Te Pou Theatre Website, Global

03/09/2020 - 06/09/2020

Kōanga Festival 2020

Production Details

It is 4000 years from now and only Māori survive, but why and how? Belz takes ridiculous theories of the past waaaaay into the future to reflect on today.

Released 3 September 2020 
Radio Play available on our Kōanga Festival Podcast


“I certify that the above is as literal a translation of the Treaty of Waitangi as the idiom of the language will admit of.” Henry Williams 

– Wow, right?

Inspired by this cover-note to the ‘first’ and worst attempt at lawful cohesion between Māori and Pākeha, six Māori playwrights present a collection of imaginative and satirical short plays.

WHYTANGI is a fun and cheeky bilingual collection that respond to this ratchet assessment of te reo Māori, the perils of translation, the impact of our treaty partnership and also – what would it be like if the tables were turned?!

This collection of short works, originally conceived for the stage will be presented in short digital theatre experiences, offering different opportunities to engage with theatre at a distance.

All Whytangi?? shows are free to watch and listen to. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Youtube to see all releases.

Theatre , Audio (podcast) ,

10 mins

Gotta love this upside-down colonialisation+genocide yarn

Review by Steve La Hood 05th Sep 2020

What if it was Māori who dunnit?  

What if they’re not the Chosen Ones (on-ess), but really nga kākano kino?  

And thousands of years later, they’re struggling to maintain control of the narrative…  

Because the Truth is a bit Shit, nei?  

Holy Winston!  

Gotta love this upside-down colonialisation+genocide yarn.

Love the archival flashback to 2035 outside Middlemore Hospital (too soon?)

I’ll be careful how I use ‘tuku (a)(na)’ as a verb from now on.

Alfred E Neumann lol

“Wot? Me Worry? I can blame it on my Tupuna… I mean it’s gotta be hundreds of grandfathers eh?”

[To decode this review, listen to this 14 minute audio play on – ed]


Make a comment

Packs a punch as we laugh out loud

Review by John Smythe 05th Sep 2020

Albert Belz has tossed a massive ‘what if?’ into the Whytangi?? (you know wai!!) pot with The Chosen Ones. “It is the year 4000,” a narrator intones. “The Earth has healed since the Great Virus of 2035 that wiped out almost all the planet except for Māori” – meaning all human life except for Māori.

Only now – having lived sustainably off the land for generations supported by the best of the ancient technologies – are Māori exploring beyond their known world and excavating the ruins of collapsed cities “to rediscover the planet that once was.” Paora (Tyler Wilson-Kokiri), Wepu (Tuakoi Ohia), Taina (Mataara Stokes) and Piwai (Manuka Luiten-Apirana) are at the forefront of the intrepid investigations.

A Holy Book has established their status as “God’s Chosen Ones” and “Holy Winston!” is their favoured exclamation. Replicating the way the colonisers of old mispronounced native languages, ‘ones’ is pronounced as a te reo word, as are the likes of ‘no’, ‘too’ and ‘spoke’, and ‘wh’ is often aspirated in words like ‘what’. Belz ‘turns the tables’ with a wit that gains a keener edge as his short sharp play proceeds.

Discoveries from the year 2000, involving an ancient device for writing, recording and communication, and including a Harry Potter book that is assumed to be factual history, lead to amusingly false conclusions about how teenagers lived all those millennia ago. But it’s a decoded 2035 disc that lifts the lid on past events that shock the questing quartet.

A live news report from outside Auckland’s Middlemore Hospital blends horror with wicked black comedy. As for the radical activist’s speech outside The Beehive in Wellington, and the conclusions that must be drawn from that … What is to be done with this new knowledge? Who gets to “control the narrative” – and how?

We can take this as a clever satirical sketch or as a provocation for a wider kōrerorero. Either way The Chosen Ones packs a punch as we laugh out loud.

Listen here


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council