Production will soon begin on the third season of Kairākau, a Māori language TV series set in pre-European times. It's a show about inter-tribal warfare from a Māori perspective.
Producer Wētini Mītai-Ngātai, who choreographs its fight scenes, says battles fought in the Hawke's Bay region will be its focus this time around.
For the first two series, the focus centred on stories from the Bay of Planty region. In its debut episode, Kairākau tells of Tūnohopu from Te Arawa, after an ambush by a Tūwharetoa war party sees the capture of his son and brother.
For series three, the story centres on the musket wars and the invasion of Ngāti Kahungunu by central North Island tribes in the 1830s at Kaiuku pā, and Te Roto ā-Tara.
Stories from Hawkes Bay the focus for Kairākau's third season.
In 1832 Kaiuku was besieged by a combined force of Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Waikato, Te Arawa, and Tūhoe, armed with muskets. After three months the defenders had exhausted all their food and resorted to sucking on uku, a white soapy clay. Hence the place was given the name Kaiuku, ‘to eat clay’.
"There were three iwi involved in the battles in Rangitāne - Ngāti Kahungunu, Raukawa, Tūwharetoa."
Wetini choreographs the fight scenes and for this series of Kairākau, he'll be training a stunt team.
"We are looking for 10. Their main job is the weaponry aspect. But some may get roles as actors. Apart from that, what we are looking for is those that are adept at fighting, that know how to use weaponry."