Te Tairāwhiti: Iwi Karioi - Hakanation

Tairāwhiti Museum hosted the Iwi Karioi: HakaNation exhibition which opened on 29 January 2011 and acknowledged the significant achievements of Tairāwhiti composers and leaders of Kapa Haka, including Tā Apirana Ngāta, Ngoi Pēwhairangi and Wiremu Kerekere. The exhibition acknowledged the creative genius that is characteristic of kapa haka in Te Tairāwhiti, showcasing historic recordings of well known waiata and taonga tuku iho of local Kapa Haka groups.

Iwi Karioi deliberately coincided with Te Matatini o Te Rā, the National Kapa Haka Festival which was held at Waiohika, Gisborne. The response to Iwi Karioi from schools and the general public was very positive, with 899 students from 18 schools viewing the exhibition and viewers making repeat visits to watch the historic kapa haka performances. The display panels, which acknowledged the key contributions of Tairāwhiti composers have been gifted to schools and Marae in the area where the composers lived.

Taki Rua Productions - Strange Resting Places

Taki Rua, New Zealand’s national Māori theatre company, presented the successfully acclaimed production of Strange Resting Places at the Lawson Field Theatre in Gisborne during Te Matatini o Te Rā. Strange Resting Places is a celebration of the Māori Battalion and a commemoration of all those who died in the Second World War and the families they left behind.

Performed in English, Italian and Te Reo Māori the play has been sought in Tairāwhiti for some time. In partnership with the C Company Trust: Ngā Taonga a Ngā Tama Toa Trust, who represent the C Company members of the Māori Battalion, Taki Rua was able to work with local community networks and attract over 380 people to the show over the three days it was performed in Te Tairāwhiti.

This was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and commemorate Māori achievement and contribution toward New Zealand citizenship, while also ensuring that rural communities and audiences have access to quality theatre experiences. Taki Rua has a strong reputation for delivering high quality theatre to audiences regardless of where they live. They are committed to delivering high quality theatre experience showcasing Māori talent and celebrating their given field of Māori Performing Arts.