Pīkari Mai ‘Switches off the toff’ with indigenous news 


Māori artist Hāmiora (Sam) Bailey has created a browser plug-in that can swap all the stories related to the UK royals and coronations with news about indigenous people. The helpful app Pīkari Mai blocks royal articles from the internet and replaces them with the latest Māori news sourced from a range of local media publishers. The emergence of the plug-in comes as a way to honor Kaituhi Māori (indigenous writers) by prioritizing news stories written by, for, and about indigenous people.


On Pīkari Mai’s website, the design team states that for indigenous people, the fanfare and coverage surrounding the royal coronation is more than just annoying. ‘So Tangata Whenua (People Of the Land) of Aotearoa (New Zealand) have created Pīkari Mai, a desktop-only plug-in that lets people switch off the toff, by replacing royal gossip with indigenous news from around the world. Pīkari Mai originated in Aotearoa, and is a gift from Tangata Whenua to Tangata Taketake (our indigenous cousins) across the globe,’ the design team adds.

pīkari mai indigenous coronation
images courtesy of Pīkari Mai



Pīkari Mai swaps all royal and coronation reports 


There is more to the browser plug-in than meets the eye. New Zealand, a British colony, is a constitutional monarchy with King Charles III as the recent head of state. What may seem to be celebratory news of his coronation alongside the new Queen, formerly The Duchess of Cornwall, falls short for some of the New Zealand residents.


In a report by RNZ, some citizens celebrated the new monarchy while others wrestled with the festive views of the new monarchy when asked to swear their allegiance to the King. The crowning of the new King and Queen brings back lasting impacts of colonization over New Zealand, and Bailey tells nzherald that the coronation perpetuates the myth that there is a single treaty document and that Tangata whenua never ceded sovereignty.


Switching off the toff to highlight the works of indigenous writers around the globe and spotlight the crucial news stories related to indigenous people are at the vanguard of Pīkari Mai’s browser plug-in. ‘Here is the call to action: Cut out the headlines, (stop the squawking parrots). Pay attention, look, listen, and learn from indigenous reporters. It is for us as Māori people and our indigenous cousins across the globe,’ as written on Pīkari Mai’s website.

pīkari mai indigenous coronation
Pīkari Mai swaps all royal reports with indigenous news written for, by, and about indigenous people



Redirecting viewers to indigenous news


The design team says that Pīkari Mai is completely independent of any media organizations and that is not associated with or endorsed by any of the news sources and websites that it takes readers away from or to. After installing it, Pīkari Mai automatically puts up a lengthy barrier across the coronation or royal article and flashes a news story written for, by, and about the indigenous people. Users can just click on the banner, and they are swiftly redirected to the news site. A growing family of Kaitiaki characters, a Māori term that entails a guardian, accompanies the plug-in as a homage to the indigenous people.


In a 2022 survey by Massey University, the data uncovers that only 10 percent of the reporters working at news outlets make up the Māori ethnicity. By putting forward their news stories and of Indigenous people, the browser plug-in enables a broader reach of readership over their content. ‘I want to give my koroua, my grandparents or my elders, and Indigenous nationhood as big of a platform as the crown gets – and why not?,’ Bailey tells The Guardian. The Māori artist has worked with the ad agency Colenso BBDO to realize the browser plug-in, encouraging the viewers to ‘download the plug-in that unplugs the royals’.

pīkari mai indigenous coronation
kaitiaki Logan created in honour of Te Fēti’i in Tahiti

pīkari mai indigenous coronation
kaitiaki Sonny designed by @sonyamilford in honour of her family in Samoa

pīkari mai indigenous coronation
kaitiaki designed in honour of @charlotteglennon and her whānau in Rarotonga



project info:


name: Pīkari Mai

creator: Hāmiora Bailey

collaboration: Colenso BBDO