for a Concept Design experience and a tour of Wētā Workshop

International Ultimate Concept Artist Award
Massey University
Wacom 16" Cintiq Pen Display

International Rising Stars Highly Commended Awards x5
Adobe Creative Educators
1 year Adobe Stock or Adobe Creative Cloud subscription

Create With Us Award
Ngā Pae Māhutonga Wellington School of Design
$1000 towards studying the Bachelor of Design at Massey University*

Moana Oceania Narratives Award
Massey University
$500 prize pack including flights to Wellington for a Wētā Workshop experience
Awarded to the best entry that displays homage to Atua across Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa

 

 




Te Ao Māori Award
Massey University
$500 prize pack including flights to Wellington for a Wētā Workshop experience
Awarded to the best entry inspired by customary Māori practices of sustainability, customary narratives and toi Māori

Best Game Concept x5
PikPok
Win 1 of 5 PikPok prize packs

Traditional Media Award x5
Gordon Harris
Win 1 of 5 $100 prize packs of art supplies

Top School Award
Massey University and Wētā Workshop
A visit to your school by designers from Wētā Workshop

Highly Commended Schools Participation Awards x5
Gordon Harris and Adobe Creative Educators
$250 prize pack for your school

Molly Campbell, St Margarets College
New Zealand Ultimate Concept Artist Award

Sponsored by Massey University and Weta Workshop

Wareware Wareware

Slinking through the darkness its slicked black and brown feathers blend seamlessly into the grasses. locatable by its call “wareware wareware” ''forget, forget”. 

Its body is a collage of extinct features: Huia, Moa, Haast eagle and the greater short-tailed bat. Every element of this creature reflects onto the viewer these creatures lost to time. 

When hunting or startled the neck frill and spinal feathers stand on end (Their heads when fully flared are very large in comparison to their bodies and an adult's neck flare can double its body span) enticing all invasive species to look into its amber eyes. Direct eye contact with this creature has been said to result in acute memory loss. 

Primarily Carnivorous and naturally aggressive, fiercely protective of biodiversity the wareware embodies a refusal by nature to passively be taken, spitting a boiling concoction of what resembles local hot springs water scalding potential polluters and those who seek to harm its territory. 

Omnivores their large, wide mouths house sharp teeth and long rough dual tongues that are ideal for eating hard corals, sea glass and debris, they gravitate toward tougher foods and have a clear preference for the hard bottom of illegal fishing vehicles, seeking them whenever possible. 

Locations vary and it plans to keep it that way!  

Previously believed to be two separate species it was found to be amphibious;  being glimpsed resting in riverbeds, hiding its long black body in among a bed of eels. 

Primarily nocturnal it relies on its quadruple sight to navigate, having very small noses their sense of smell is not very reliable. 

They make mid-toned cries that have given it its name the ‘wareware''s cry is distinct by the ringing echo and reflection it leaves inside those who hear it call. 

Rata Shaw

Rata Shaw, Christchurch Girls' High School 
Rising Stars Highly Commended Award 

Sponsored by Massey University and Weta Workshop

Uuma [ᐆᒪ] 

Many winters ago, Uuma was a member of a community in what is now known as Northern Canada. She was once preyed on by the elements and buried beneath the snow. With no air to breath, her soul returned to the vault of the sky, but her body was preserved. Thousands of years later, global warming’s effects on the Arctic thawed the ice around her, and Uuma reawakened. The place where her soul should be was empty, but it would soon be filled by the stray souls of lost and vengeful creatures that fill the air today. These animals had been killed by climate change, and whispered to Uuma tales of melting ice and rising seas. She now travels the northmost reaches of the Earth helping those in need, humans and animals alike, who have been hurt by the actions of those that inherited the earth after her. By wearing one of her ceremonial masks, she can take the form of her animal companions by letting their souls take the place of her own.  

Uuma is inspired by the customs and mythology of Inuit and First Nations Indigenous people who lived and still live in Northern Canada, Alaska, and Greenland. Her name, Uuma [ᐆᒪ], comes from the Inuktitut word for animal or beast, uumajuk [ᐆᒪᔪᖅ]. Handmade masks are used in ceremonies and given as gifts in many First Nations communities, and also often created in the likeness of an animal. There are many differences in beliefs between tribes, but it is a commonly held belief that all beings have a spirit, or soul, including animals. For Native American and Inuit communities, the climate change crisis stands in the way of knowledge and customs that have been passed down over generations, and threatens nature and its animals, which they have a strong connection to. 

