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Playmarket Metro Theatre Playreading Series

Albert Belz


The Playmarket Metro Theatre Playreading Series kicks off on April 15th with a reading of Awhi Tapu written by celebrated playwright Albert Belz and directed by Rawiri Paratene (Whale Rider).

This series of play readings, held at Metro Theatre (Mangere East Hall), celebrates the enormous talent of Maori and Pacific writers, actors and practitioners that reside or work in Manukau City.

Group Manager of Manukau Arts, Leisa Siteine, says that the Manukau City Council is proud to support such an exciting project within the community. ‘Our city is home to a wide range of people with stories, experiences, traditions and ideas to share; these readings give writers a chance to share their stories and the community a chance to listen to them.’

Established and emerging playwrights share their work with Manukau audiences, recognising the high quality and incredible talent coming out of Manukau City and encouraging new voices to step centre stage.

Ahwi Tapu is a powerful play set at the foot of the Urewera Ranges, a desolate forestry village. With the forestry industry closed down, the people of Awhi Tapu have left. Wendyl, Sonny, Casper and Girl Girl have only each other to rely on. Awhi Tapu is a story of loss and belonging but most of all, friendship.

For Albert Belz, Awhi Tapu was the work that put him on the map, hailing his arrival as a force to be reckoned with in the New Zealand Theatre scene. It was first produced in 2003 by Taki Rua Productions and nominated for Best New New Zealand play at the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards, New Zealand’s premier theatre awards. Awhi Tapu has toured throughout New Zealand and been published by The Play Press. 

Belz had this to say about the PLAYREADING SERIES

“As a writer who has spent most of his life living in Manukau I am well aware of the huge amount of artistic endeavour and potential that brims within the region in all forms of the art…. I know from my own experience that I had to hunt for opportunities outside of Manukau city in order to launch my career as a professional writer. I’m certain that encouraging local writers to develop and produce their works within Manukau City can only be a very good thing for all theatre practitioners of the Auckland art scene.”

Playmarket, with the support of Creative Communities Manukau, Toi o Manukau and Manukau City Council, is pleased to launch the Playmarket Metro Theatre Playreading Series.

Thursday April 15

6.30pm – 9.00pm

METRO THEATRE (Mangere East Hall) , 362 Massey Road, Mangere East


Awhi Tapu

By Albert Belz

Directed by Rawiri Paratene


Further information: 


Maori & Pacific Playwright Development Coordinator


09 3652648

Contact details:

Written by

Jenni Heka

1 Apr 2010