September 22, 2023

Kia ora Theatreview whanau,

We are delighted to announce a reo name for Theatreview: Te Whare Tapere Tirohanga Hou.

It is an honour to have been gifted this name by Rakauoteora Te Maipi QSM, known as Koro Don (Tuhoe, Te Aitanga a Mahaki, Te Arawa). Koro Don now resides on the Kapiti coast. He is widely recognised and respected across the motu for his wisdom and skills in oratory.

With a background in preschool education, Koro Don has also been Kaumatua of many organisations: Kāpiti District Council, Hora Te Pai Health Services, Tararua ki Paraparaumu Kohanga Reo, thirty six years on the pae tapu at Waikanae Marae as one of the Kaumatua. 

He has received many awards, including the Queen’s Service Medal in 2006, and in 2022 he received the Kāpiti Mayoral Award for his services as kaumatua to the Council. 

Whare Tapere
In his 1998 PHd thesis, Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal writes:

Whare Tapere are iwi-community ‘houses’ of storytelling, dance, music, puppets, games and other entertainments. They are a pre-European form whose origins reach back to ancient Polynesia. From about the 12th to the 19th century, whare tapere were a feature of iwi life throughout New Zealand. Almost every pā had one as, in their simplest form, a whare tapere is a collection of entertaining activities that took place next to a fire or under a large tree or upon open ground. At some pā, a building was created for the whare tapere but in most examples, no special structures or buildings were created. Instead, whare tapere took place in communal meeting houses and outdoors. Whare tapere were community houses, they were for everybody. There were no particular rituals and sacredness attached to whare tapere. Rather they were places where the community could meet together and enjoy themselves.

Tirohanga relates to viewpoint, sight, investigation, optics.

Hou is the linguistic modifier that deems the noun (tirohanga) to be new, recent, modern, fresh.


Arohanui Koro Don.

The Theatreview Trust would also like to thank:

  • Sally Thorburn for facilitating the evolution of Te Whare Tapere Tirohanga Hou and compiling the breakdown above, and
  • Michael Smythe for interacting with Trustees and incorporating it as ‘a warm cloak’ in this latest iteration of the logos he has designed for Theatreview since its inception.

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