The last New Zealand war took place in Auckland in 1979.

It lasted three minutes.

The Haka Party Incident resurrects the eventful day when a group of University of Auckland engineering students rehearsing their annual tradition of a mock haka are confronted by the activist group, He Taua.

The incident sent ripples through the nation and changed race relations in New Zealand

Crafted by film-maker and theatre director Katie Wolfe (The Mooncake and the Kumara, Waru, He Māngai Wāhine, Artefact), The Haka Party Incident is verbatim theatre that innovatively combines documentary and kapa haka to thrilling effect.

Provocative, resonant and unforgettable, The Haka Party Incident is a not-to-be-missed theatre event.

‘Masterfully brings to life a bold act of resistance…. intensely funny, to heartbreakingly sad in a single beat’


6pm-6.30pm Touch Tour
7.30pm Audio Described Performance

Audio Described performances provide a live audio commentary by passionate professionals from Audio Described Aotearoa Ltd as they describe the actions on stage. This commentary is relayed to blind and low-vision patrons via an earpiece which can be booked in advance. Touch Tours are held one and a half hours before the show. Patrons can walk through the set, touch props, feel costumes and familiarise themselves with visual and sensory materials in the performance.

To book a place on the Touch Tour and the audio described performance, email …

Creative Credits

Writer & Director: Katie Wolfe

Kaiako Kapa Haka / Kaitito Haka: Nīkau Balme
Sound Design & Musical Direction: Kingsley Spargo
Taonga Pūoro: Whetu Silver

Set Design: John Verryt
Lighting Design: Jo Kilgour
Costume Design: Alison Reid

Show Image: Sacha Stejko & Norm Heke

Performers: Roimata Fox, Nī Dekkers-Reihana, Lauren Gibson, Patrick Tafa, Aidan O’Malley, Kauri Williams

Presented by Kia Mau Festival and PANNZ


15 June

PG (13+) some coarse language


The Opera House
111-113 Manners Street
Te Aro


$55 A Res | Concession $50 | $40 Student Booked

$45 B Res | Concession $40 | $35 Student Booked

$35 C Res | Concession $30 | $25 Student Booked

$25 Student standby

Artist Statement nā Katie Wolfe

The Haka Party Incident was made to explore a lost Aotearoa story as a theatre documentary. The play explores the nation’s baptism of fire into addressing systemic racism. I wanted the audience to be unafraid to enter into this discourse. This was helped by the voices of the documentary participants. Young in 1979, they were not only authentic and passionate but also often matter of fact, refreshingly candid and funny. I wanted to use the medium of Kapa Haka, performed with astonishing excellence and beauty to make the point; ignoring cultural appropriation and disrespect does matter.

This student confrontation was the perfect story to extend the focus of much of my work, the intersection between Māori and Pākehā. I identify as Māori and was born and raised in my tribal region Taranaki, I also identify as Pākehā. As an artist, this sometimes unsettling meeting point between these two worlds, is something I feel and explore and is sharply
epitomized in The Haka Party Incident.

The Haka Party Incident has connected with audiences and this new visibility serves to highlight progress in contemporary Aotearoa. However, as we see all over the world, we still grapple with race relations, racism and systemic racism. It reminds us that racism is a continuum; it is founded in fear and we must always be vigilant to check our prejudice, face our fears.


The Haka Party Incident is supported by Creative New Zealand. Originally commissioned and produced by Auckland Theatre Company, original season co-presented by Auckland Festival.

By arrangement with Playmarket