Nicola Salmond

Nicola Salmond, Solway College 
Rising Stars Highly Commended Award 

Sponsored by Massey University and Weta Workshop

Rex Ignis 

This type of guardian, despite being small in size and numbers, plays a vital role in the forest communities it is found in. With the unusual ability of breathing fire, this creature helps in the natural cycle of forest’s growth by setting the forest ablaze, making room for new plant growth. Being responsible for a large portion of the world’s natural forest fires, this creature is incendiary and inquisitive, and may be seen during the fire season and on windy autumn days. 

While there seem to be multiple of these creatures existing across the world, almost always in deciduous forests, little is known about them due to their clever behaviour and leaf-like appearance making them hard to spot continually. Unlike other bats, this guardian does not enter a state of torpor during the heavy mid-autumn storms and instead glides on the wind and dances amongst the falling leaves with its naturally high body temperature keeping it warm.  

It does not have a fear of humans, and rather finds them an interesting subject to observe or follow, often unnoticed, and has followed weary travellers for days back when travelling on foot was common; occasionally offering them warmth on cold winter nights in exchange for a shiny object or a piece of fruit.  

Through acts of mischief and unintentional kindness, this species has earned itself many names and fables, with the most widely known name being Rex Ignis, meaning King of Fire. Quite fitting name given its abilities and appearance - with antlers like a wooden crown adorned with topaz leaves, this guardian reigns over the forest as it hides amongst the trees. 

Issy Williams

Issy Williams, John Paul College 
Rising Stars Highly Commended Award 

Sponsored by Massey University and Weta Workshop

Utu  

Long ago in an old british settlement near present day Wanaka, there was a rather humble, rocky mountain.  Atop this mountain grew two trees.  The tree’s roots were intertwined in elegant harmony, they snaked over and into the rock.  The tree was seen as Tapu by local iwi and respected as such.  The settlement didn’t honor such traditions and sought to cut down the tree, and exploit its resources.   One fateful day a local lumberjack climbed to the top of the mountain and struck the tree with his cruel axe.  He struck again and again, until finally he had reduced it’s majesty to stumps.  Early the next morning an earthquake struck the town.  The mountain fell, flattening the town.  The only thing left in the wake of this destruction was a serpent of rock, bound by the tree’s faithful roots.  The serpent slithered away into the ocean. 

In many cultures the symbol of the serpent is a symbol of resilience and life.  The serpent’s vengeful nature has been sighted by many around the world unleashing itself upon those who harm the natural world.  They have been seen to make the bark of trees indestructible and toying with lumberjack’s tools and machines.  They are also seen stirring polluted waters and flooding coastal towns.   Though many cultures honor them as a symbol of resilience, western cultures see the serpent as a sign of the devil.  Something to be slain. 

Jake Hainsworth

Jake Hainsworth, Whangarei Boys High School 
Rising Stars Highly Commended Award 

Sponsored by Massey University and Weta Workshop

Nganara Haurua  

The trash rose from the grimy depths of the one great pacific; the accumulation of humanity's waste and pollution. It advanced through the oceans, and over the land, waging war on all life, smothering and suffocating as it went. The war raged for decades, between nature and this abomination. But the final battle would not be fought in the future. It would be fought here in the past. 

After centuries of descent into habits of destruction and waste humanity had brought about their reckoning. Without the will to act on the growing issue the humans of the future suffer. Witness to the entirety of human history, and finally the rise of the sentient garbage patch, and it's vengeful advance on his beloved Aotearoa, the tuatara had seen enough, They called upon their father, the mighty taniwha known as Ngānara Haurua. Nara would strive for the destruction of the garbage patch. A plan was devised; the taniwha would be sent back into the past, and terminate pollution before it consumed the world. Equipt with the best technology of 2049, Nganara Haurua stepped back in time with one goal. The conservation of the past for the preservation of the future. 

