Ka Tito Au

The tales of Kupe stretch far and wide across the Pacific and next week they are brought to life in Whitianga, in an exciting performance hosted by Creative Mercury Bay.     


Ka Tito Au is a solo show performed by Tola Newberry and directed by Murray Lynch.  Written by Apirana Taylor, the tale explores the legend of great Pacific explorer and navigator Kupe.  Ka Tito Au invites you along on an epic sea voyage from Raiatea (also known as Hawaiiki) to Aotearoa, where Kupe explored and named many places. The play traces Kupe’s whakapapa and his connection to the islands and the ocean, his dramatic expedition on the waka Matahourua, and his climactic battle with the giant octopus Te Wheke-a-Muturangi.     


Originally commissioned by NZ Festival 2018, the show has been described as ‘lively’ and ‘lyrical’, combining deft movement and poetic dialogue to create an enchanting, mythical tale of intrigue.  Taylor’s Kupe draws on many oral traditions to create a fascinating and complex character, played with vivid, captivating energy by Tola Newberry.    


The structure and setting of Ka Tito Au draws on deceptively simple sight and sound effect to capture the essence of such a sweeping mythological adventure. Choreography and traditional instrumentals brings to life the sea creatures, birds and sounds of the ocean, creating an evocative, elemental landscape in which the story is set.    


Apirana Taylor spent months reading all the stories of Kupe.  Kupe has a place in his own whakapapa, he told RNZ in a recent interview.  

“I feel so honoured to be given the chance to write it.  It was a wonderful thing for my understanding.”      


Taylor said the stories of Kupe contradict frequently. “I put them all in,” he said.    “All of Polynesia is full of stories of sailors.  This is what Kupe did and I view him that way.”    


Ka Tito Auo plays next Friday 5th April at 7pm at Whitianga Town Hall. The play is suitable for adults, youth and children over 8 years old. Admission is free but tickets are essential as seating layout is highly prescriptive. Tickets can be collected from Whitianga Paper Plus with a restriction of four per group.           

Contact info:



Back Room Gallery showcases local art

Hausmusik NZ presents "Cupid's Arrows"

Barry Brickell Play with Clay Day

New waharoa is a labour of love

Tuia Stage showcasing Coromandel’s best

Anniversary sculpture taking shape

ArohArt - A Labour of Love

A Thames centre celebrating and showcasing authentic Maori art is getting people talking and the owners are excited by the dicussion.

A Buzz of Creativity

Arts celebrated across the Peninsula

ArtStation presents a creative feast

Floyd Johnston

From Kuaotunu Kid to Kick**s Creative

Give it a Go with Wendy

Whitianga artist Wendy Walls' love of teaching is inspiring her to share her skills and help others find their inner creative.

Off the Scale

A feast of talent on show at Whitianga Music Club

The Back Room

A creative haven with a difference

Tuia - Encounters 250

Te Powhiri, Te Whanganui o Hei commemoration October 2019

Artful Performance Space

Barry Brickell Memorial Stage

Jandal On The Mandel

#jandalonthemandel on the Hauraki Rail Trail

Ka Tito Au

Kupe's enthralling journey comes to Mercury Bay

Star Waka project ready to launch

Diverse Displays at BADO

Creative showcase of local art at Whangamata's Big Arts Day Out.

Handle The Jandal

First sculpture for Hauraki Rail Trail

Steampunk The Thames

Shining the light on local talent and performance art.

Auckland Youth Orchestra

May performance in Mercury Bay

Creative NZ arts funding

Coromandel artists apply for CNZ funding

New Home For Steampunk

New base for Steampunk The Thames

Showcase of Creativity

New website showcases creativity on the Coromandel.

CCS Funding Projects

Successful applicants for CCS funding announced.

Ask Where I’m Local

A visual art exhibition in Coromandel Town.

A Funding Chat

Bring your coffee to our online arts funding forum.

A Winter Visit

If you love the arts, you'll love The Coromandel this winter.

Coro Summer Fest

Everything a festival ought to be

Coromandel Muso's

Are you a muso based in The Coromandel?

Creative Spaces

The Coromandel, with many heritage buildings intact, lends itself well to adaptive reuse for the arts.

Dr Tracey Slaughter Talks

Free Short Story Talk at Waikato Museum

Funding Creativity

CCS funding applications open this month.

Hub for Creative Sector

Welcome to your Coromandel Arts & Creativity hub.

New Members Wanted

Mercury Bay Art Escape 2019 call for new artists & groups.

Open Invitation to Funding Hui

Workshop to help artists understand the grant application process

People’s Choice Award

Pam Mundell announced winner 2018 Mercury Bay Art Escape award.

Steampunk Arts Vision

A vision for arts in the community

The Back Room

A creative haven with a difference

Who We Are

He Mana Toi Moehau Trust

Street Art Festival In March

Mercury Bay Art Escape commemorate Tuia 250 Encounters with Street Art.