Actor Rawiri Paratene reflects on how the industry has changed for Māori over his almost 50-year career

Acting great Rawiri Paratene has reflected how the landscape has changed for Māori and Pacific actors over his long career as he prepares to front a bi-lingual kids’ stage show that will tell Māori myths as well as fairy tales like The Ugly Duckling.

Mr Paratene said when he started in the industry almost 50 years ago there was four Māori actors.

“When I started a long time ago, almost 50 years ago now, there was really no industry let alone a Māori segment of that industry,” he told TVNZ1’s Breakfast.

“There were very few Māori women, the Māori men that I can remember at that time were George Henare, Don Selwyn, Jim Moriarty and me and I was young.”

In the almost half a century since, the industry has exploded with Māori actors and directors now global stars.

“The industry has just gone crazy and now Māori and Pasifika actors have more of an opportunity to make it big on the world stage than any others,” he said.

“That’s proven time and again by the people that do, Taika (Waititi), Cliff (Curtis) and so on.”

After starring in acclaimed films like Footrot Flats and Whale Rider, Mr Paratene has enjoyed a stage career that has taken him around the world.

He was the only Kiwi actor among an international cast who travelled to 196 countries with The Globe Theatre to mark the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death and also led a Te Reo Māori version of the play, Troilus and Cressida.

Mr Paratene explained that his new show, Kōrero Pūrākau – Māori Storytelling, which starts next week at the PumpHouse Theatre is more than just Māori myths and legends.

“It’s not just Māori stories, the program I’ve called tale feathers, as in tale, see what I did there,” Mr Paratene said.

“I’m including in that the story of The Ugly Duckling, The Goose That Lay the Golden Egg, The Little Nightingale, a story I wrote, The Tui and The Sparrow and a traditional story, The Battle of the Birds, about the sea birds and the land birds.”

Mr Paratene said he loved stories from across the South Pacific and not just Māori stories and he felt obligated to tell them.

“I love our own stories, not just Māori kaupapa, but stories from the Pacific as well,” he said.

“An obligation (to tell them) because I’m Māori, an obligation because they’re damn good yarns, an obligation because the audiences enjoy them.”

School groups can see the show at the PumpHouse Theatre during visits next week while there are tickets available for public shows on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The star of Whale Rider has reflected on the changes for Māori actors over his almost 50 years in the industry as he prepares to front a new bi-lingual stage show for kids. Source: Breakfast

Members of the public rush to save stranded whale at Auckland beach that turned out to be a fake

Members of the public flocked to Browns Bay in Auckland after spotting what looked like a stranded whale close to the shoreline, many people ran down to the waters edge to see if they could help.

However, it wasn't a real whale, but rather a life-like replica used by rescue charity Project Jonah.

"We thought we saw a whale in the water, so we stopped, got out and had a wee look," one onlooker said.

This weekend Project Jonah is holding two training sessions for volunteers.

"We're teaching people the basic skills needed to help keep stranded whales and dolphins alive," Project Jonah general manager Daren Grover said.

The trainers explained how to handle the mammals when they are in distress.

Two mammal replicas were used; a training dolphin, which when filled with water weighs 150 kilograms and a training whale which takes 2000 litres of water and can weigh up to two tonnes.

New Zealand has one of the highest stranding rates in the world, with more than 300 dolphins and whales coming ashore each year.

However, sometimes appearances can be deceiving. Source: 1 NEWS


Watch: First glimpse of Joaquin Phoenix turning into Joker for new film

Principal photography has begun on Warner Bros. Pictures Joker movie starring Oscar nominee Joaquin Phoenix in the title role.

He will be appearing alongside Oscar winner Robert De Niro in a film directed, produced and co-written by Oscar nominee Todd Phillips.

Phillips released sneak peak footage of Phoenix turning into Joker via an Instagram video today.

The thespian will hope to match the late Heath Ledger's iconic take on the villain in The Dark Knight.

The film is scheduled for release in the US on October 4, 2019.

Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck in the upcoming Joker film.


Man dies after becoming trapped under vehicle while pushing it down driveway in Auckland

A person has died after becoming trapped under a vehicle in Highland Park, East Auckland.

Police confirmed that emergency services were required to attend an incident that occurred on private property at around 12:15pm today.

Initial reports suggest the man was pushing a vehicle down a driveway when he somehow became trapped underneath it.

His next-of-kin have been notified and the death will be referred to the Coroner.

Ambulance Source: 1 NEWS

Meet Georgia Fowler, the host of Project Runway New Zealand, on the hunt for 'amazing talent'

Meet the host of Project Runway New Zealand, Georgia Fowler.

She puts her success so far down to hard work, she told TVNZ1's Seven Sharp.

"There have been a lot of jobs that have been like the "dream" - like the time I got French Vogue, with the biggest photographer you can shoot with, that was incredible.

"Getting the Victoria's Secret show - since I was a little girl I wanted to do that, I tried for years and years and years and trained my butt off for it and finally got it," she told TVNZ1's Seven Sharp."

Fowler was born in England, but has lived in New Zealand almost her whole life apart from when she is away in New York modelling.

She says being a television show host is "amazing".

"It's great just to be home, to be able to host a show like Project Runway is amazing.

"To actually be judging talent trying to find the new next designer is something I am passionate about and hopefully we can find some amazing talent, bring them up and show them to the world."

Project Runway New Zealand starts Monday 1 October at 7:30pm on TV2.

Sam Wallace spoke with Georgia, a Victoria’s Secret model. Source: Seven Sharp