The Kia Mau Festival started last week and is already racing along. It’s a treat to see Māori and Pasifika excellence in live performance – here’s what’s on this week.

All I See at Circa Theatre

The explosion of grief causes memories to ricochet around her.

Memories begin to bleed into her reality.

Time collapses.

When one gets rowdy with a cup of tea at 6pm, and the other is confident she has almost watched the whole of Netflix, describing their ideal best friend would not eventuate to each other. Yet, this friendship is the one solid thing they both can count on.

Despite an age difference stretching over forty years, the two find companionship in the most unlikely of places – the graves of their meant-to-be life partners.


Te Mauri o Pōhutu at Toi Poneke

A new series of collaborative installation and time-based artworks by Bianca Hyslop, Rowan Pierce and Tūī Matira Ranapiri Ransfield.

The work responds to the loss of mātauranga Māori due to cultural interruption and assimilation.

It is a sensual offering that addresses the fragility of memory, connection to whenua and reclamation of culture from within foreign frameworks


The Mourning After at Circa Theatre

After the death of his father, Kiwi-born Shekar travels to his father’s village in the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka, to discover that a tsunami has swept away the village – all that remains are the stories and those left behind. As Shekar sifts through the ruins in search of answers, the buried truths of his past are revealed. A theatrical collage of movement, text, sound and excavation featuring a spellbinding solo performance accompanied by a trio of musicians.


Reclamation at Circa Theatre

A sonic journal of immigrant Sri Lankan Tamil life, brings music, found sound, words, archival material and light together to recollect history through this immersive audio piece.


Neke at Te Auaha

A devised physical theatre work that explores the pillars of Māoridom, Neke is the search, the hunt and the celebration of what navigates our individual haerenga as Māori.

Kia tūhonoga tatou. To connect us.

Neke is about discovering kaitiakitanga, remembrance, the inner haka and the evolution of mana motuhake.

Told through movement, character, voice and hard out crack ups.


Brown Crown at BATS Theatre

Set in a contemporary world, Brown Crown is the story of a young Samoan woman’s journey through life. Surrounded by expectations and legacy, her life is over-shadowed by the old legend of Nafanua, told to her as a young girl by her grandmother.

Brown Crown is a reflection of how much Pasifika women carry upon their shoulders.


Peter Paka Paratene at Te Papa (tonight only!)

Rawiri Paratene presents his final performance of his solo show Peter Paka Paratene; a musical, cheeky look through the round window into his extraordinary life and career.

In a performance career spanning nearly 50 years, Rawiri Paratene (…aka Peter David Broughton ONZM…. aka Paka) has graced the worlds stages and screens in iconic performances such as Koro in Whale Rider and Hamlet in Shakespeares Globe to Globe. After suffering a stroke in 2019 Paratene has decided to leave the worlds stage – but not before a final turn in the limelight.

In this intimate night, Rawiri shares his own poetry, songs and favourite classical works as he regales the audience with stories of the three distinct phases of his life; Peter, Paka and Paratene.


The Māori Side Steps at the Opera House (tomorrow night only!)

Fresh from Hari with The Māori Sidesteps on Māori TV, these talented fullas return with their ‘belly laughing, thought-provoking and sing-a-longy’ performance that delivers a fresh and enlightening perspective of the evolution of the Māori showband.

Expect soulful harmonies, satirical skits and general hilarity.


Maetu at BATS Theatre

Watering lemongrass, staring at a screen and walking through empty hallways – a day to day ritual.

As Maetu sits in her little green house she strings back memories through her household objects that have brought her to where she is now. This is an abstract and imagery based piece that tells the story of a wonderful grandma.

Eat These Words at BATS Theatre

Miss Leading, has returned to New Zealand from two years performing her unique combination of poetry and electronic ambient pop across the UK including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

After a sell-out show at New Zealand Fringe Festival, her show Eat These Words returns to invite you to comfort eat your way through her emotional roller coaster of confronting, political, and miserable poetry (along with a few laughs).

Luring attendees with snacks, she aims to take you through a full sensory experience with music, visuals and taste.


Witi’s Wāhine at Te Whaea

Lovingly crafted from excerpts from Witi Ihimaera’s collection of short stores and novels, our indomitable heroines take you on an epic journey across their history, their mythology and cultural consciousness as we recognise the passion, truth and spirit of mana wāhine.


Before I Go Home at Island Bay Community Centre

A night of poetry celebrating migrant voices of Pōneke.

Curated & hosted by Wellington poets Khadro Mohamed and Ronia Ibrahim, Before I Go Home features popular and emerging Pōneke poets from migrant backgrounds, including Chris Tse, Vanessa Crofskey, Emma Shi, Nuzha Salem, Areez Katki and Adriana Che Ismail. The event will be in collaboration with independent book sellers Caro DeCarlo and Jackson Nieuwland from Food Court Books.