Bruce Mason Centre: The Way of the Raukura – A Parihaka Musical

Date: May 18th, 2023 - May 20th, 2023

Where: Bruce Mason Centre

An extraordinary true story of courage, loss and hope

Following a sold-out debut season, The Way of the Raukura is an original NZ/Aotearoa stage musical about the 1881 Crown-led invasion of Parihaka. It features an outstanding array of Māori and Pākehā actor-singers from across Auckland, with high-level experience in performing arts.

The Way of the Raukura is co-written and co-directed by Steve Worsley (nō Taranaki ahau), who wrote the script and score, and Sarah Tahere (ko ngati raukawa me ngati toa Rangatira oku iwi), whose song, ‘Under the Mountain’ sparked the vision for the show. Sarah’s background in creative arts and Māori culture, along with her ancestral link to Parihaka, combine with Steve’s background as a former concert pianist with a passion for stories of justice and grace, in this dramatic retelling of the Parihaka story. The Way of the Raukura features a seven-piece live band, traversing contemporary styles (soul, jazz, ballad), and traditional cultural sounds.

In its 2020 debut season, The Way of the Raukura was described as ‘heart-wrenching’ and as ‘a powerful production that should be shown all over the whenua to enhance our understanding of Aotearoa’s history’. Secondary school students who attended labelled it ‘the highlight of the year.’


… with engaging characters, climactic events and an evocative set. The Way of the Raukura follows the fortunes of two historical characters (Samuel Crombie Brown and Wiremu Hiroki) who come to Parihaka just prior to the invasion. What happens when a wanted criminal seeks refuge in a pacifist village? What happens when a news reporter breaks a government media ban? And what happens when an army of 1,600 marches on Parihaka?

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