Billion dollar Auckland iwi sharing part of its history in new tourism venture

A billion dollar Auckland iwi is sharing part of its history in a new tourism venture.

Ngati Whatua Orakei has launched an app to showcase Bastion Point, the ancestral land it occupied forty years ago and saved from a real estate development.

Jamie Cook is the business development manager for Ngati Whatua Orakei and says it's important to reach out to visitors hoping to learn more about the area.

"Let's embrace the manuhiri, lets offer that cloak of manaakitanga, and lets educate these visitors to our shores about who we are," Mr Cook says.

Once virtually landless, the treaty settlement process has transformed the tribe into a billion dollar iwi, but most of its assets are held in real estate.

While the app is expected to see a growth in employment opportunities in the tourism sector, the move also hopes to encourage tourism sustainability with little impact on the land.

Samantha Ramlu is the developer behind the latest tourism venture who says the app lets you see and hear stories which you can't find in books.

"The idea is you've already got the phone in your pocket – you're using something you've already got.

"You're not adding to the space, you're walking around, using it and getting that experience. It's really adding to that tourism experience," Ms Ramlu says.

Ngati Whatua Orakei is hoping its tech based tour of a city icon will help diversify its assets. Source: 1 NEWS

Watch: Waves crash onto Tamaki Drive causing surface flooding as strong winds hit Auckland

Auckland's Tamaki Drive has reopened this morning after it was closed for a time overnight due to surface flooding.

The high tide, combined with severe winds lashing the city, saw sea water spilling onto the waterfront road after dark, Thursday night.

The road was closed last night but has reopened this morning.

Follow 1 NEWS NOW's live updates as severe weather continues to batter parts of the country.

Heavy rain started beating down in Whangamata at 3pm this afternoon. Source: 1 NEWS

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The usually busy waterfront road was deserted Thursday night as the sea washed over it. Source: 1 NEWS


Is the mysterious graffiti artist Banksy in town for his Auckland exhibit?

More than 90 works by Banksy, one of the world's most enigmatic and popular modern artists, have arrived in Auckland as part of a global tour.

The identity of the British artist has remained a closely-guarded secret for the last 30 years, with the mystery surrounding who the artist may be being almost as famous as his often satirical and subversive point of view.

Michel Boersma is the Banksy Tour Organiser who says only around 100 people worldwide know who the real Banksy is.

This is despite his infamy as a painter, social activist, graffiti artist and movie maker, Mr Boersma says.

The collection, the largest-ever single display of the artist's work, is expected to see more than 30,000 visitors in Auckland in the month ahead.

The tour hasn't come cheap, with the $40 million collection hung on specially-built walls for the event.

Stewart Macpherson, a promoter for the tour exhibition, says: "So there's $60,000 worth of walls just built for this event which will all be demolished in a month."

The organisers wouldn't say if Banksy was in town for the exhibition or not.

A large collection by one the world's most enigmatic modern day artists is now on show in Auckland. Source: 1 NEWS