I now declare Pūtahi Festival 2014 open – let the games begin!

Whiu! Last night, Te Rākau and Tawata warmed up the floor at Vic’s Studio 77 with the opening night of The Battalion, and preview of the beautiful ones. Mean as food and coffee from Dean’s Kai Cart, and a beautiful amphitheatre to hang out with guests, performers and whānau (family). A big mihi (thank you) to Victoria University for hosting us, and another mihi to our lovely audience – spread the word, Whānau. We’re performing for  1 week only. Door sales available, just roll on up – nō reira, kia tere – nau mai, haere mai!


Māori Battalion march to Victoria (University, that is)

battalionflyerputahiTe Rākau presents a moving story about friendship, loyalty, madness and redemption – seen through the eyes of a Battalion veteran, and relayed to his wayward young charges. Sent back to their Whānau in the ‘one cow town’ of Tamariri, George and Rimini aren’t interested in any of the locals or their family history – they just want to get back to the city.

It was the same for five young men in 1939. Drawn by the excitement of war, they run away to the army and join the 28th Māori Battalion. Thus begins their adventure of a lifetime, from their training in England to their first encounter with the enemy in Greece – to one fateful night in an olive grove in Crete.

Jim Moriarty directs a passionate and talented cast of young New Zealanders in a performance that will stir, inspire and educate audiences.

E neke, Pōneke – come on Wellington, get your marching boots on and join us at Studio 77, Victoria University, Wellington for the opening night of The Battalion.


The Battalion returns!


Te Rākau’s tribute to Te Hokowhitu-a-Tū (28th Māori Battalion) returns this February, in our inaugural Pūtahi Festival! The Battalion tells two stories: the first about five young men who swap 1930s rural New Zealand for a life of adventure and heartbreak, and the other about their descendants who face a very different war on the Home-front. The Battalion stars veteran actorJim Moriarty, and newcomers Vanessa Kumar (The Ragged), Sandy Milesic (Dog&Bone), and Matt Dussler (Dog&Bone). For more information about tickets and showtimes, check out http://putahifestival.com


Pūtahi Festival 2014

This February head to Pūtahi Festival, for a week of alternative, indigenous theatre and live performance brought to you by Wellington’s only independent Māori theatre collective, Te Pūtahitanga-a-Te Rēhia*. Pūtahi Festival aims to celebrate the diversity of Te Ao Māori and the truth of our stories, with a mix of play readings, live music, hui, and theatre performances from emerging and established kaituhi, kaiwaiata and kaiwhakaari. Works include Tawata’s the beautiful ones (by Hone Kouka), Tikapa Productions’ Not in our Neighbourhood (by Jamie McCaskill), and Te Rākau’s flagship piece The Battalion (by Helen Pearse-Otene).

Pūtahi Festival runs from 25th February – 1st March at Studio 77, 77 Fairlie Terrace, Kelburn. For more information visit http://putahifestival.com/

Te Pūtahitanga-a-Te Rēhia is a collective of Wellington based independent Māori theatre practitioners. Pūtahi Festival is supported by our colleagues at Circa and Takirua Theatres, and has been made possible through the manaakitanga of VUW’s Theatre and Film Department. Tēnei te mihi nui ki a koutou e hoa mā…Ka rawe!

*The name Te Pūtahitanga-a-Te Rēhia was gifted by Hone Hurihanganui, and refers to the central place where our art forms can meet, unite, and create.