Ngānara Haurua now battles pollution in our world. Burdened with the knowledge of what is to come if we do not change our wasteful, carless ways, this kaitiakitanga of life patrols from the dwellings of man, to the river outlets and estuaries where our rubbish travels. Ngānara Haura consumes and repurposes every ounce of pollution he finds so it can serve a purpose other than harm, but this fight cannot be won alone. Ngānara Haura lives within all of us, and inspires us to take action today, standing together to defend tomorrow, one less plastic bag at a time. 

Mikah Buchanan

Mikah Buchanan, James Hargest College 
Rising Stars Highly Commended Award 

Sponsored by Massey University and Weta Workshop

Eeva   

My earth guardian, Eeva (EH-va), is a bird/human hybrid. She lives up to her name (which means life or giver of life) as she dwells deep in the bush of NZ - primarily in the Fiordland area where nature is particularly dense - protecting the birds and nourishing the flora within reach. Eeva has spent so many years engulfed by nature, her body has started to camouflage itself by growing moss on her legs and around her neck/chest like a furry green shawl. Although Eeva looks after all birds around her, she has a particularly soft spot for the native birds of Aotearoa - e.g. Piwakawaka, Kakapo, Kea, Kaka, Black-Billed Gull, Tui, Kereru, Weka, etc… She feels more connected to these birds, as she is native to the country herself. Along with watching out for predators and making sure her feathered friends have enough food, Eeva also raises abandoned or damaged eggs she rescues from the forest floor. Since her upper body is covered in feathers, the newborn babies keep warm and safe by burrowing within them. Overall she is very gentle and loving, and cares immensely about everything living around her. 

As for my personal inspirations to create this character, the main one is my love for birds. For as long as I can remember I have been utterly fascinated by them and the way they live around us. 

Susan Yi Shi

Susan Yi Shi, ACG Parnell 
Rising Stars Highly Commended Award 

Sponsored by Massey University and Weta Workshop

Avloku   

Avloku is full of contradictions. Being a towering figure of 2 meters tall and 4.5 meters long, but always scurrying away not wanting to be seen. Possessing a visage of death, but being the most gentle, mellow creature. Avloku boasts impressive antlers that often catch random flora(most commonly grass) instead of being used as weapons.  

Despite the apparent strength, Avloku is quite vulnerable. Without any form of vision or echolocation, Avloku requires assistance. If there are no living animals to help her, Avloku can always call for help from the dead. With the mana generated in her antlers, Avloku uses necromancy to revive dead animals to assist her. Interestingly, Avloku doesn’t have any control over the creatures that she revives. However, most creatures wish to stay with Avloku due to her comforting demeanor.  

With the heartbeat of the Earth beating within her, Avloku can detect natural disasters and can gauge the health of the Earth. With her group of creatures, Avloku instructs them how to better their surroundings by means like planting flora, providing shelter for animals, cleaning up after human rubbish. With every good done for the planet, Avloku can feel the heartbeat of the Earth become stronger; this, in turn, makes her magical powers stronger too. Avloku is also able to perform miracles with her magic. She is able to: teleport herself and everyone attached to her to any given location, speed up growth of plants, and stop any natural disasters. However, her power is quite tiring; this leads to her sleeping for days. Her strive to protect the environment is not one stemmed from self-gain, it's from her everlasting love for all living things. 

Erina Slam

Erina Slam, Tauranga Girls' College 
Rising Stars Highly Commended Award 

Sponsored by Massey University and Weta Workshop

Snushroom (snu-shroom)    

Snu the snail once got squished by an ignorant human. How terrible! Luckily, Shroom found her and cleverly fixed her up - with Shroom's family help, magic was cast on Snu that turned him into an Eco Guardian! Collecting litter and cleaning up rubbish that gets blown into our ecosystems. 

Snushroom loves to talk to children and students about how rubbish affects the environment, and inspires kids to clean up after themselves, their neighbours, even the beach! They hope to inspire kids to be the kaitiaki of Aotearoa, helping keep the earth healthy.  

Snu absorbs litter and rubbish through her mouth, it gets converted into a clean fertiliser through her shell and then is excreted into the land of our whenua. In addition to Snu, Shroom's clever debrispack: pollution and dust in the air is converted to clean oxygen for our plant and animal friends - helping us keep our community clean. Together, Snushroom continue on their journey as nomads, wandering our Earth and cleansing our community.  

