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The Haka Party Incident Confirms National Tour

Following its renowned sold-out premiere season in 2021, The Haka Party Incident has confirmed a six-centre national tour from June 2023.

Provocative, resonant, and joyfully unforgettable, The Haka Party Incident innovatively combines documentary and Kapa Haka to thrilling effect. Awarded Best Play by a Māori Playwright and The Dean Parker Non-Fiction Award, the production is a not-to-be-missed theatre event.

“…A gift every New Zealander deserves to enjoy.” – Theatreview

Before writer and director Katie Wolfe (Ngāti Mutunga, Ngāti Tama, Ngāti Toa Rangatira) brought The Haka Party Incident verbatim theatre production to the stage, many New Zealanders were unaware of the titular three-minute conflict. In 1979 University of Auckland engineering students, rehearsing their annual tradition of a mock haka, were confronted by the activist group He Taua. That confrontation led to the nation’s baptism of fire into addressing systemic racism.

“Masterfully brings to life a bold act of resistance….intensely funny, to heartbreakingly sad in a single beat– Theatreview

With dynamic performances from Roimata Fox (Ngāti Porou, Rongomaiwahine) (Waru, Muru), Nī Dekkers-Reihana (Ngāi Tu Te Auru, Ngā Puhi) (Waru, Anahera), Lauren Gibson (Be Longing, Anne Boleyn), Patrick Tafa (48 Nights on Hope Street, Westside), Aidan O’Malley (Bystander, Good Idea at the Time), Finley Hughes (Madagascar The Musical and Crash Bash: What if?) and Kauri Williams (Ngāti Tūwharetoa) (Astroman, The Brokenwood Mysteries), the ambitious stage production requires them to divide up 38 different roles. The students, activists and many others directly involved in or impacted by the haka party incident were interviewed by writer Katie Wolfe over a five-year period. Their verbatim accounts of what actually happened in 1979 are directly voiced onstage.

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“…the relatively young ensemble never falters, effortlessly moving through distinct characters in the blink of an eye, and powerfully evoking the pain and conflict experienced by all sides.…a prime example of theatre's power to inform and enlighten audiences as well as entertain.” – NZ Herald

Haka, he taonga tuku iho or ‘a treasure from ancestors’ is not only at the centre of the historic incident but also forms the play’s structure which sees the cast perform historical and contemporary haka to thrilling effect. Wolfe’s son, Nikau, composed the final haka, ‘He Taua’ performed in the play.

‘I wanted to use the medium of Māori performing arts to make the point that ignoring cultural appropriation and disrespect does matter… it reminds us that racism is a continuum; it is founded in fear, and we must always be vigilant to check our prejudice, to face our fears,’ – Katie Wolfe

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