The 2 performers from Hatupatu Kurungaituku looking at the camera, one of them hangs from the ceiling.

The FNZ season of Hatupatu | Kurungaituku: A forbidden love

  • Venue

    Tāwhiri Warehouse

  • Website


Based on the Te Arawa legend of Hatupatu and the bird woman Kurungaituku, this epic production takes to the air. Using gravity-defying choreography, be transported to the forests and geothermal landscape of Rotorua.

Award-winning artistic director and aerialist Tānemahuta Gray recreates the bird realm in this work. Follow the journey of young warrior Hatupatu as he encounters Kurungaituku who ensnares him in her cave. Expect an extraordinary story of love, betrayal, and sacrifice as Hatupatu struggles to fulfil his destiny.

Brought to you by Wellington-based Taki Rua Productions, this is a contemporary Māori theatre experience. It combines breathtaking aerials, kapa haka, and an immersive multi-media set. It will open the Festival’s new venue, the Tāwhiri Warehouse in Newtown. The cavernous space behind Te Whaea National Dance and Drama Centre is the perfect setting for aerial theatre.

Since 1983, Taki Rua has been an arts industry leader. A creative rule breaker, it continually evolves the definition of Māori theatre. The company exists to connect the past and present and ensure Māori voices are heard worldwide.