30 Mar 2012

Humorous play Waka of Love makes its Wellington debut

7:12 pm on 30 March 2012

A humorous theatre production about four young Maori brothers who build a waka to come to Aotearoa from Hawaiiki makes its New Zealand debut in Wellington on Saturday 31 March.

The Waka of Love docks at Scots College in Strathmore and is the brainchild of young playwright and performer Charlizza Harris of Ngati Porou and Ngati Kahungunu.

It includes a cast of 20 rangatahi aged 12 to 17 years from Wellington and the Hutt Valley drawn from youth groups, Ms Harris's 2Face Drama Productions, Ahikaa and Mana Whenua.

The story is about four Maori brothers who sleep in on the day their families leave from their Polynesian homeland of Hawaiiki to Aotearoa. After realising they have been left behind, the brothers begin working together to build a waka and set off on a journey in search of their family.

The skit was written in January 2011 and was taken to Hawaii and performed by a young Maori social enterprise group where it was received with success.

Ms Harris says she hopes to inspire young people to come out of their shells, develop their talents especially their communication skills which will bode them well in the future.

The 18 year-old Maori playwright has been recently named the Ahikaa New Zealand Young Entrepreneur of the year and will be travelling to New York next month to receive her award at the 2012 NFTE Global Entrepreneurship Awards.

The Waka of Love is the first community project to be performed at Scott College's new creative and performing arts centre which was opened at the beginning of March.

Entry to the play is by koha or a gold coin donation.