14 Nov 2014

Play to explore push for Maori bishop

8:22 am on 14 November 2014

An award-winning Maori playwright says his next project will explore the push from Catholic tangata whenua for a Maori bishop.

The piece by Tamaki Makaurau-based writer Aroha Awarau follows two friends from a Maori boarding school competing against one another for a place in the clergy.

Mr Awarau said the play would be fictional, but draws on his memories growing up in a Catholic household and attending passionate hui where the topic was discussed.

He said the work would combine tribal and religious politics to highlight a significant time for the Catholics pushing for a Maori bishop - but could take a couple of years before it's ready for the stage.

The first Maori bishop, Max Mariu, was ordained in 1988 and died in 2005.