Te Aro Pā Poets
Rachel Buchanan, Debbie Broughton, Hana Buchanan
(Te Aro Pā)
21 February 2024, 6.30PM
One hour of poetry read by a group of poets who proudly whakapapa to Ngāti Haumia, a hapū of Taranaki Iwi - performed on a specially dressed stage for The Performance Arcade 2024 opening night.
This performance illuminates the profound journey undertaken by their ancestors in the 1800s migrating to Te Aro Pā, the very location of The Performance Arcade. Their arrival at Te Aro Pā marked the beginning of a new chapter in their shared history: fleeing the turmoil of war in Taranaki, they sought refuge, only to face forced displacement from Te Aro Pā as Wellington City burgeoned around them. As descendants of these resilient tūpuna, these poets delve into the contemporary implications of being mana whenua.
The poetry explores the multifaceted nature of identity, delving into what it means to be
mana whenua and descendants of the tūpuna who established their lives at Te Aro Pā.
Through their verses, the Te Aro Pā Poets will navigate the complexities of their heritage, the repercussions of historical events, and the profound sense of belonging that defines them as Ngāti Haumia.
Te Aro Pā Poets descend from tūpuna of Te Aro Pā. They are contemporary voices, part of a long line of Taranaki writers and artists with something to say on their tūrangawaewae—which includes where the Performance Arcade is based—here in the capital city.
Debbie Broughton (Taranaki Iwi, Te Aitanga a Hauiti, Ngāti Porou, Ngāpuhi) is the
author of the poetry collection The Ani Waaka Room (Te Tākupu Press; 2022). She has
a Masters in Māori Laws and Philosophy from Te Wānanga o Raukawa, which informs
her writing about the awesomeness of her ancestors, the realities of whānau life, and
how the big picture impacts on the little.
Hana Buchanan (Ngati Haumia, Taranaki, Te Atiawa) has long been interested in
words, sounds and language and has a background in linguistics and education. As
she has committed to the endless journey of reclaiming tōna reo rangatira me ōna
tikanga new avenues of expression have opened up. Hana responds and
collaborates through writing toikupu and poetry, contributing pao and composing
Rachel Buchanan (Ngāti Haumia, Taranaki, Te Ātiawa) writes poems, essays, articles,
speeches and books. Rachel’s new book, Te Motunui Epa, was published by BWB
Books in November 2022. Te Motunui Epa was the joint winner of the Ernest Scott
Prize. Rachel is also the author of The Parihaka Album: Lest We Forget (Huia), Stop
Press: the last days of newspapers (Scribe) and Ko Taranaki Te
Maunga (BWB Texts).
Image Credit: Neil Price