Te Reo Māori takes centre stage in Tāmaki

Te Pou theatre in West Auckland are champions of Te Reo Māori, with hopes to normalise the reo through performing arts.

Published: Tuesday, 6 September 2022 | Rātū, 06 Mahuru, 2022

Amber Curreen, Kaihautū Taha Whānau, says the Waitākere based theatre company provides a Māori led public space for people to come with their tirohanga Māori without limitations.

“Te Pou is a place which our Māori performers feel is a home, a safe place for their reo and their expression of te ao Māori through performing arts.”  Amber said.  

Thanks to funding through Te Puni Kōkiri’s Building Sustainable and Resilient Communities fund (BSRC), they have overhauled their website and software to future proof and reflect their Te Reo Māori values.

“COVID-19 put a stop to a lot of our mahi. So, upgrading our technology and operating systems was massive,” Amber said.

“We were able to roll-out a new website to better reflect our Te Reo Māori kaupapa, which was really important for us,” Amber adds.

Te Puni Kōkiri Tāmaki Makaurau Senior Advisor Jacqueline Matthews has been working alongside Te Pou and says the BSRC fund came at the right time for smaller organisations.

“Te Pou are celebrating and promoting Te reo Māori in a creative way, which is so needed in our rohe,” Jacqueline said.

“This fund meant that the Company had the tools to implement long-term systems that will see them through COVID-19 and beyond,” Jacqueline adds.

Located at Corban Estate Arts Centre, they are now working on a new purpose-built theatre and hope to welcome indigenous performers from around the world.

“Our aspiration is to bring indigenous communities from across the world to perform and share artistry in an environment which understands and supports their needs,” Amber said.

Photo credit: Te Pou Theatre