Past Event16 Jun 2024

Our People, Our Stories

No longer available

Wintergarden, The Civic

Talks & ideas

Whiria te tangata, whiria ngā toi, whiria ngā hapori.
Weave the people, weave the arts, weave the community.

Join us for a day of wānanga/seminars around how artists represent their communities through live performance. Hear how Māori performing arts has shaped communities, weaved relationships, provide opportunities for healing, knowledge sharing, laughter and innovation, with kōrero from some of Aotearoa’s leading Māori live performance creatives.  

  • Tamati Patuwai (Ngāti Whātua) 
  • Amber Curreen (Ngā Puhi) 
  • Ani-Piki Tuari (Ngāti Porou, Te Aitanga a Hauiti, Ngāti Kahungunu, Rongomaiwahine, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, Ngāi Tūhoe) 
  • Janaye Henry (Ngāti Kahi ki Whangaroa)

Facilitated by Rutene Spooner (Ngāti Porou, Ngāruahine, Ngāti Kahungunu), grab a kapu tī/cup of tea and join in the conversation about where Māori comedy, theatre, musical theatre and circus are heading into the new year.  

This event is held in the Wintergarden, The Civic, from 2 - 5pm on Sunday 16 June. Tamariki welcome.


This is a free event but register fast e hoa mā! Limited spaces available.

Meet the Line-Up

Tamati Patuwai

Tāmatī Patuwai (Ngāti Whātua) is a dynamic cultural creative with over 25 years of experience in social engagement and transformative education. His work, deeply rooted in Māori whakapapa, tikanga, and indigenous knowledge, activates the Mana of whānau and community through innovative intervention models.

Tupaihika, a unique Ngāti Whātua performance form, is Patuwai's signature offering to date and centres the sharing of stories in whānau and community development. Honed through years of cultural community practice, this mahi combines Tamati's vision and indigeneity to revolutionise engagement and preserve ancestral aspirations.

Amber Curreen

Amber (Ngāpuhi, Te Roroa, Te Rarawa) is a kaupapa Māori focused theatre maker who has been delivering professional theatre since 2009 currently with Te Rehia Theatre Company and is a founding leader of Te Pou Theatre. Through these organisations Amber’s production experience includes co-production of many innovative mainstage shows (Hyperspace, BLACK TIES, Astroman, SolOTHELLO, Raising The Titanics), Te Reo Māori works (He Tūrū Māu, E Kore A Muri E Hokia, Purapurawhetū) and youth shows to theatres, festivals, communities, marae and schools. Amber has written for Te Reo Māori theatre for tamariki (Mahuika) and Te Tangi a Te Tūī alongside long time collaborator Tainui Tukiwaho and has lately moved more into directing works with kaituhi Māori most recently KŌPŪ in 2023 and The Handlers in 2024.  Amber is the festival director of Kōanga Festival which has a focus on developing new Māori Theatre. Ambers mahi is driven by a strong kaupapa Māori based arts practice and focuses on high quality, innovative story-telling that brings Te Ao Māori to the stage and supports the reclamation and revitalisation of te reo Māori. 

Ani-Piki Tuari

Ani-Piki (Ngāti Porou, Te Aitanga a Hauiti, Ngāti Kahungunu, Rongomaiwahine, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, Ngāi Tūhoe) is a multi-faceted writer, performer, producer, and educator whose work crosses many fields including theatre, kapa haka, film, television and music. She is a fluent speaker and practitioner of te reo Māori me āna tikanga (Māori language and culture) 

Ani-Piki is an alumna of Victoria University, as well as of Te Panekiretanga o te reo Māori (School of Māori Excellence). As an actor she has appeared in plays and on television, including Witi’s Wāhine (Hāpai Productions), Purapurawhetū (Te Rehia Theatre Ltd), E kore a muri e hokia (Ruia Taitea Creative Ltd), and on Māori TV programmes Find me a Māori Bride and Ahikāroa After Dark

Alongside her three brothers, Ani-Piki wrote and composed Whakapaupakihi, a large scale te reo Māori musical which recently had a development season at Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival in October 2023.  

Janaye Henry

Janaye Henry (Ngāti Kahi ki Whangaroa) has been making waves in the comedy scene since 2017 and most notably was a 2023 Billy T nominee. She has completed three ‘theatre in education’ tours in schools and is obsessed with using humour to talk about all kinds of kaupapa. She has written for The Spinoff, Have You Been Paying Attention and Ahikāroa. Her highlights include curating the first wāhine Māori line up comedy show and co-writing, co-directing and acting in the 2023 Basement Christmas Show, The Jingle Bellethon Telethon. She has a passion for telling queer, Māori stories that reflect the communities she is a part of. 

Rutene Spooner (Facilitator)

Rutene is of Ngāti Porou, Ngāruahine, Ngāti Kahungunu descent. 

Since graduating in 2009 with a Bachelor of Performing Arts in Musical Theatre, the singer, actor and entertainer has toured nationally and internationally for various theatre and corporate entertainment companies. 

He has since appeared in such musicals as Billy Elliot (New Zealand premiere); Jersey Boys (Australian Tour); Chicago and Little Shop of Horrors (The Court Theatre) and Jekyll & Hyde (Australasian premiere), to name a few.  

Rutene recently featured in the Disney film Frozen - Reo Māori voicing The Duke of Wesleton and also received The Grant Tilly Actor of The Year award at the 2023 Wellington Theatre Awards.  

He has been described by the New Zealand Herald as “a stalwart of the Auckland cabaret scene” and has toured his award-winning shows Super Hugh-Man and Thoroughly Modern Māui both nationally and internationally to great acclaim. 

Outside of his busy performance schedule, Rutene also works as a creative producer, documentary director and vocal and performance coach.  

He is a proud kaihaka of Te Kapa Haka of Whāngara-Mai-Tawhiti, a member of the Modern Māori Quartet and a proud union member of the New Zealand Actors Equity. 

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