Diljeet Kaur

Diljeet Kaur, Whanganui Girl's College 
Rising Stars Highly Commended Award 

Sponsored by Massey University and Weta Workshop

Awa    

Living in the Whanganui River is the taniwha Awa. Awa has two forms - human form and the form of the dragon-like taniwha. They, like most taniwha, represent the life force of a place in a physical form, in this case being the Whanganui River. Awa guards the people of Whanganui and makes sure the long river stays clean and safe for the locals to go canoeing and swimming in it, and make sure fish and other resources remain plentiful. They also make sure the Paddle Steamer Waimarie, a historic riverboat in Whanganui, stays safe and doesn't capsize. 

Using their koru pendant and reciting a karakia, Awa can go from their human form into their taniwha form easily, although it drains a bit of their power. The koru and the patterns on their body glow when they are transforming. Whenever they are injured or tired they can swim in any water source (although the Whanganui River works the fastest) and heal. They have webbed hands and feet in both forms so they can swim faster, and their right eye is blind from an attack many years ago by new English settlers in Whanganui. Awa acted quickly from instinct and capsized their boat, but helped them get back to shore safely. 

The feathered cape they wear is a sign of respect given to them to wear from the local iwi, also helping to conceal them in the water when they're in their human form, replicating water ripples when they move. Awa uses mere pounamu as their weapon, a traditional Maori weapon used in the 19th century. They also have a Maui's fish hook necklace they wear from time to time on formal occasions. 

Awa doesn't show very much emotion, they simply do their job and protect the Whanganui River and the people of Whanganui. The locals refer to Awa as 'the taniwha of the Whanganui river', or 'the Kaitiaki of Whanganui'. 

Naiyumi Busgano

Naiyumi Busgano, Riccarton High School 
Rising Stars Highly Commended Award 

Sponsored by Massey University and Weta Workshop

Vita'Jiiva ('Life Deity') 

 

A mysterious deity that is said to be able to manipulate the Earth itself. Vita'Jiiva was first created when the Earth began to form from a desolate land of fire to a land abundant with life, creating a connection between the two similar to a mother and child. It is the very essence of life and nature itself; according to legend, all of the trees of the Earth are merely just an extension of the deity itself- because of this, it can feel when any flora begins to die. It has been observed that Vita'Jiiva roams the lands and travels to locations where its ecosystem has begun to die in hopes of restoring it; only for it to arrive too late. Whenever this happens, it absorbs the remaining energy from the dying environment and uses this energy to heal itself or heal another ecosystem that’s on the verge of dying. It can also use the energy to quicken the growth rate of floras; it mainly uses this ability for defence rather than offence. 

Despite it’s threatening appearance, Vita’Jiiva is quite friendly and has been noted to aid humans who protect the environment. It seems to understand a wide variety of languages, and yet it communicates in an unknown language that only children understand- so instead it uses its body language in order to form some kind of communication with adults. An interesting factor this Guardian has is how its form can be interchangeable- mainly its head and fur. It sometimes scavenges the forest floor looking for skulls of dead animals that it uses as a head whenever its current one gets too damaged. And the colour of its fur changes depending on the season, red for Autumn, pure white for Winter, pink for Spring, and a brilliant green for Summer.

Ceridwyn Otton

Ceridwyn Otton, Tawa College 
Rising Stars Highly Commended Award 

Sponsored by Massey University and Weta Workshop

Ipire   

An ancient race that has been around since the world began. They helped shape the very earth we stand on, protecting the animals and plants they were guardians of peace and prosperity. With the rise of modern civilizations, the Iprie have become close to extinction, only 1 in every 10,000 years appearing on the earth’s surface. Almost never seen by humankind they leave a trail of lush moss and long extinct plants where they walk, creating green pathways through barren wastelands and marble structures.  

