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Matariki + Te Wiki o te Reo = Mata Kokako in Whangarei

Matariki – a celebration of the Maori New Year, also coincides with Te Wiki o te Reo.
Updated: 19/02/2018 2:57 p.m.
Image of Hoki Mai Tama Ma.

​Adding to a full kete of activities across the District, a consortium of organisations across Northland, including Whangarei District Council, have brought top new dramatic art form Mata Kokako “Maori Mask” performed by Te Rehia Theatre to Whangarei the week after Maori Language week.

Reflecting the essence of Te Wiki o te Reo, Te Rehia Theatre’s philosophy is to create trailblazing and pioneering Maori storytelling in theatre.

Performed by several prominent Shortland Street and Step Dave actors, the performance will feature the use of masks that have developed their look and feel during rehearsals, to tell a brand new story by playwright Tainui Tukiwaho.

Called Hoki mai Tama Ma, the play moves between the day of the Matariki New Year celebrations in modern day Aotearoa and the same day in World War Two Italy.  It follows Tama (Rawiri Jobe, Step Dave) who has just returned from Italy with his Koro/grandfather (Regan Taylor, Te Awarua).

Armed with Koro’s diary from the war and the earthy logic of their best friend and neighbour Nuku (Taylor), long held secrets are revealed along with the true meaning of forgiveness and whanau.

“I chose to use WWII as the setting for Hoki Mai Tama Ma, as it’s the most famous meeting of the Maori and Italian worlds through the Maori Battalion. It’s also been a great platform to explore and merge the Italian classic form of Commedia dell’Arte with Te Ao Maori (the Maori world),” said Tukiwaho.

The play is directed by Shortland St’s Gerald Urquhart (Luke Durville), and will be performed by former Shortie regular Amber Curreen (Shannon Te Ngaru), Step Dave actors Rawiri Jobe (Azza) and Ascia Maybury (Bianca-­-Faye).

Company Director and actor Regan Taylor said the group was very excited about discovering and refining this new theatre art form and exploring the interface between Modern Maori Theatre, traditional mahi whakaari such as Kapa Haka and the historic art form of Commedia dell’Arte (Italian comedy).

Event Details

Te Rehia Theatre in association with Whangarei Matariki Festival present:

Hoki Mai Tama Ma
Captaine Bougainville Theatre
Forum North
7 Rust Ave

Date: 31 July – 2 Aug
Time: 7.30pm

Book online through Ticketek or phone 09 430 4244 (Service Fees apply): 



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