Te Papa: Soundings, Wellington

08/06/2021 - 08/06/2021

Te Pou Theatre, 44a Portage Road, New Lynn, Auckland

06/09/2017 - 09/09/2017

Te Pou Tokomanawa Theatre, Corban Art Estate Centre, 2 Mount Lebanon Ln, Henderson, Auckland

16/04/2021 - 24/04/2021

Kia Mau Festival 2021

Production Details

Rawiri Paratene takes to the stage for his first ever one man show, PETER PAKA PARATENE, directed by Tainui Tukiwaho.

Accompanied by his musical mates “The Flash Fullas”, Rawiri shares yarns, song and poetry (some of his own; others of his choosing), inviting us to look through the round window at his life as an actor, an activist and a naughty taurekareka!

Te Pou Theatre 44A Portage Road, New Lynn
(Entrance off McWhirter Place)
Thursday 7 – Saturday 9 September 2017



Rawiri Paratene opens Te Pou Tokomanawa Theatre with his swan song season of PETER PAKA PARATENE – Ask Me Anything; a musical, cheeky look through the round window into Rawiri Paratene’s extraordinary life and career.

In a performance career spanning nearly 50 years, Rawiri Paratene (aka Peter David Broughton ONZM…. aka Paka) has graced the worlds stages and screens in iconic performances such as Koro in Whale Rider and his world tour of Shakespeares Globe to Globe.  After suffering a stroke in 2019 Paratene has decided to leave the worlds stage – but not before a final turn in the limelight.

In this intimate night, Rawiri shares his own poetry, songs and favourite classical works as he regales the audience with stories of the three distinct phases of his life; Peter, Paka and Paratene. From his youth during the urban shift from Hokianga to South Auckland, his early activism with Ngā Tamatoa, his often outrageous experiences in the heady rush of the coming of age of New Zealand performing arts and his later career that has taken him to perform in over 200 countries. 

“..if you’re a fan of this taonga aka our “national treasure” then this is the perfect opportunity to get to know Rāwiri Paratene’s inner thoughts and his extremely cheeky nature in a marvelously intimate setting.  Don’t miss it!” – Theatrescenes, 2017    

Te Pou Tokomanawa Theatre, Corban Art Estate Centre,
2 Mount Lebanon Ln, Henderson, Auckland
Friday 16th – Saturday 24th April 2021

Soundings Theatre, Museum of Te Papa Tongarewa, Te Aro, Wellington
08 June 2021
$20 – $35 
Buy Tickets 

Theatre , Solo ,

E te Rangatira Rawiri he mihi atu mo to mahi …

Review by Grace Ahipene Hoet 09th Jun 2021

“E te Rangatira a Rawiri Paratene tenei te mihi atu, he mihi arohanui ki a koe. Thank you Rawiri! Thank you for paving the way for my generation.” – Jenny May-Coffin on the Breakfast show. Perfectly said, the words still ring in my ears.  

Thank you Rawiri for all you have done, you have forged a pathway for all our mokopuna to follow. Thank you for being one of our unsung heroes who saved te reo Māori for our children to come. For being brave and uplifting Maori and inspiring many generations to follow their dreams of becoming the consummate artists.

Our beloved Rawiri Paratene, the charistmatic engaging maestro of the stage and screen: you are indeed our beloved icon and Aotearoa’s own National Living Treasure. Around the world, Globe to Globe you have inspired nations with life and Shakespeare.

Yes, you are indeed a legend, quick-witted and sharp, with a cheeky smile that hides a myriad of hard work and an intellect of a genius, and a loving and caring heart of a humble but proud Māori Father, a man from the Hokianga.

Peter Paka Paratene aka Peter David Broughton ONZM, aka household name Rawiri Paratene, our very own Grandfather, Father, Rangatira, actor, director, writer and teacher.

Peter – The whanau; Paka – the mahi; Paratene – Māoritanga

The cascade of photographs revealing moments of Rawiri’s life journeys instantaneously charms us as an audience. The phrase ‘a picture paints a thousand words’ truly conveys more effectively the essence of Rawiri’s legacy, letting us briefly glimpse the depth of his extraordinary life.