It was a typical workday, speed walking through the crush of people trying to get off the city streets and to my office as fast as possible. At first I didn’t notice anything amiss, I was keeping my head down minding my own business when I was met with a wall of people. Looking up to see why they were stopped I was confronted with a veritable jungle in the centre of the wellington CBD.  Trees springing up out of cracked and broken concrete, heavy layers of lush moss coating the sides of buildings and climbing traffic lights. There were vines with brightly coloured flowers and glossy, viridian leaves dripping from rooftops. Surrounding this sight was chaos, people pacing, shouting into phones, others taking pictures and no doubt posting them to their Instagram. Abandoned cars backed up around the office blocks with their occupants standing and gawking next to open doors. Looking up at the massive trees in the centre of town, I couldn't help but wonder if this was finally the end of humanity, if god had finally decided to allow mother nature to take back what once was her’s. It was beautiful. 

Lūk h̄ŵā (ลูกหว้า)

Puntita Chantapoon, Chiang Rai Municipality School 6, Thailand
International Ultimate Concept Artist Award

Sponsored by Massey University

Lūk h̄ŵā (ลูกหว้า)

This creature is extremely rare. It can only be found in areas bordering the equator. All it consumes is clean water from the stream. If the water is contaminated, they will migrate to new places. Makes seeing it even more difficult. Lūk h̄ŵā appears only at night in a forest full of flowers, often accompanied by fireflies. 

Their colour and pattern change according to the colour of the plants around them. Their long and large tails often have showy colours and flower patterns in their habitat. They are solitary animals and very much cherish their habitat. 

It bows low and flattens its tail to chase the invaders in its region. And most of them are humans trying to cut wood, burn forests, or hunt, if it's threatened, and you aren't rushing out, it will start to run and hit you. Be careful! Its head is heavily armoured and its impact force is comparable to a four-wheel drive! 

Because of its action, the local people dubbed it the protector of the flower. Or in some areas, it's called the Forest Guard. (Although Lūk h̄ŵā is a cherished habitat animal, if you don't look dangerous It will be friendly.) Wherever it walks, a flower grows. It often walks around the edge of the forest at night. So it is often said that, "If you are lost in the forest, follow the flower path. You will find a way out and will be safe as long as you don't destroy its nature.'' 

 

Maria Dominique Dalumpines

Maria Dominique Dalumpines, Ateneo de Davao University Senior High School, Philippines 
International Rising Stars Highly Commended Award

Sponsored by Adobe Creative Educators

Anzelhoura

Back in time when the earth was young, there was a pure-hearted maiden who had a gift of vision which allowed her to see elemental creatures that were invisible to the human eye. Whispers passed among the old that those who possessed this ability were said to be evil to the close-minded and were punished. This eventually led her to quietly harness the gift while carefully using it to help Mother Nature, its beloved creatures and people in good-hearted ways that only those who opened their hearts to the beyond would get to know deeper about. 

She has built harmonious relationships with the people and creatures, bridging these two different realms together. Until one day, a great disaster devastated the land and in the heart of helping, the maiden called upon the elemental creatures she has befriended to help in calming the raging environment around them, exposing her abilities to the people in the land. Rather than being grateful, those who refused to acknowledge her desire to help shunned her, which eventually led to her execution in the cliff above the ocean before letting her body fall into the water.  

Her soul separated from her body and was greeted by the Almighty. In revelation, she was originally a soul of an elemental rather than human, thus, the highly unique and special ability she possessed. With her pure-hearted intentions and desire to help all living things, she was blessed with a second life to help guard the earth. 

While wandering the earth in a form that encompasses the land and sea, she carries a sacred pearl that contains the luminescence of life, sea glass bottles that contain catalysts of abundance, and a jar of varying elements. Anzelhoura, the Earth Guardian we now come to know, still continues to guard this realm today. 

Chananchida Boontia

Chananchida Boontia, Assumption Convent School, Thailand 
International Rising Stars Highly Commended Award

