Hatupatu | Kurungaituku: A Forbidden Love

An immersive production combining breathtaking aerials, kapa haka and dance-theatre. Based on the Te Arawa kōrero of Hatupatu and the bird woman.

$35 - $69.95 (service fees may apply)
75 minutes, no interval
28 February - 2 March 2024
Wed 28 Feb, 7:30pm - 8:45pm
Thu 29 Feb, 12pm - 1:15pm
Thu 29 Feb, 7:30pm - 8:45pm
Fri 1 Mar, 6pm - 7:15pm
Fri 1 Mar, 9pm - 10:15pm
Sat 2 Mar, 6pm - 7:15pm
Sat 2 Mar, 9pm - 10:15pm

Hatupatu | Kurungaituku : A Forbidden Love is a story of survival and love between the young Te Arawa warrior Hatupatu and the unique bird woman that is Kurungaituku.

Combining breathtaking aerials, kapa haka and an immersive multi-media performance environment, the predominantly standing audience will experience the bird realm flying over the audience’s heads; led by the omnipresent Kurungaituku. In a De La Guarda-inspired immersive environment, Artistic Director Tānemahuta Gray; (Māui – One Man Against The Gods, Tiki Taane Mahuta), brings his experience performing with this world-leading aerial theatre company, to share this unique performance genre with New Zealand audiences nationwide. Tānemahuta joins forces with Wētini Mītai-Ngātai, leader of the two-time Te Mataini winning national kapa haka rōpū Te Mātārae i Ōrehu to present a contemporary Māori theatrical experience you will not want to miss.

About the show: 

Hatupatu is murdered by his brothers for stealing the rich stores of kereru. He comes back to life to avenge his mistreatment and death at the hands of his brothers. On his way home, Hatupatu encounters the mythical bird woman, Kurungaituku, who ensnares him in her cave. An extraordinary love develops; but when Kurungaituku leaves Hatupatu alone in the cave to seek food for her beloved, he steals her treasured taonga and ransacks her home in the process. She chases him across the Te Arawa terrain and sacrifices herself to save him from the scorching mud pools and geysers of Whakarewarewa, leaving Hatupatu to return home to fulfill his destiny as a leader of his people.

Based on the Te Arawa iwi kōrero of Hatupatu and the bird woman, this thrilling aerial production by Taki Rua will envelop you in an immersive multi-media experience that evokes the forests and thermal forces of Rotorua. 

Brought to you by Taki Rua Productions. 

About the director and production company: 

Currently celebrating its 40th year, Taki Rua Productions is one of the longest-running kaupapa Māori theatre companies in Aotearoa, producing and developing theatre works through a distinctively Māori lens and contributing to the narrative of theatre and te whare tapere. Past main bill productions include Tiki Taane Mahuta, Michael James Manaia and Strange Resting Places.

Presented by: 
Taki Rua Productions in association with Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts (ANZFA)

Creative Team: 
Tānemahuta Gray - Artistic Director and Writer
Wētini Mītai-Ngātai - Kapa Haka lyrics and choreography
John Verryt - Set Design
Elizabeth Whiting - Costume Design
Paddy Free - Composer
Jo Kilgour - Lighting Design
Delainy Kennedy & Rachel Neser (Artificial Imagination) - AV Design

Principal Government Partner: 
Te Manatū Taonga - Ministry of Culture & Heritage

FNZ (naming rights sponsor) 
Creative New Zealand 
Wellington City Council

Audience Warnings: 
Haze, smoke, strobe and aerialists flying above the audience's heads.

Please note: the majority of the audience stands for the entirety of the production, but there is limited seating availability for those who can't stand for the 75 minute duration production. 

Age Restriction: 10 years and above. Children must be accompanied by an adult. 

  • 12 - 16 December 2023

    Christ! What a Night!

    A festive treat brought to you by internet and comedy superstars Chris Parker and Tom Sainsbury. A festive retelling of the nativity story which is sure to make the yuletide just that little bit more gay.
  • 8 - 10 March 2024


    Unable to sleep, a child goes on an imaginary adventure to explore what dreams are made of. A beautifully crafted show from family theatre experts Patch Theatre.
  • 8 - 9 March 2024

    Open Stage: Not King Lear

    Shakespeare’s classic tale of family strife, devised and performed by members of the Hobson Street Theatre Company and told through the lived experience of those who know something about homelessness.
  • 14 - 17 March 2024

    In the Name of the Son – The Gerry Conlon Story

    What would you do if you received over £1 million pounds, became the subject of a hit movie, went to the Oscars and got to hang out with Daniel Day-Lewis?