Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu

We helped Ngāi Tahu build a completely new website which better positioned them to tell their story to key stakeholders and communities.

  • Digital Strategy
  • UX design
  • Web Design
  • Custom CMS development
  • Wordpress
  • Support

Who are they?

Ngāi Tahu are a resilient, entrepreneurial people who made their home in Te Waipounamu (South Island) over 800 years ago. Their ancestors were the first long distance seafarers, riding the ocean currents and navigating by stars on voyaging waka (canoes) from Hawaiki Nui. Today the iwi centres around the tribal council, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, the engine that drives the tribal vision. Te Rūnanga is a large organisation based in Christchurch with a business portfolio spanning the farming, seafood, tourism and property sectors. It embraces the cultural traditions of the iwi and is responsible for the governance of tribal assets and investments in tribal development, at the same time honouring the values of tīpuna and creating an inheritance for future generations.

The Challenge

Ngāi Tahu was seeking a digital partner – one with empathy and respect for Māori language and culture, a partner who would feel comfortable working with a Māori organisation. They wanted to create a new website to better position the iwi to tell its stories to key stakeholders and communities. Central to this was the need for the new website to communicate a wide range of messages and mediums to a large, diverse audience.


A bespoke website was built incorporating over 700 pages of content. It spoke to over 53,000 iwi members and captured the values and culture of the 18 rūnanga that make up the Ngāi Tahu iwi.


It is an adaptive website that communicates across audiences remaining true to Ngāi Tahu values. It captures the voice of the tribe and shares tribal history and culture. From the beginning we recognised the shared values between our company and this organisation. Namely the values of people first. This has helped to build an exciting, ongoing relationship.



multiple audiences

The new website had to position Ngāi Tahu to tell its story to key stakeholders and communities. These included registered and non-registered iwi, the media, councils, government organisations and the general public. To satisfy such a diverse audience, the intention was to build a new, modern platform that could speak to all these different groups engaging with already registered iwi members and also trying to find a way to reach the non-registered. The challenge was to relay information to these different audiences in way that remained true to Ngāi Tahu values.


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Content Integration

Hundreds of pages of content needed to be added to an easy-to-navigate website. The content was varied so we built custom content types for easy maintenance and updating. The content included events, social and news feeds, media updates, case studies, stories, annual reports and more.


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Adaptive website

Ngāi Tahu were aware that for some iwi members a mobile device was the sole way of accessing the Internet. To accommodate that, an adaptive lean website optimised for mobile viewing was developed. One of the advantages of building an adaptive website is that you can directly target the needs of the mobile user. With the huge amount of data available it made sense to create an adaptive site to maintain the authenticity of the content.


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