Sponsored by Adobe Creative Educators

Ezra the natural delegator

Ezra is a frog who got separated from his army while emigrating from a dam break in Mekong River, their old home that was destroyed by D.O.X, an evil organization. Ezra rode the watery tide to an unknown village. There, she met the graybeard. He was such a gracious man that he adopted Ezra without hesitation after meeting her near the cold riverside. Ezra didn't know his name; the only thing she knew about the graybeard was his job to preserve the forest, including the wildlife. One day D.O.X invaded the groves, trying to build the dam that causes the drought in a river for their own business. The old man tried to bargain with the crew, but they didn't listen to him. They were so upset that the crew tried to attack the old man, but Ezra jumped on one of the crew, trying to rescue her benefactor, yet she couldn't do anything. By the anger, that man got rid of her forcefully. He murdered the little frog. The troupe was so irritated that they left the graybeard and Ezra's body without harming the old man. The spirits of nature saw everything from the beginning and felt pity for the frog, so they decided to resurrect Ezra and turned her into a creature that is half-human / half-frog. And  the spirit gave her the ability to hear the sound of nature. The spirit gave her the magic power that made Ezra stronger. The spirit delegated her to protect nature from D.O.X and give the human abundance. Therefore, the spirit gave her a drum decorated with a frog pattern that made rainfall and gave her a magic lily pad that she can ride. Ezra accepted the mission in return for her new body. Until today, Ezra still travels to the places which call out for her and protect them with everything she has. 

Sinn

Sinn, Prince Royal's College, Thailand
International Rising Stars Highly Commended Award

Sponsored by Adobe Creative Educators

Pomi

Pomi lived on Earth during its late formation. He is a small humanoid with a wide range of knowledge about life including genetics, evolution, single cell organisms and so on. His body is impervious to physical damage, but extreme temperatures can harm him. When the Earth starts cooling down, Pomi begins his duty to terraform the Earth with his temperature manipulation and he creates small life forms by combining his power with rocks and minerals. Pomi himself requires little sustenance and lives off the fungus that he cultivated along with other mosses and plants. Using his temperature manipulation power, he was able to create rain and filled earth with water so more lifeforms could emerge. In addition, he can also duplicate himself with biomass to aid him in his work.  

His origin is perhaps somewhere else in the cosmos but his ultimate goal is simple: terraform the Earth into a life sustainable environment. When life can proliferate on its own he goes into hibernation, his power dispersed throughout the world. For now he rests inside the Earth waiting for the time when the Earth needs terraforming again. However, His clones live on and created more clones to help maintain the Earth's environment for eons to come. Although the clones are the same as Pomi in terms of skills and appearance, their efficiency keeps decreasing to the point where most of them expire in mere days. Some of them still live in the present but they choose to hide in the forest and carry on with their works there. Humans call them by many names such as gnomes, fairies and others but the existence of Pomi is never revealed and his powers continue to prolong the Earth's environment. 

Jun Ivanne Dalman

Jun Ivanne Dalman, Calamba City School for the Arts, Philippines
International Rising Stars Highly Commended Award

Sponsored by Adobe Creative Educators

Seref

Seref is the creation of the planet Earth. The planet Earth has its own power to create its own oceans, mountains, land, for life to thrive. But when its ability vanished, the task was transferred to Seref. He was assigned to protect and prevent the planet Earth from dying like the other solid lifeless rocks floating in the universe. He designed creatures that would balance the planet, including humans. The planet Earth lived peacefully and prosperous until one day, a creature who called himself a “God” came from above. Seref immediately asked the intruder to leave. But God claims that he was the one who made the universe and anything that bounds to it was his. But Seref's commitment to Earth that anything possesses possible harms to the planet must be obliterated. God was about to say something but it was interrupted by Seref swiftly using his weapon to attack God. The battle lasted for a year, the fight leaving a catastrophic scenery on the Earth. Blue oceans, grassy lands, trees, lives were destroyed between the wrath of the two. God eventually gave up and complimented the Guardian. The God bestowed and was on his knees and said that he was impressed of Seref’s honesty and loyalty for its assignment. God proved its title was true that he was the creator of all. However, his presence on Earth was not to test how strong Seref’s commitments were but to maintain the balance. God congratulated Seref for fulfilling its task for life to thrive in Earth and quickly bring back oceans, lands, crops, animals, humans and everything that was destroyed. In order for balance to be made, God made Seref disappear with the Guardian’s consent. And life on Earth continued as if nothing happened but now, without a superior being. 

