Tēnā koe! Haere mai! Established in 1989 by Jim Moriarty and Jerry Banse, Te Rākau is a Wellington based Māori theatre trust that works in schools, prisons, Marae, rural communities, and youth justice residencies around Aotearoa-New Zealand. Through our Theatre Marae programme we collaborate with communities to create and present high quality and socially significant theatre works which resonate culturally, therapeutically, and artistically for audience members and participants alike.
The name Te Rākau Hua o te Wao Tapu nui a Tāne was gifted by Ngāti Toa-Raukawa kuia, Harata Horomona, and means “The blossoming fruit tree of our sacred grove.” This refers to the performing arts as an organic base in which artistic and social justice outcomes may be nurtured and allowed to flourish. This fits with Te Rākau’s kaupapa (core philosophy) for its work which is:
“To advocate for Tino Rangatiratanga (sovereignty), Mana Taurite (equity), and Whanaungatanga (belonging) for all New Zealanders through Theatre Marae.”
Te Rākau is a member of Te Pūtahitanga-a-Te Rēhia, a collective of independent Māori theatre practitioners, writers and artists in Te Upoko-o-te-Ika (Wellington region).