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Kia Mau Mana Whenua - A New Beginning


Kia Mau Mana Whenua

Prepare to be challenged.
Prepare to be moved.
Prepare to be entertained.

A New Beginning.

Acclaimed Maori theatre group Te Rakau Hua O Te Wao Tapu (Te Rakau), directed by Jim Moriarty, has spent the last 8 weeks working with 80 challenging young people predominantly from throughout the Horowhenua region to create their most powerful and evocative performance to date.- Kai Mau Mana Whenua which will be touring in October and November

The process has used a combination of tikanga, creativity and wellness methodologies to help the rangatahi (young people) to tell their stories and collaboratively create a piece of theatre that reflects the mana and purotu (magic within) of each of the participants. The challenging process and performance outcome reflects the journey of the young people from darkness into light., and the transformations they are bringing into their lives through this work.

The 1.5 hour long show merges traditional kapa haka, waiata, patu, and Mo Rakau with contemporary music, dance, break dancing and theatre techniques.

The young people compellingly share the story of their pasts, what has happened to them, how they have had to live and act in order to survive, and what they desire for their futures.

This is truly powerful, honest and evocative theatre, the likes of which you will not have seen anywhere in the world.

“ I remember one fire works night at the pad. There was me, Mum, my sister and Bruce. I remember walking back to the car and hearing this screaming. It was my Mum getting a hiding from her boyfriend. It was the first time I’d seen her getting wasted- she was hapu too. He still hits her, drunk or sober. I hate her for still being with him. My heart hurts, my spirit hurts, my life hurts. I hurt.”

The young people have been referred by a range of agencies including Maori health services, alternative education providers, schools, Police, Child Youth and Family Services, Maori mental health services etc. They range in age from 10 to 18 years old.

This Theatre for Change project is the 20th one of its type that Te Rakau has delivered. Other projects have been with Arohata Women’s Prison, Christchurch Women’s Prison, Kingslea Youth Justice Residential Centre, Lower North Youth Justice Residential Centre, Weymouth Youth Justice Residential Centre, Ngati Kuri in Kaikoura and Nga Puhi in Kaikohe. The two most recent projects in 2002 were with 80 at-risk youth in Porirua- with Ngati Toa, and in Christchurch Men’s Prison High Security Unit with 23 inmates.

Money raised from the public performances helps to subsidise the cost of the 10 week programme which has looked at topics including self identity, connection to culture, communication, anger management, drug and alcohol addiction, sexual abuse, violence, and conflict resolution.

This is powerfull intervention work which successfully turns around the lives of some of New Zealands most challenging young people, offering them a different path, and tools to help them on their way.

A number of sponsors and supporters have been involved with the project and include: Child Youth and Family. Work and Income New Zealand Community Employment Group. The Fledgling Trust. Rangatua Mauriora. Nga Iwi O Ngati Raukawa me Rangitane me Muaupoko, suuport Horrowhenua College and Motuiti Marae.

Public performance details:

7pm October 11th Horowhenua College, Levin. Tickets on the door.

7pm November 4th ,5th 6th,7th and 8th The Speirs Centre, Palmerston North Boys High School.
Tickets available through ticketeck.

The show will be going to Wellington for it’s final public season in the week of November the 19th – 25th. – Venue to be confirmned.

The performance will also be touring to schools throughout the region, throughout October and November.

For further information, to arrange an interview, photographs etc, please phone Hannah on
021120 8947 or 04 3836855 or email


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