NUKU success on the horizon

By Jessica Tyson

You know an event is a success when more people turn up than expected - and that was the case last night at the NUKU launch in Auckland.

Organiser Qiane Matata-Sipu told Te Kāea she had booked the theatre at the Māngere Arts Centre for 230 seats but had extra people standing in the isles to celebrate NUKU, a creative storytelling series about “kickass indigenous women doing things differently”.

“It's really awesome to see so many people come to support the kaupapa and more importantly that this kaupapa resonates with them so much," she says.

Qiane Matata-Sipu launched NUKU last night. Source: Te Kāea

Last night Matata-Sipu launched the first 10 profiles of the 100 wāhine she plans to photograph and interview in podcast format.

"I'm so inspired by each and every one of them for different reasons," she says.

Leading Māori fashion designer Kiri Nathan and body-positive advocate Melissa Robinson-Cole of Ngāti Hine and Ngāti Kahu are included in the first profiles. 

“She talks a lot about her experience as a bigger woman who just doesn't care because she's beautiful- and she is," says Matata-Sipu, referring to Robinson-Cole.

"We've got Kiri Nathan who talks about her journey through her business and how her business has got to where she is today."

Taylor Aumea and her sister Natasha Aumea. Source: Te Kāea

Taylor Aumea was one of the interns who helped Matata-Sipu create the movie trailer of the first 10 wāhine, which was screened at the launch

“I get to meet all these amazing kick-ass indigenous women that we're profiling and it's been awesome.  It has been amazing creative project and I'm learning a lot along the way."

Her sister Natasha says the video trailer was her favourite part of the launch.

"That was really powerful because my sister was a part of making that video.  It was really special to witness and just seeing Qiane say her speech up the front was really moving."

NUKU launch. Source: Te Kāea

Matata-Sipu says she will reveal one profile per week on the NUKU website while she continues to work on the rest of the 90 profiles. 

However, she is looking for financial support to help fund the 90 other wāhine.

"To make the next 90 we really need some support so we're looking at anyone who can give a koha to help soonsor a profile."

To find out how to support NUKU visit here.