A Waka Odyssey

Wellington is Ready to Welcome Waka

21 February 2018

Excitement builds for Kupe: Festival Opening Night, Part One of A Waka Odyssey. It's a story of unity, peace and of belonging and is the perfect way to open three weeks of world-class theatre, dance, music, art and writing. Hear more from New Zealand Festival Artistic Director Shelagh Magadza. 

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The scale of A Waka Odyssey is something that Artistic Director Shelagh Magadza believes is a New Zealand Festival first.

“Over a thousand people are involved in this production. From the creative team to the kapa haka organisations, choirs, iwi, voyagers, celestial navigators, schools, musicians and the technical crew everyone is invested in making sure this show is something special and spectacular.”

The epic project, a celebration of our Pacific past and future, has been in development for more than two years. “Working with the creative team of Anna Marbrook, Hotu Barclay-Kerr and Kasia Pole has been a huge pleasure. The scale of the vision and their commitment to ensuring everyone is on board the waka is a testament to both the mana they have and their professionalism”.

A Waka Odyssey is a story of unity, peace and of belonging and it is the perfect way to open three weeks of world-class theatre, dance, music, art and writing.

Please join us on Wellington's Waterfront, Taranaki Wharf at 7pm on Friday 23 February for the spectacular theatrical extravaganza Kupe: Festival Opening Night.


Each day, starting  1 February 2018, we will share new videos and stories online so you too can join the journey in the lead up to the start of A Waka Odyssey, 23 Feb – 4 March 2018. Be part of the story via our website festival.co.nz/waka, on the New Zealand Festival's Facebook and Instagram pages, or using the hashtags #NZWaka and #NZFestival. 


Join in A Waka Odyssey celebrations at the spectacular theatrical extravaganza KupeFestival opening night set on Wellington's waterfront; the Kupe Landing: Petone Family Day – a fun beach party for all the whānau; and the Kupe Dreaming series of waka-themed community events and activities. 

Haere mai - Come on board. 

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