Explosive series screens on Māori TV

By Ripeka Timutimu

The director of an explosive new series on Māori Television says language and culture were the most important pillars in creating the series. Rangi Rangitukunoa directed Kairākau which depicts stories of Māori warriors from the past.

It's been a labour of love for Rangi Rangitukunoa for the last nine months. Now that work has come to fruition.

“The difference between this show and others is that it is entirely about the Māori world, the language, Tūmatauenga and acting. More importantly though, these are true stories, we didn't just make them up,” says director Rangitukunoa.

This week, the first episode of Kairākau went to air on Māori Television. Kairākau celebrates the stories of Māori warriors.

Rangitukunoa says the inspiration started at wānanga, “When I was growing up, I attended wānanga on Mokoia under the tutorship of Koro Mita. It sparked in me an interest for our ancestors, those that had fought, and those that had traversed our land.”

It wasn't an easy journey, instead there were many pitfalls along the way.

“Sometimes we would only have three days to shoot an episode. It was challenging because we had never done anything like this before,” says Rangitukunoa.

But Rangitukunoa was up for the challenge.

“As Māori, we should stand proud in telling our stories. Some people might think this programme is just about fighting, but actually it's also about our ancestors and bringing their stories back to life,” says Rangitukunoa.

Kairākau will screen on Māori Television every Wednesday for the next eight weeks.