View all Events
Go to Show information
The Performing Arts Network of New Zealand presents 'UPU' 
“Come home to the sea. She has a big heart: she adopts anyone who loves her.” – Our Sea of Islands, Epeli Hau’ofa

The world of Oceania is not small. From the energetic volcanoes of O’ahu to the southern reaches of Aotearoa, she is borderless and vast – and growing bigger by the day. After decades of dismissal and disconnection, her children are closer than ever. It’s time for a reunion.

Following critical acclaim as a major new production for Silo Theatre in the 2020 Auckland International Arts festival, and a sell- out season in Wellington at the Kia Mau First Nations Festival in June 2021, the wealth and power of Māori and Pasifika literature is brought to roaring theatrical life in Upu.

Curated by award-winning poet Grace Iwashita-Taylor and led by powerhouse director Fasitua Amosa, this show gives the stage to Oceania’s most electrifying poetry. Ben Brown, Karlo Mila, Albert Wendt and more: Upu is for the trailblazers, the icons and the new writers transforming Aotearoa today.

Borders disappear and for just over an hour, the theatre becomes a sea of Islands. Be transported across an ocean to hear the voices dealing with colonisation, family, climate change, love, sex, religion, power and tourists.

Performed by a stellar cast of the some of the best Polynesian actors in Aotearoa, “this show is pure oratory and storytelling at its finest.”

Performers ‒ Maiava Nathaniel Lees, Mia Blake, Ana Corbett, Shadon Meredith, James Maeva, Nicola Kawana and Gaby Solomona
Curator ‒ Grace Iwashita-Taylor
Director ‒ Fasitua Amosa
Set Design ‒ Michael McCabe
Light and Projection Design ‒ Rowan Pierce
Soundscape Design / Original Composition – ‘Anonymouz’, aka Faiumu Matthew Salapu
Costume Design ‒ Kristin Seth
Artist / Projection Mamanu Design ‒ Tyla Vaeau
Movement / Choreographer ‒ Joash Fahitua

Best Director & Best Sound Design, Wellington Theatre Awards, 2021 
Recommended for ages 15+. Contains strong language and adult themes.
Produced by UPU Collective and presented as part of the PANNZ (Performing Arts Network of New Zealand) touring programme with support from Creative New Zealand.
PANNZ are delighted to be partnering once again with Audio Described Aotearoa, supported by Manatū Taonga Ministry of Culture and Heritage, to offer touch tours and audio described (AD) performances of UPU for the low vision community in Taranaki, Rotorua, Tauranga and the Hawke’s Bay. 
Hawke’s Bay, Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival
Venue: Opera House, Toitoi Hawke's Bay Arts & Events Centre
Date: Saturday, 28 October
Time: 6pm Touch Tour, 7pm Performance
Performance duration: 60 minutes (no interval)
Tickets from $25 (A complimentary companion ticket is available when booking.)
To Book Audio Described Tickets:  Phone Toitoi Hawke's Bay Arts & Events Centre box office on 06 877 9600. or email

Join Us