Āhau is a Whānau Data Platform that helps whānau (families) and tribal communities capture, preserve, and share important information and histories into secure, whānau-managed databases.
This platform was designed in partnership with whānau and communities to create and establish their own data management system so they can manage the safe keeping of their knowledge for present and future generations.
Why use Āhau?
Whānau can use Āhau to keep track of whakapapa information and connections, to store and share historical records and important information, and to build a stronger sense of whānau, community and identity.
Reasons you and your whānau could use Āhau? - Building up-to-date whakapapa linked tribal registries - Keeping whānau connected to their whakapapa and whānau. - Using technology to continue passing on whānau histories and korero. - Secure whānau information for future generations. - Telling your own story. Remembering the things that matter.
Who should use Āhau?
Anyone that is looking for a digital solution to preserve and share important whānau information and histories with a high level of security and privacy can use Āhau, keeping in mind that this has been developed in Aotearoa and is specifically designed by and for Māori communities.
Whether you want to record the oral histories of the origin of your people, or whether you want to write a record of your life story for your future grandchildren to read. Āhau is free to use and your only limitation is how much spare storage you have on your device.
When should I use Āhau?
Now, do you have any kuia or kaumatua that have some important korero that should be passed on to whānau? Do you want your daughter to know about the day she was born? You can use Āhau whenever you come across an important piece of information that should be remembered and stored safely for future generations.
How do I use Āhau?
We aim to make whānau archiving as easy and as familiar as possible. Interacting and using Āhau looks and feels a lot like some of the other social networking platforms that you may also be familiar with, but with the addition of some of our own cultural flavouring. It’s as simple as downloading our app to your computer or smartphone, creating a personal profile, and recording your stories. It’s what's happening under the hood that really sets Āhau apart from other social networks and applications.
How does the technology behind Āhau work?
Āhau is a decentralised application, which means that the data you put into your archive is stored on your device. Āhau (the company) does not have any backend servers or databases that keep a record of any information that has been put into your private fully encrypted archives.
There are two way’s that information is shared between whānau in whānau archives, the first is if you have two whānau members that are both a part of a whānau archive, connect to the same wifi network (digital kānohi-ā-kānohi). This will create a communication link between whānau devices and they will share any new whānau information by sending private encrypted messages to each other. This method will work even in remote locations that have no internet connectivity, all you would need is a wifi router.
The second method is to connect your archive to the internet through a Pātaka. This is a different application also built by Āhau (also free to use) that is installed on a computer that is connected to the internet. This provides whānau with a communication link between whānau devices over the internet and they will share any new information by sending private encrypted messages to each other.
What is a Pātaka?
Non-technically: A Pātaka (Pātaka Taonga) is a digital storehouse that holds digital taonga. When someone creates a Pātaka on their computer they can then tell whānau where the Pātaka can be found so that whānau know where to visit when they connect online. Whānau can then leave stories, and other digital taonga inside a special wakahuia or papahou (treasure box) that only members of the same whānau or tribe will be able to open. Pātaka can also work without an internet connection where visits are made in person instead of online.
Technically: A Pātaka (Pātaka Taonga) is essentially an Āhau server. A server is basically a computer that provides data to other computers over the internet. There are many different types of servers that ‘serve’ different types of information to the internet including web servers, mail servers, and file servers. In the context of Āhau, to make it easy for you to share your information with whānau over the internet we have built a separate application called ‘Pātaka’ The Pātaka holds encrypted copies of whānau data and serves them to the internet. The Pātaka gives whānau members who have been given a whānau encryption key the ability to sync (send and receive any new information) with the whānau archive via the internet.
How do I install a Pātaka?
1. To install your Pātaka, first make sure you have a static IP address setup. To do this please call your internet provider and request to have a static IP address setup for your connection (depending on your internet provider there may be an extra charge for this).
2. Once you have that set up the next thing you will need to do is set up a Port Forwarding (this will connect the computer that is running the Pātaka to the internet), please follow this guide to setup port forwarding to your device. https://portforward.com/router.htm.
3. Once you have port-forwarding setup download the Pātaka and install it on a computer that you want to dedicate to being a Pātaka (Keep in mind that for the Pātaka work it needs to be connected to the internet in the same place that you have setup your port forwarding).
4. Once you have Pātaka installed, open the application and you will be prompted to create a Pātaka, giving it a name, a description and an image. Your Pātaka will now run some computer and network checks to see if it has port-forwarding setup correctly and that there is some free space on the computer. If everything is setup correctly you should expect to see 3 green-lights next to port-forwarding, online and local access.
5. Your Pātaka is now setup and is ready for you to generate invite codes for Āhau applications to find your Pātaka and sync with.
If you have any questions about this process please feel free to chat with us at www.chat.ahau.io
Where is my Pātaka held?
Your Pātaka is held on the computer that you install and set it up on.
Where is my whakapapa data stored?
Your whakapapa data is stored on your device (your phone, computer or laptop). If you set up a whānau archive and you connect that whānau archive to a Pātaka then your whakapapa information will sync with the Pātaka and now be sitting in two places, on your device, and on the Pātaka device.
If you make changes to your whakapapa record and you are connected to the internet, this will communicate the changes to the Pātaka record (similar to a shared google doc). If you connect whānau to your whānau archive, then they will also sync a copy of the whakapapa record to their own device.
How do I create an Āhau profile?
Download and install Āhau on your computer or mobile. The first time that you open the application you will be prompted to create a profile.
What kind of hardware/tech do I need to run a Pātaka?
At a minimum, you need a computer, a router, an internet connection, and a static IP address (depending on your internet provider you may already have one by default, if not, you may need to ask your internet provider for one).
Who can access my data?
Your data is only viewable by either you or your whānau depending on which of the different access options are chosen.
Anyone that is using Āhau and is in a close connection (on the same wifi or connected the same Pātaka) to you will be able to see your photo and preferred name. All other information that you have recorded on your profile will only be viewable by either you or your whānau depending on what access is set when you add information.
Who can view my whakapapa history?
When whakapapa records are created, the author can determine who will be able to ‘Access’ the record. This can be either private so only visible by the author or one or more communities. The author can also set the ‘Cultural Protocols’ who within the community can view whakapapa information. The ‘Access’ and ‘Cultural Procotols’ can be edited at a later stage.
Problems accessing the Āhau platform?
If you are experiencing any issues with Āhau or if you have any questions we are here to help to you however we can. There are a number of ways to get in contact with us, the best is to jump into our online chat group https://chat.ahau.io/ and let us know what you need.
One of our team will do out best to help as soon as we can, (most of us are based in Aoteroa so you are most likely to get a quick response from 9am-5pm NST). You can also contact us via email email@example.com or if you would like to speak to someone feel free to contact Ben on +64226990253 or Kaye on +642102924328.