Real Life Police Shooting of Bystander Inspires New Play
A timely new play in Auckland is taking a hard look at a difficult subject. Officer 27, by award-winning playwright Aroha Awarau, is a fictional take on the accidental shooting in 2009 of Auckland man Halatau Naitoko by members of the police Armed Offenders Squad. In Aroha's reworking, Niuean mother Tulia's grief for the son she has lost has overtaken her life. She believes the only way she can achieve closure is to meet with the officer responsible for killing her boy. Justin Gregory meets with Aroha Awarau to talk about fiction versus fact in drama and to ask what responsibility Aroha might owe to the real victims in this story.