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No. 11 (July 1955)
– 31 –


First Maori opera produced by St Peter's Maori College, Auckland, was Ka Toa Tatou (We Shall Conquer), which was performed at the college last November. Not only the cast, but also the make-up, scenery, wardrobe and lighting experts were all students at the college. The whole opera was presented in the Maori language. Ka Toa Tatou is an allegory, a story told in symbols, describing how the christian faith came to New Zealand.

A new play is planned for the present year, to be called Tumaungatoa (I stand alone), and per-

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Scene from Ka Toa Tatou: the four front figures, from left to right, are: Whakaponokore (Donald Solomon), the girl who loves Niu Tireni but whose ambitions for him are coarse and worldly; Niu Tireni (Mitai Rolleston), chief character who wishes to conquer the world and live for ever. He finally does so through the Christian faith. Hawaiki (Wiremu Brown), Niu Tireni's father, in the picture reproduced above, seen conferring chiefly status on Niu Tireni who has come of age. Ngakaukino (Benjamin Leef), old tohunga-makutu, greatly feared by the people, finally banished by Niu Tireni who by then has embraced Christianity. (Amalgamated Studios Photograph.)

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Warriors in Ka Toa Tatou perform well-timed haka. (Amalgamated Studios Photograph.)

formed next October in English as well as Maori. The main plot this time appears to be a romance of olden time, without obvious allegory. Operas like those performed by St Peter's need about seventy people on the stage. The enormous amount of work done by pupils and by the teacher, Br. Reginald, ought to help in stimulating a wider interest in drama among the Maori people. There is plenty of talent, but it needs to be developed.

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Niu Tireni, yearning for the secret of immortal life, tries to wrest it by force from the missionary Pirihi (Langley Davis). (Amalgamated Studios Photograph.)