May 9, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Puanga Kai Rau festival to launch world premiere Tatarakihi, the children of Parihaka

2 min read

This years Puanga Kai Rau festival at Parihaka will launch the new feature film Tatakarihi the children of Parihaka.

The film tells the modern day story of a journey of memory taken by a group of Taranaki children who travel to the South Island in honour of their Parihaka ancestors who were wrongfully incarcerated following the Taranaki land wars of the 1860s.

Award winning film makers Paora Joseph and Gaylene Preston describe the film as a powerful and compelling story of remembrance. They said, The film is not only a Parihaka story but a nations story a story that will take the visionary teachings of Taranaki prophets Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kakahi and the Parihaka story to the world.

The world premiere of the film celebrates the rise of the constellation ‘Puanga, also known as Rigel, which appears in the north eastern sky in late May or early June. Puanga is celebrated by Maori tribes including Taranaki and Whanganui.

Parihaka Kuia and local radio host Maata Wharehoka said, Puanga is the beginning of the Maori New Year and it heralds in change to the land and the environment. She said, When Puanga comes up from Parihaka it has the most prestigious position according to the maunga (mountain).

For the first time Puanga festival activities will be held on the Parihaka Pa. Visitors can also participate in helping to prepare the garden for harvest.

South Taranaki Mayor Ross Dunlop said, Its obviously very important to remember what happened at Parihaka. He said, Parihaka was a leader in non violent protests that was the first place in the world to take that approach.

Families, locals and visitors to Taranaki can enjoy the film and celebrations amongst the food stalls and performances by local musicians and learn more about Maori traditions and customs.

Mayor Ross Dunlop said the Puanga Kai Rau festival is really worthwhile in a special place in Taranaki. He said he would love people to come and support the event.

The Puanga festival 2012 is organised by Maori events company Tihi Ltd and made possible through the support of Creative New Zealand, Te Puni K?kiri, The Film Archive and Parihaka Pa.

To find out more about the Puanga Kai Rau festival visit the website

For all media enquiries contact Helena Bethune on 021 250 8355


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