From reo Māori broadcaster to 'Heavenly Body'

By Te Ao - Māori News

Matiu Hamuera, Te Ao Tūroa me Te Ao Hurihuri.

This weekend Māori TV's newest presenter Matiu Hamuera takes Auckland's Civic Theatre stage in Heavenly Bodies.

Heavenly Bodies is a cabaret adventure of stardusted aerialists, acrobatics, and boylesque dancers exploring passion, desire, and beauty.

"Ko te mea tino pai mo tēnei whakaaturanga ko te nekehanga o Tāmaki Makaurau ki te ohiti tuatahi, ka taea e tēnei whakaaturanga ki te tū ki te atamira anō."

(The best thing for this show is that Auckland has moved to Alert Level 1 and now the show can be performed on the stage).

Shows across the supercity were eagerly waiting for the Prime Minister's Covid-19 levels announcement on Friday, and with the change back to level 1 the city has erupted with life again.

Matiu Hamuera (second from the left) in Heavenly Bodies, Auckland Arts Festival / credit Amarbir Singh.

Hamuera has travelled the world dancing in various contemporary Māori productions with Atamira Dance Company.

Growing up on Te Paipaiouru Marae in Ōhinemutu, Hamuera comes from a long-line of Māori leaders, artists and kapa haka legends like his great-grandfather Hamuera Mitchell - who not only helped shape kapa haka in Aotearoa, but also gifted many waiata and kōrero that are still treasured within Te Arawa and Te Ao Māori today.

Hamuera has evolved his passion for kapa haka and dance to work with internationally acclaimed Māori artists such as Lisa Reihana and Shona Tawhiao.

Matiu Hamuera in Woven Histories by Shona Tawhiao.

Dancing and te reo

Hamuera is fresh to broadcasting and has stepped away from being an internationally sought after dancer to grow his passion for te reo Māori.

"He uaua ēnei mahi, he tino kōkirikiri ēnei mahi, he wero te mahi engari tino rata au ki ēnei momo mahi, he pai ēnei mahi ki a au nā te mea ka taea e au te kōrero i te reo Māori ia rā, ia rā, ka whakapakari ake i taku reo Māori."

(This kind of work is tough, it moves rapidly, it's a challenge but I like it because I get to speak Māori every day, and I am strengthen my fluency in the Māori language.)

Luckily, Hamuera has found some projects he can do when he's not in front of the camera.

"Mōku ake, ko te whakataki he mahi pai ki a au mō te wā nei, nā te mea he mahi hou ki a au. Ko te mahi kanikani te mahi mō taku oranga katoa. Nō reira, ko tērā toku pou tokomanawa."

(For me, being a presenter is really cool because it's new to me. Dancing is what gives me life, it is the central pillar of my being).

Hamuera presents short form news bulletins for Te Ao Tūroa and Te Ao Hurihuri which air online throughout the day Monday to Friday.

His next dance project is called Coco for Rococo II which is set to take the stage at the Splore Festival in Tāpapakanga from March 26-28.