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Kia Mau Festival 2021



Fri 04 Jun 2021, 09:00 am


Te Whanganui-a-Tara


Arts Culture, Maori Art, Theatre, Performing Arts, Festivals Arts, Pasifika Art, Wellington Region

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Ko te reo Māori, kia mau is a call to hold fast. Kia Mau is about us all. Here. Now.

Kia Mau Festival is a contemporary Indigenous live performance experience that returns this year, June 2021 – to Te Ūpoko o Te Ika a Maui.

The inaugural Kia Mau Festival was held in 2015 and was presented annually until 2019. Due to the rapid growth and expansion, Kia Mau was moved to be presented biennially, with the festival returning to the Wellington region this June.

Founded by multi-awarded winning senior artist, Hone Kouka MNZM, and with very few Māori, Pasifika theatre and dance companies and their work being presented on mainstages and in festivals throughout Wellington; Hone worked directly to address this vast gap in the arts landscape.

In 2015, utilising his relationships with Wellington based venues and companies, Hone created the very first incarnation of Kia Mau Festival (originally called Ahi Kaa Festival). Over three weeks, Ahi Kaa Festival featured six productions presented by six Māori companies including White Face Crew, Tawata Productions, Hāpai Productions, Modern Māori Quartet, Taki Rua Productions and Tikapa Productions.

“vital and exciting… perhaps the country’s best annual celebration of theatre”  - THE PANTOGRAPH PUNCH

Originally presented only in Wellington City, Kia Mau Festival grew throughout the wider Wellington region. Featuring artists from throughout Te Ūpoko o te Ika a Maui, by 2019, Kia Mau Festival presented Māori, Pasifika and international Indigenous productions in Ōtaki, Paekākāriki, Porirua, Stokes Valley, Upper Hutt, Lower Hutt and Wellington City.

In June 2021, you will see that our festival has continued to grow. From April, our programme will be shared to te ao marama over the coming month.

Nau mai, haramai! Nau mai, hoki mai ki a Kia Mau!


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