14 Nov 2017

Kids help out a virtual kākā with new adventure app

From Afternoons, 1:40 pm on 14 November 2017

Visitors to Central Park in Wellington can use a new app to follow a virtual kākā named Kaia and help her set up a nest.

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Photo: Copyright Mary Hutchinson

The app, named Kākā, works through Facebook Messenger and is aimed at young people and families.

Throughout the park, physical art installations are used as clues, and challenges pop up in the form of virtual predators lurking around and threatening Kaia and her new home.

Currently, around one person per hour is using the app, but no-one has completed the mission, says Nikki Wright from the Nature Through Arts collective.

"It's not too obvious. It's not like your basic treasure hunt. You're walking through the park, you're looking up, you're looking down."

Nature Through Arts is in the business of inspiring young people with nature and conservation projects that engage their creativity but are still grounded in science.

The Kākā app is their first foray into the digital realm, Wright says.

"Children love games and they're actually really skilled in technology. So rather than running away from it, we're saying 'What's the best of that?' and bringing it into a nature-based experience."

You can find out more on the Nature Through Arts website or at the main gate of Central Park.

The Kākā app will be live until 16 December.