March 13, 2016


PLAYMARKET is pleased to announce the ADAM NZ PLAY AWARD winner for 2016:  

Maraea Rakuraku for her play Tan-Knee. Maraea also received the awards for Best Play by a Māori Writer and Best Play by a Woman Writer.

The Adam NZ Play Award recognises and celebrates the best in new writing for the theatre.  

Director of Playmarket Murray Lynch announced the win at Circa Theatre on 13 March 2016 alongside four other special award winners.  

The first in a planned trilogy of plays, Tan-Knee is an impressive and gripping play about a Tūhoe family. Tu returns home to re-open a boxing gym but Taneatua (aka Tan-knee) isn’t as Tu remembers and not many in the town are that thrilled about his intrusion into their world. Yet, it provides welcome relief from the white vans parked up for days all over town, and the undercurrent of unsettling activity rumoured to be driven by Maori Sovereignty groups – Te Urewera Prophets aka the TameItis.

Rakuraku (Ngāti Kahungungu, Tūhoe) is a playwright, poet and broadcaster and is currently working on her first novel. She won the Chapman Tripp Theatre Award for Outstanding New Playwright for her first full length play, The Prospect in 2012.

Josephine Stewart-Tewhiu was named Runner Up for her play Sean Penn is in His Boat, a funny and compelling tale of middle-aged siblings dealing with the death of their mother the same week as the devastating Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

Suli Moa received the award for Best Play by a Pasifika Writer for 12th Round,in which Kiti, a young Tongan boxer on the rise to becoming NZ’s first heavyweight champion has just one more fight to show case and thank his loyal supporters before he embarks on a training opportunity in the US. 

Highly Commended was awarded to Steven Page for Fool to Cry, a comedy following the members of a committee organising the 150 year celebrations for Invercargill as they try to come to terms with the fact that the town was abused as ‘the arsehole of the world’ by the Rolling Stones when they toured there in 1965.Finnius Teppett was also awarded Highly Commended for My Dad’s Boy, about a young man’s relationship with his father and his own impending fatherhood. 

The Adam NZ Play Award, now in its ninth year, is the only one of its kind for new writing. Playmarket’s only entrance requirements are that the playwright be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident and that the play has not yet had a production.

The award is generously funded by the Adam Foundation. Playmarket is also very grateful for the support of Circa Theatre, and major funders: Foundation North and Creative New Zealand. 


Maraea Rakuraku for Tan-Knee

Runner-up: Josephine Stewart-Tewhiu for Sean Penn is in His Boat

Best Play by a Woman Playwright: Maraea Rakuraku for Tan-Knee

Best Play by a Māori Playwright: Maraea Rakuraku for Tan-Knee

Best Play by a Pasifika Playwright: Suli Moa for 12th Round

Highly Commended: Steven Page for Fool to Cry andFinnius Teppett for My Dad’s Boy

Other Finalists:

Te Pō by Carl Bland

The Atom Room by Philip Braithwaite

Lucky by Kip Chapman with James Milne, Sam Berkley and Chris Parker

The Politician’s Wife by Angie Farrow

The Vultures by Miria George

The Devil’s Half-Acre by Ralph McCubbin Howell

Anahera by Emma Kinane

Smiley by Tom McCrory

A Love Like Ours by Joseph Musaphia

Tumanāko by Olga Nikora

Ports of Auckland by Dean Parker

Scarlet & Gold by Lorae Parry

The Property Developer by Vivienne Plumb

Rogues and Vagabonds by Elspeth Sandys

Te Puhi by Cian Elyse White 

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