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Te Paepae

Te Paepae is an intrinsic part of WOMAD in Taranaki

Te Paepae (meeting place hosted by Māori; New Zealand’s indigenous people) promotes the uniqueness of Aotearoa by hosting an integrated hub of activity and amidst a backdrop of cross-cultural awareness and tolerance. It is a place for artists and WOMAD patrons to engage and interact with artists through music, dance, cultural artistry workshops and conversations.

Since 2003 WOMAD NZ has been committed to promoting the uniqueness of Aotearoa to an international audience, as a result of the desire Te Paepae was born and still remains as a strong point of identity for WOMAD NZ. The workshops on the Paepae stage are an opportunity to interact with the artists, learn about their traditional instruments and take dance lessons.

“Te Paepae acts as a place of welcome to artists and WOMAD patrons; a place to come and experience the culture, and to meet some of the local people” says WOMAD cultural advisor Wharehoka Wano.

There are plenty of opportunities for Māori culture and artistry to be experienced at Te Paepae, and activities in the past have included Raranga (weaving), Tā Moko (tattoo), and Kapa Haka (Māori performing arts).

Te Paepae Schedule released in 2020 

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Learn and share your pepeha

This year visit Te Paepae and share your pepeha - the story of who are and where you come from - learn it in Te Reo Māori and you'll then receive a limited edition tohu reo badge designed especially for WOMAD by accomplished Māori carver and artist Hemi Sundgren (Ngāti Toa, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Koata, Ngāti Mutunga).

Hemi is currently the CEO of local iwi Trust, Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa and is leading the development phases of the iwi, following the receipt large scale Treaty Settlement assets. Hemi is a fluent speaker of Māori and was active in Taranaki Māori language revitalisation/regeneration efforts over the past 10 years. He has a strong background in the arts, Māori development and management and is still a practising artist. Hemi was also a Trustee for WOMAD NZ and Taranaki Arts Festival Trust for over 4 years until his retirement from the board in 2019.