In the heart of Heretaunga - Harcourts Hawke's Bay Arts Festival brings Tūtira mai ngā iwi to life on the stage.

Tūtira mai ngā iwi is a special concert for the community of Te Matau a Maui and part of the 2020 Harcourts Hawke's Bay Arts Festival.

It will be a night at Toitoi in the Opera House where you will be able to come along with friends and whānau to enjoy waiata and aroha.

The performance is produced by Mere Boynton, who has an extraordinary breadth of experience garnered over 30 years in the arts sector, spanning her roles as an actor in theatre and film, including Mavis in the iconic Once Were Warriors; as a vocalist and performing artist including in works by Gareth Farr, Jack Body, Michael Parmenter and Lemi Ponifasio; and programming and leadership positions for Taki Rua theatre company, Te Papa Tongarewa and Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival.


She has worked extensively in Aotearoa and toured internationally.

Boynton is of Te Aitanga a Mahaki, Ngāti Oneone and Ngāi Tūhoe descent. She grew up among her people in Te Tairāwhiti and has been lucky enough to work with her community through her most recent role as Creative Associate with Te Tairāwhiti Arts Festival. She is also working with Arts Inc Heretaunga and the Hawke's Bay Arts Festival in Heretaunga to assist them to engage in respectful and collaborative partnerships with tangata whenua.

Through the creation of Tūtira mai ngā iwi, Boynton wanted to provide a platform to showcase local performers alongside national talent, to demonstrate to the people of Heretaunga the wonderful talent we have here right in our own backyard and to also hear the waiata that have been composed by local composers like Paraire Tomoana, who wrote Pokarekare ana, and Taite Cooper who composed Te Hokinga mai, as well as Te Amorangi Wi Te Tau Huata who wrote Tūtira mai ngā iwi.

The evening will be performed by local talent Howard McGuire, Erena Tomoana, Katherine Winitana, Ngatai Huata and whānau and Ngāti Kahungunu Taikura. The show will also be woven with a stellar line-up of incredible musicians from around Aotearoa who will perform their own iconic songs.

These include Don McGlashan who will perform Anchor Me, Lisa Tomlins who will sing Blue Smoke, Tama Waipara who will sing Under An East Coast Moon, and Whirimako Black will sing Kei Hea Taku Reo, as well as a couple of surprises from Hollie Smith and Louis Baker, it will be a wonderful walk down memory lane.

The concert will also bring our community together by including young people from local schools. This was felt to be important as our tamariki and rangatahi are a vital part of our community.

When you involve tamariki you also involve their whānau and their teachers. The waiata the tamariki will be singing is Te Hokinga mai, which was performed by Pakipaki Primary School in 1986 to celebrate the return of the Te Māori exhibition which toured America to critical acclaim. The waiata was also composed by the late Taite Cooper, so this performance will be dedicated to his memory.

The concert will be MC'd by Krsytal Edwards and Charles Ropitini, who will bring to life the stories connected to the waiata.


There will be an excellent band of local musicians, led by musical director Daniel Hayles.

Hayles is a tutor at the New Zealand School of Music at Victoria University of Wellington, teaching jazz combo, vocal ensemble and big band music.

He writes and arranges music for local and international shows, visiting artists and bands such as the Rodger Fox Big Band and Orchestra Wellington, and he is also gaining recognition as a musical director. Internationally, Hayles had the honour of performing in the New Zealand pavilion at the 2011 Venice Biennale. He also spent some time playing piano on cruise ships around New York, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and he is extremely happy among the wealth of talent and culture in Wellington.

Bring the whānau, bring your voice and join us for a night that will make your heart sing.