Te Waka Huia

TWH Panel Image


Sunday, 17th September 2017

Venue:  Plaza

Duration:  70 mins (no interval)

Tickets:  $20.00 Adults; $15.00 Sen Citz/

Students (18 yrs & under)/Children






Te Waka Huia


A new play

written by:  Naomi Bartley   directed by:  Chris Molloy

A bus crash.  A love story.  

An unlikely place to call home.


“There’s no place like home.  But if everyone leaves and the place is empty . . . is it still home then?”


Te Waka Huia is a play inspired by the 1963 Brynderwyn bus crash.  It is a fictional tribute to those who died in NZ’s worst road accident, and to those who have lived with the loss ever since.

The play takes place in the present day.  Pahi – accompanied by his ghosts -  is the sometime resident of a derelict bus in an abandoned paddock on the outskirts of small town Helensville.  When two teenagers move in, drawn by their own sense of homelessness, Pahi’s tangled worlds of past and present collide.  As his secrets unravel, and the threat of losing the bus becomes clear, the three discover a truth: whatever it looks like, home is worth fighting for.


Director Chris Molloy

Chris Molloy is an award winning writer, director and actor. A creative entrepreneur that has spent the last 7 years residing in and working within the South Auckland arts community and national Maori lead arts organisations, as a freelance producer, arts manager, writer, director, actor, musician and educator, specialising in Maori and pacific theatre, film and TV.


Playwright Naomi Bartley

Naomi Bartley is a theatre practitioner with a focus on meaningful community theatre.  After spending 6 years overseas in a touring repertory theatre company, she returned to New Zealand and settled in Helensville where she continued her passion for theatre in a local context. In 2010 she attained her MA Drama Studies from Auckland University, and was shortlisted in Playmarket’s, “Plays for the Young” competition with her transpositional play, based on Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex. Her latest play-writing endeavour, Te Waka Huia, is a work dedicated to the process of healing, and bringing to public attention a little known, but hugely impacting event – the 1963 Brynderwyn bus crash, which remains New Zealand’s worst road tragedy.


Preview here

Visit:  https://www.facebook.com/TeWakaHuiaTheatre/


NZ Herald article


Radio NZ interview


www.stuff.co.nz article




“We knew nothing of this tragedy until seeing the play, and it really highlighted a historically important event. We felt Naomi dealt with the subject with great empathy and care. The acting by the 4 readers was marvellous, and really brought the characters to life.  It  showed how an event such as this impacted people in differing walks of life. We felt privileged to view this reading and I think it crystallised the loss and grief that many people felt.”

-          Nicholas Ward, Helensville

“As one who is not so much into the performing arts, nor movies, I still found myself captivated by the Te Waka Huia reading. It was clearly a very “simple performance” compared to a full blown play yet it reflected a deep, cleverly written story line that held a wonderful balance of meaningfulness and well scripted humour…both informative and entertaining as it cut to the heart.”

-          Geoff Smith, Waimauku

“My wife and I attended the reading of Te Waka Huia and were extremely impressed by not only the performance itself, but the brilliant way the play had been written to help raise awareness of the tragic events that occurred in February 1963 and help a community continue to grieve those lost. The play was sensitive to the whanau involved; rich with metaphor; creatively written; evoked a wonderful array of emotion; and will no doubt go a long way to help the community heal after such tragic loss. I cannot endorse it highly enough!”

-          Samuel Schuurman, Kumeu


Theatre Scenes Review





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