Who best to tautoko you on this revealing journey of Peter Paka Paratene – aka Lucky Man – than one of your besties John Gibson, another creative genius who beautifully guides and cajoles you and the audience along. What a perfect pairing!

Born in the Hokianga, schooled at Hilary College, Rawiri progressed on to be the first Māori to graduate from Toi Whakaari NZ Drama School in 1972. Paving the way for many Maori performers to follow.

At the same time he was an activist and led the Wellington branch of the Ngā Tamatoa movement, the Māori activist group that fought hard to promote Māori rights, fight racial discrimination and confronted injustices. In 1972 Rawiri was one of the members who help create the petition supporting the teaching of Māori language and culture in schools. The petition was hand-delivered to Parliament by Ngā Tamatoa members, including Rawiri.

From political stage to the well-trodden ‘boards’, TV and silver screen, Rawiri has lit up our theatres and screens over the last 50yrs with his engaging wordsmithery and mercurial acting ability.

Enchanting he was on Playschool, endearing he is on the stage and screen. Courageous he is tonight stepping out at Te Papa, after three strokes and having aphasia; the consummate artist, the consummate professional carries on.

I have a very special quote to share that could only come from your closest of loving whanau with all the aroha and grace that whanau can give: “Hey you Paka, time to quit.”

Enjoy life Maestro and know your legacy will continue on. Know that we are the lucky ones, the privileged ones to have watched you, worked with you, learnt from you and now feel super-humbled to be in your presence.

Rawiri Paratene the Generous Man who never forgets his friends, the beautiful tributes to Nancy Brunning, there she was onstage with you on your settee, Nan & Koro supporting and cushioning, forever sharing their manaakitanga.

E te Rangatira Rawiri he mihi atu mo to mahi, mo to aroha, mo to tautoko nga mihi arohanui ki a koe


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Ask the Paka Anything

Review by Sharu Delilkan 08th Sep 2017

Given the multitude of performance credits that Rāwiri Paratene has to his name, it’s almost unbelievable that this is his first solo show.  And yet, he very honestly says he agreed to do a solo show for the first time – if he could have a four-piece back up band!

Directed by Tainui Tukiwaho, Peter Paka Paratene does pretty much what it says on the tin — Ask Me Anything — and that’s exactly what the audience members were encouraged to do tonight.  And will be doing for the next two nights as Te Pou Theatre, part of the 2017 Koanga Festival.  The show gives the audience an unique opportunity to get to know Paratene more intimately as he shares yarns and works (some of his own, others of his choosing). [More


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Vivid stories from a relatable treasure

Review by Gabriel Faatau'uu Satiu 08th Sep 2017

Peter Paka Paratene is a one man show, written and performed by one of New Zealand’s treasures, Rawiri Paratene. The show is conversational, allowing the audience to interact by asking questions as it delves into the life and personal experiences of Paratene.

The set is simple – a couch and side table – providing a homely talk-show vibe. In the background, images of Paratene’s life journey are projected onto a screen. A band – four musicians who sing and play guitar, keyboards and drums – accompany Paratene.

The show is divided into three segments: Peter, Paka and Paratene, covering his childhood, mahi and his family.

The questions from the audience are engaging. Paratene’s eloquent response to each of them is one of the main features of the show. His ability to keep the audience engaged and delve into vivid stories from his past is genius. Having never seen it done so successfully in the past, this only reaffirms the calibre of Paratene’s experience and capability. We often forget that someone as successful as Paratene is human, so the interaction is humbling to see, making him relatable. 

Paratene also gives us snippets of his performance success, presenting us with a Hamlet monologue, a ‘pong’ (poem combined with song) and rap. Yes, he raps!

Being half his age, I’m most intrigued with his childhood life and the early stages of his career. I’m extremely thankful to Paratene for the path he has paved, creating opportunities for Māori and Pacific performing artists.

Overall, I thoroughly love Peter Paka Paratene and commend the genius thought behind it. The audience questions and interaction will vary each night, so I’m contemplating if I should return to watch him again and learn even more treasures to apply to my life. 


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