Nga mihi nui ki a kotou
Te Rākau Hua O Te Wao Tapu is a charitable trust that delivers a suite of programmes derived from therapeutic, creative and Tikanga Māori paradigms, as part of its core activity of creating and presenting high quality professional theatre and arts experiences for audiences throughout Aotearoa.
It is the intention of Te Rakau Hua O Te Wao Tapu Trust to operate primarily as a professional theatre company, creating and presenting innovative and socially significant works that resonate culturally, therapeutically and artistically with audiences, participants and the wider community. Te Rākau‟s Kaupapa (vision) for its work in Aotearoa is:
“To advocate for tino rangatiratanga, equity and belonging for all New Zealanders through the performing arts”.
Te Rākau Hua O Te Wao Tapu is currently working on their next production of 'The Battallion', due out in July 2013.
dog and bone
“But all we’ll do is throw you a bone, a single bone and then watch all you mongrels turn on each other.”
The second Taranaki War is raging and New Plymouth is a garrison town under siege. The British Imperial Army have returned to England, leaving the country to Māori and Pākehā to fight over, “He iwi tahi tātou” no longer. To the victor the spoils: a lush unspoilt country ripe for farming and the right to rewrite history as they see fit. To the loser: the slow, systematic loss of everything held dear, starting with their land and freedom. But in 1869 the war is a far cry from the south coast of Wellington, where Tāiki Kenning has settled in marital bliss with his Pākehā bride Hannah-May. There, Tāiki and Hannah-May keep the homefires of Te Miti burning, in the hope that one day his people will return. But as a storm brews overhead and Hannah-May begins to dream of terrors in the forest, a pack of dogs appear with a warning for Tāiki.
A moving story about friendship, loyalty, madness and redemption – seen through the eyes of Paora Matene, a war veteran, and relayed to his wayward charges Rimini and George.
Sent back to their Whanau in the “one cow town” of Tamariri, Rimini and George 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 in by the excitement of war, they run away to the army and join the 28th Maori Battalion. Thus begins their adventure of a lifetime, from their training in England to their first encounter with the enemy in Greece.
The two stories collide and the past confronted with the youngsters learning valuable life lessons.
"Battalion is an enchanting and emotional experience. It is a play that implores us to acknowledge the past ..." NZ International Arts Festival, Lumiere Reader Review
Amidst the confusion of disgruntled settlers, the young and inno-cent are left to play with fire. Spirits are high amongst the bap-tized, a feast is being prepared. The betrothed fall into waiting arms. Time is on the side of the infidel, as deceit beckons the wise.
―Samuel Kenning has travelled from Britain to claim his land in New Zealand. Unfortunately for him there are people already liv-ing in Ōwhiro Bay, the newly baptized Chief Te Waipōuri and his iwi who have no intention of leaving the land.
Instead he finds himself shipwrecked, declared a warrior and right hand to the local chief, Te Waipōuri.
Thaddeus Bly, with the firm ‗hand of God‘ asserts his disciples. Mr Crippen, the government representative, visits to review the settlement.
For Samuel Kenning, sitting peacefully in his hut on the beach, is better than the factories of Victorian England. What could be worse? Unless of course, it is true when they tell you there is a sea monster living in the waters of Ōwhiro Bay. What was that noise?
The Ragged is the first installment in a trilogy called The Under-TOW which will look at our country's dynamic history.