Past Event18 May - 20 May 2023

The Way of the Raukura – A Parihaka Musical

No longer available

Bruce Mason Centre


An extraordinary true story of courage, loss and hope 

Following a sold-out debut season, The Way of the Raukura is an original New Zealand/Aotearoa stage musical about the 1881 Crown-led invasion of Parihaka.  It features an outstanding array of Māori and Pākehā actor-singers from across Auckland, with high-level experience in performing arts. 

The Way of the Raukura is co-written and co-directed by Steve Worsley (nō Taranaki ahau), who wrote the script and score, and Sarah Tahere (ko ngati raukawa me ngati toa Rangatira oku iwi), whose song, ‘Under the Mountain’ sparked the vision for the show.  Sarah’s background in creative arts and Māori culture, along with her ancestral link to Parihaka, combine with Steve’s background as a former concert pianist with a passion for stories of justice and grace, in this dramatic retelling of the Parihaka storyThe Way of the Raukura features a seven-piece live band, traversing contemporary styles (soul, jazz, ballad), and traditional cultural sounds. 

In its 2020 debut season, The Way of the Raukura was described as ‘heart-wrenching’ and as ‘a powerful production that should be shown all over the whenua to enhance our understanding of Aotearoa’s history’. Secondary school students who attended labelled it ‘the highlight of the year.’  


… with engaging characters, climactic events and an evocative set. The Way of the Raukura follows the fortunes of two historical characters (Samuel Crombie Brown and Wiremu Hiroki) who come to Parihaka just prior to the invasion. What happens when a wanted criminal seeks refuge in a pacifist village? What happens when a news reporter breaks a government media ban? And what happens when an army of 1,600 marches on Parihaka?

Song List Featuring Original New Zealand Music:

Act One

Gather up the Earth - An invitation to hear the story, based on a famous quote from Tohu Kakahi

Under the Mountain part one - Mikaere describes Parihaka to Wiremu

Out of Step part one - Reporter George Humphries introduces reporter Samuel Crombie Brown

Lyttlelton's News - Mary Brown sings in support of her father. She is joined by her mother, Maria

The Raukura - Arihia tells Wiremu the meaning of the raukura (white feather)

Proper Society - Mr & Mrs Birtwistle head out for a walk, observing a few things en route.

A Message to Mr Grey - The ploughing and fencing song led by Mikaere, Wiremu, Hikurangi and Wairangi.

Breaking Point - First half finale led by Samuel Crombie Brown


Act Two

Portent/Irirangi - Maria observes the army volunteers signing up and an imminent Press Conference

Roulette - Maria challenges Sam on his decision to break the government media ban

Moving on - The army sings as it marches to Parihaka

Traveller//Manuhiri - Parihaka children sing to the invading soldiers

See The Rise - Parihaka lament the arrests of Te Whiti, Tohu and Hiroki

Who Will Lead Us Now? - With Te Whiti and Tohu gone, Mikaere knows all eyes are on him

E to Matou - Wiremu and Archdeacon Govett sing the Lord's Prayer in Te Reo

Choose Your Side - Arihia weeps for Wiremu

Masquerade - Sam explodes in anger as he reads the news about Wiremu

Under the Mountain part two - Sung by the people of Parihaka

Bracken’s Dream - Full cast finale recalling the vision for peace & racial harmony, of national anthem writer Thomas Bracken

For more info visit:  

Introducing The Way of the Raukura

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