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12:16  The Haka Party Incident is now a play

Katie Wolfe

Katie Wolfe Photo: supplied

It was a famous scandal back in 1979 - the violent clash between He Taua Māori activists and a group of Auckland University engineering students.  At issue was the mock haka traditionally put on at Orientation.  But times had changed, and the incident became one of the catalysts of the Māori renaissance that was to follow in the 80s.

There was a court case and then a race relations enqury into the incident.

Playwright Katie Wolfe has tracked down and spoken to those involved on the day, and she's woven their memories and their exact words into a verbatim theatre show called The Haka Party Incident.

It's been several years in the making, and films of the interviews themselves will play at the Auckland Museum.

Lynn Freeman asked Katie how she came across this half-forgotten but hugely significant event.

Auckland Theatre Company's season of The Haka Party Incident by Katie Wolfe was due to open at ASB Waterfront Theatre last week. The season is now postponed due to Auckland moving into Alert Level 3, and new dates will be announced on when possible.


12:31  Invercargill's Last Heritage Tour

Mick Hesselin and David Dudfield

Mick Hesselin and David Dudfield Photo: supplied

A film recording architect Mick Hesselin's emotional last tour of Invercargill's inner-city, heritage buildings slated for demolition, is about to premiere at the start of Southland Heritage Month.

Mick's retired now as an architect, and concentrates on advocating for preserving the region's heritage.

He took public tours of the old buildings along Esk Street until they were demolished in 2019 to make way for a flash new inner-city block for the city.

David Dudfield from Pouākai Films recorded The Last Tour, and that's the name of the documentary.

Lynn Freeman spoke with David and Mick about the former historic Esk Street block that's remembered in the film:

The Last Tour premieres this Thursday at City Impact Church on Dee Street in Invercargill.   Registration is essential by 28 February - contact or 027 608 1393.


12:44  Patricia Grace's classic Cousins is now a movie

It's been a long held dream - something like 20 years - for novellist Patricia Grace to see her novel Cousins on the big screen.  But that dream is about to be realised.

Cousins takes place over sixty years, the story of three Māori cousins who lead very different lives.  They may share a bloodline but they've been kept apart by circumstances beyond their control.

The final screenplay for Cousins was by Briar Grace-Smith who's Patricia's daughter-in-law.   Briar has also co-directed the film, along with Ainsley Gardiner and takes on the role of the adult Makareta.

Rachel House plays the older Missy and Tanea Heke the estranged cousin Mata who was sent to an institution as a child by her Pakeha father.

Filmmaker Merata Meta was the first to write a screen play for Cousins and Ainsley and Briar picked up the mantle: 

I asked Briar how the novel was made to work on screen:

Cousins is in cinemas from the 4th of March.  


1:10 At The Movies

Simon Morris reviews Pieces of a Woman, The Little Things and Boss Level.


1:51  Jason Muir turns a building site into a theatre

A central Wellington building site is being converted into a cross between a sports arena and a theatre, with live commentary on what's happening on site.

The Builder's Fringe is the creation of Jason Muir, who for the past few years has been offering free haircuts in return for conversations about politics in his show Political Cutz.

This time the performer and professional hairdresser is focused on big cranes and earthworks, encouraging people to look more closely at the ever increasing number of buildings sites throughout the city.

Jason tells Lynn Freeman that building sites are full of drama if you look closely enough.

The Builders' Fringe starts this Wednesday at the Victoria Lane Apartment site in Wellington as part of the New Zealand Fringe Festival. 



2:06 The Laugh Track - Fringe comedian Ocean Denham

Ocean Denham

Ocean Denham Photo: supplied

No caption

Photo: supplied

Back in the day, expat New Zealanders off on their big OE would arrive in London, and happily get one of two jobs - bartender or childminder - while waiting for that big break.  

Well more recently you could add a third gig - show biz.  So many young Kiwis seem to land gigs in the UK as buskers, would-be cabaret performers, standup and Fringe acts.   And one of those budding stage stars was today's Laugh Track guest, Ocean Denham.

Ocean's back home now, about to hit the Fringe circuit here with her show No I'm not Australian.   Ocean Denham's Laugh Track picks include Jon Richardson, Urzuila Carlson, Melanie Bracewell and Michael McIntyre.

Ocean performs her show No I'm Not Australian on the 5th and 6th of March at The Thirsty Dog as part of the Auckland Fringe Festival.  


2:25  Sculptor Chris Booth is taking it to Western Australia - remotely

It's a one-tonne scultpure made from macrocarpa veneer, and inspired by the fungi coral.  And it's New Zealand sculptor Chris Booth's creation for Western Australia's Sculpture by the Sea at Cottesloe Beach this year.

Had Covid not intervened, Chris would be there in person assembling his large and complicated four-metre wide work called 'Laminae'.

Instead he's had to send over detailed instructions for the team there to assemble the piece.  It's made up of  200 or so thin rounded pieces of wood - they look like the gills under a mushroom - connected to an oval base.

Lynn Freeman spoke about it with Chris in Taumaranui, where he's collecting massive boulders - his usual art material of choice - for a new, 17-metre-high kinetic work.  The plan is it will move according to the nation's actions to combat climate change. 

Chris Booth is invited as the Tourism Western Australia International Artist for Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe.  It starts on the 5th of March in Western Australia.   

2:37 Dunedin art in unexpected spaces

Off The Ground is a new project that's given Dunedin events stymied by the pandemic the funding they need to proceed.

It's supported by the Dunedin Dream Brokerage, which encourages art in unconventional and often abandoned spaces.

Off The Ground has picked four submissions, all very different but all interactive.

In "Caffenol Cafe", visitors to RDC Cafe will have their portraits photographed, with the negatives developed in a secret coffee solution.

"Basking" sees Madison Kelly invite people to paint tiles that will later create a safe space for lizards in their gardens. And "Tūwhana" is a storytelling mural made up of 3D objects, to be crafted by Māori artists on site in Princes Street..

Lynn Freeman speaks with Madison, and with Waiariki Parata-Taiapa who's involved with "Tūwhana".  And the Dunedin Dream Brokerage's Charlotte Parallel explains how Off the Ground worked:

2:49  A new play explores the Kiwi-Filipino experience  

Filipino-Kiwi playwright Kiya Basabas hopes her upcoming show will encourage more from her community to write their stories for the stage.

Potluck centres on three Filipino families who come together for a potluck dinner.  19 year old University student Lynda and her Pākehā boyfriend have a secret which makes it an anxious hour for them.

Identity, sacrifice and the immigrant experience are all themes explored in the play.

Lynn Freeman spoke to Kiya Basabas and to Fergielyn Catayoc who stars as Lynda.

Potluck premieres at Wellington's Gryphon Theatre on March the 9th as part of the New Zealand Fringe Festival.


3:06 Drama at 3 -  Two Fish and a Scoop by Carl Nixon

Our classic drama this afternoon was first conceived as a short story, later developed into a drama, and has been described as “Romeo and Juliet set in an Asian fish and chip shop”.

When Jason starts work in the local fish and chip shop and begins to fall in love with the owner’s daughter, he has no idea how much opposition he will meet - from her father, his friends and even her!   A story of love, loyalty and fish and chips.   Eryn Wilson and Sonia Yee feature in Carl Nixon’s comedy drama, Two Fish and a Scoop.