Te Reo Maori Finds a Contemporary Voice in Theatre

For the first time ever, the classic award-winning Māori play Purapurawhetū will be presented in full te reo Māori for two seasons at Te Pou Theatre from 6-9 July and at The Herald Theatre from 13 -16 July as part of the 2016 Matariki celebrations.

Purapurawhetu by Briar Grace-Smith
In response to fears that the Māori language could die off in our lifetime Māori contemporary theatre company - Ruia Taitea Creative are presenting this work to address the issue.


“It’s vital to put Māori work on the stage that isn’t limited to historic stories. This is an opportunity for us to be part of the revitalisation of te reo in our modern lives making the language live and breathe today.” says Director Tainui Tukiwaho.


This production stars revered Māori actor Rawiri Paratene ONZM (Nga Puhi) who last performed this play in 2010. He is re-embracing the taonga of Hohepa after touring the world with the English version of this work.


Paratene is one of our most treasured talents and his vast credits including touring with the Globe to Globe season of Hamlet, Whalerider, The Insatiable Moon, What Becomes of the Broken-Hearted, Footroot Flats: The Dog's Tale and many television and theatre productions.


Paratene is joined by a cast of fluent te reo Māori actors including Antonio Te Maioha (Zoolander 2, Spartacus, The Dead Lands), Kimo Houltham (Troilus and Cressida), Ani-Piki Tuari (Find Me a Māori Bride) and newcomer Krystal-Lee Brown.


Director and founder of Ruia Taitea Creative Tainui Tukiwaho (Te Arawa/Tuhoe) has had a vital career in the arts working as a director, actor and producer in Auckland for the past decade.


In addition to the te reo Māori translation Purapurawhetū will offer two English performances (Wednesday 6th July at Te Pou Theatre and Wednesday 13th July at The Herald Theatre).


Purapurawhetū plays:
Te Pou Theatre
6-9 July at 7.30pm
Book at iticket.co.nz


Herald Theatre
13-16 July at 7.30pm
Book at Ticketmaster