4 Feb 2018

Lighting up Little Barrier Island's history

7:28 pm on 4 February 2018

A light and sound show on the Harbour Bridge in Auckland will illuminate the history of Little Barrier Island or Te Hauturu-o-Toi.

Ngāti Manuhiri and Ngāti Rehua have teamed with Auckland Council and Vector for the show which will light up the Harbour Bridge.

The Vector Lights on Waitangi show kicked off on Friday and will be on display until Waitangi Day on Tuesday. It plays from 9pm for 10 minutes every hour until midnight.

Te Hauturu o Toi translates as the resting place of wind, and Ngāti Manuhiri Settlement Trust chief executive Mook Hohneck said the island had a turbulent history.

The tribe's people were forcibly evicted off the island by the Crown in 1896.

Ngāti Manuhiri settled its Treaty of Waitangi claim in 2011 - and 1.2 hectares of land was returned to the iwi.

The rest of the island was gifted back to the people of New Zealand.

The two iwi now work alongside the Crown and the Department of Conservation to manage the island.

Mr Hohneck said the light show presented a perfect opportunity to tell the island's history to the public.

"We're using the creation story though our Māori culture and history and we're using our sacred island which is an iconic for our tribes."

Both tribes, he said, were also looking towards the future with the show.

"We just want to encapture the real good things about it and all and hopefully we transpose it out in a beautiful display of light and sound."

Project manager Paul Cannin has been working on the Vector light series for the last two years.

The Te Hauturu-o-Toi light show was developed by Mandy Lights and includes LED lighting and is run through 240 solar panels and a Tesla battery system which uses peer to peer technology.

Mr Cannin said response to light shows displayed so far had been incredible.

"There's been overwhelmingly positive feedback - I think everyone's expectations were exceeded."

There is an audio stream synced to the light show people can access through the Vector website. The show is also being streamed online.

Vector Lights launched for the first time on 27 January and transformed the Auckland skyline running until Auckland Anniversary Day on Monday 29 January.