May 31, 2023
Kia Mau Festival putting Indigenous arts first
The best in Māori, Pasifika and indigenous theatre and art are being showcased from Friday in Wellington’s Kia Mau Festival.
Mīria George and Hone Kouka started the biennial festival because of what they saw was a lack of Māori and Pasifika acts on the main stages in the capital.
George says over the years it has shown that audiences want to see indigenous perspectives, and it’s opened the door for rangatahi to pursue careers in the arts.
“The more rangatiratanga or more sovereignty we have over spaces like Kia Mau Festival, like Te Pou Theatre in Tamaki Makaurau, means we have a more sustainable arts industry,” she says.
Kai Mau runs until June 17 and includes two dozen shows including theatre works such as Kōpū and The Haka Party Incident, music, dance pieces like Waiwhakaata-Reflections in the Water and He Huia Kaimanawa, and a one night Cook Islands spectacular in the Michael Fowler Centre, ‘Avaiki Nui Social.