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Director’s Background

Director’s Background

It is a lifetime of cultural experiences and a life immersed in Māori culture that lead me down the pathway of establishing a business based in Māori Arts and Culture. Under the guidance and skill of reknown ambassadors such as Dr Morvin Te Anatipa Simon, Sir Archie Taiaroa and my very own parents and whānau, extending out to Te Ātihaunui-ā-pāpārangi and Paerangi nui tonu, it is only within these great support networks that I stand here today. Networks that keep our people together from the ‘Mountain to the Sea’ binding together all reaches of the Whanganui River.

The establishment of BA Productions derived from a deep desire to see Māori succeed as Māori. One for ourselves as a family and two, for our people of the river. External regions such as Rotorua and Taupō have very successful Māori performing arts businesses and so the dream initially was to follow in the those footsteps.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t until I moved away from home that I began piecing the puzzles of this vision together. So in 2009, I moved down to Wellington on an invite to work with a youth group under the umbrella of the Ministry of Social Services called ‘Taiohi Morehu.’ We set up a roadshow crew that travelled the country using Māori Performing Arts and Drama as a vehicle to project out to the communities of our country that ‘Violence is not OK, but it is OK to ask for help!’ As we started getting our team ready I then began asking for help from my very own family, using my sisters Natasha Patea, Mama Patea and Merenia Nepia as support to liase with, regarding different aspects to the performances and even joining the team themselves. It was from here, that as a family we began to brew together ideas of establishing the same concept back home in Whanganui.

We decided to put our skills to the test. Between my brothers and sisters we used busking as a means to build up confidence in front of an audience and help engage those that were just walking by in to our world, the Māori World. It was then that we started to realise the value and potential of this aspect of our culture that we had been immersed in all of our lives. 

By mid 2010, we were ready to come home to Whanganui with the confidence to establish a Māori Performing Arts Organisation to help engage our own up and coming leaders of tomorrow in to this important aspect of our lives that we value so much.