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'Only In Aotearoa' Returns To Whakaata Māori For Its 3rd Season Written Entirely By Wāhine Māori

'Only in Aotearoa' is a comedy sketch series on Whakaata Māori, featuring short, sharp, comedy skits told from a distinctly Māori perspective. All six episodes of the new season were written entirely by Māori women. The episodes show real-time conversations between characters that mirror issues or common experiences that affect Māori.

'Kura Productions' Managing Director and the Associate Producer of 'Only in Aotearoa' Te Ataraiti Waretini (Tūhourangi-Ngāti Wāhiao, Tainui, Te Rarawa) said, "This is an exciting showcase of wāhine Māori comedic talent. It’s the first of its kind with a show written entirely by wāhine Māori. Many of these brilliant writers bring their comedic perspectives on social media, in comedy shows and on screen, we thought, they're so amazing, they deserve to have a show written by wāhine."

Jessica Hansell (Ngāpuhi/Samoan) aka CocoSolid returns this season and is now the Head Writer. She was joined in the writers room by award winning comedians Kura Forrester (Ngāti Porou) and Kura Turuwhenua (Kaitahu, Ngāti Porou, Ngāi Tūhoe, Moriori), rising comedy star Janaye Henry (Ngāti Kahu ki Whangaroa) and writers who also act Awa Puna (Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairoa, Tūhoe), Awhina-Rose Ashby (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine) and Chelsea Ross (Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa) who acted in series 1 and 2. Miss Kihi (Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Wai, Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāpuhi, Cook Islands Māori) joined the storylining table and performed in the show.

Newcomer Jordyn Rapana (Tainui Awhiro kī Whaingaroa, Samoan) also known as 'Jordyn with a Why' is better known as a singer and is currently nominated for two Aotearoa Music Awards. She was invited to join the writing team by Te Ataraiti because of the funny posts on her social media channels.

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"Giving wāhine Māori a voice in this space is important because it’s not often that it happens," said Te Ataraiti. "Being able to have a show where it’s from their perspective is amazing and a big step toward a more inclusive Aotearoa."

The series also features familiar on screen talent. Veteran Māori actress Miriama McDowell (Ngāti Hine), Ahikāroa's Akinehi Munroe (Te Aupōuri), Shortland Street's Ngāhuia Piripi (Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi), The Ring Ins' Roimata Fox (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Rongomaiwāhine, Ngāti Kahungunu) and Samoan comedian "Bubbah" Sieni Leo'o Olo.

Male actors and allies are also in the mix. Vegas' Xavier Horan (Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Pūkenga), One Lane Bridge's Dominic Ona-Ariki (Cook Islands) and the Modern Māori Quartets' Matariki Whatarau (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Whanaunga) appear this season.

The next generation of talent is also being ushered in. Miriama McDowell's 12-year-old daughter Talanoa Fraser debuts and Xavier Horan's 9-year-old daughter Peyton also appears on screen.

People who are (Only) in Aotearoa can watch 'Only in Aotearoa' on Whakaata Maori and the Māori+ app from May 23rd, 2024.

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