Nyle Turuwhenua

Nyle Turuwhenua, Ngāi Tūhoe, Pukekohe High School 
Create With Us Award

Sponsored by Ngā Pae Māhutonga Wellington School of Design, Massey University

He tamāhine  Papatūānuku

She is a demigoddess, part human, part divine. Her powers lie in her handcrafted dress, her garments are made from traditional weaving practice and materials gifted from Papatūānuku, creating a garment befitting the daughter of Papatūānuku if she is to walk along the land in human form. The garment embodying the full strength, beauty and power her mother holds. Her humanized features allow her to influence both nature and humankind. The garment made of harakeke (flax plant), wood and feathers connecting her with both her mother (Papatūānuku) giving her a heightened connection with wildlife being able to communicate with and manipulate her environment. her disapproval shows on her face, she is enraged by the mistreatment inflicted on her mother by humankind and is here to generate change, her garment is made of natural materials reminding us to reuse, reduce and recycle.

Litania Borrell

Litania Borrell, Epsom Girls Grammar School 
Moana Oceania Narratives Award

Sponsored by Massey University

Aituā

Aituā  - Personification of storms and misfortune. 

Aituā is an incredibly empathetic being who resides in the earth's atmosphere. He relieves places and people of their negative energy through precipitation. While collecting negative energy, Aituā also burdens himself with the task of distributing it. You will see this through Aituā's thunderstorms that keep the earth and its inhabitants in energy balance.  

It is known that he has felt/feels everyone's pain and will often remind you that it is possible to persevere through any misfortune no matter how painful it is. As Aituā's storms phase by, eventually, your pain will come to pass too. Someone else will then experience the same share for the sake of a balanced earth.

Te Aroha Pokai Harrison

Te Aroha Pokai Harrison, Kaa Ngati PorouNgati Uepohatu, Sonrise Christian School
Te Ao Māori Award

Sponsored by Massey University

Te Hākuturi

You know the feeling of being watched you get when you think you’re alone? Well, if you're out in the bush, by the sea, near a mountain or stream - anywhere out in nature, chances are you’re being observed by the Hākuturi. Hākuturi are the eyes and ears of the trees. They see all and hear all that happens in their territory but it’s very rare that people actually see them and and if they do, they’re left to wonder if what they saw was really what they saw. 

Hākuturi plague anyone who desecrates nature, usually smiting them with an abundance of annoying inconveniences until they apologize. Any one who knowingly discards rubbish within nature can expect to be relentlessly pursued by the Hākuturi as well as those who take from nature without saying a Karakia/Prayer of thanks, or taking more than they need.  

When Hākuturi are bearing justice they may; take back any material that was taken from nature, hide important objects such as keys or socks, un-tie shoelaces, tie shoelaces together, etc. Of course, you’ll never see them doing any of this - they are spirits. The worse the crime, the worse the punishment, though, the Hākuturi will never cause a person any direct physical harm. 

Hākuturi are believed to be the spirits of various insects, and birds and that their bodies take form from dead leaves and the remains of their former body. Hākuturi vary in size, some are as small as the tui bird, others are as large as a young child. Hākuturi are also split into tribes, there are different tribes for every region. It’s very likely that their population is much more dense than the human population in Aotearoa. It’s unknown if they are found anywhere else in the world, though stories from various other countries show that they may have close-relatives living outside of Aotearoa. 

Te Aroha Pokai Harrison

Te Aroha Pokai Harrison, Kaa Ngati Porou, Ngati Uepohatu, Sonrise Christian School 
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Te Hākuturi

Junjie Wang

Junjie Wang, Burnside High School  
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Ying

 

Anabel Wu

Anabel Wu, Epsom Girls Grammar 
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Sanctuary

Jake Hainsworth

Jake Hainsworth, Whangarei Boys High School 
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Daniel Shin

Daniel Shin, Te Awamutu College 
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Rata Shaw,

Rata Shaw, Christchurch Girls' High School
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Jake Hainsworth

Jake Hainsworth, Whangarei Boys High School 
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Molly Campbell

Molly Campbell, St Margarets College
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Preston Holder, Nelson College
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Mikah Buchanan

Mikah Buchanan, James Hargest College 
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Spotswood College
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Te Ara Toroa — Rere Ki Uta, Rere Ki Tai
The flight of the albatross — Venturing into the unknown
Design by Ngataiharuru Taepa, Kaihautu Toi Māori—Director of Māori Arts

Toi Rauwhārangi
College of Creative Arts
Wellington, Aotearoa

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