Triple win for Maraea Rakuraku at Adam NZ Play Awards

The MA Scriptwriting student has won the 2016 Adam NZ Play Award, Best Play by a Māori Writer and Best Play by a Woman Writer for her play Tan-Knee.

Adam NZ Play Award winner Maraea Rakuraku with Suli Moa, winner of Best Pacific Island Play

Tūhoe; Ngāti Kahungunu Maraea Rakuraku is the 2016 Adam NZ Play Award winner for her play Tan-Knee, which also won Best Play by a Māori Writer and Best Play by a Woman Writer at the same Awards.

Rakuraku, who is undertaking the MA in Creative Writing (Script) at Victoria's International Institute of Modern Letters this year,  is a writer, performance poet (DuskyMaidensNobleSavages), broadcaster, reviewer, producer and founder of boutique media and production house Native Agency Ltd. She formerly co-produced and co-presented RNZ's Te Ahi Kaa with Justine Murray.

Her first full-length play, The Prospect (2012), won three Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards, including New Playwright of the Year for Rakuraku. In the same year she was awarded the annual Tau Mai e Kapiti Writer in Residence award.

The first in a planned trilogy, Tan-Knee is described as 'an impressive and gripping story of a Tūhoe family. Tu returns home to re-open a boxing gym but Taneatua (aka Tan-knee) isn't as Tu remembers and not many in the town are that thrilled about his intrusion into their world. Yet, it provides welcome relief from the white vans parked up for days all over town, and the undercurrent of unsettling activity rumoured to be driven by Māori Sovereignty groups – Te Urewera Prophets aka the TameItis.'

MA in Creative Writing (Script) graduate Finnius Teppett was also awarded Highly Commended for My Dad's Boy, about a young man's relationship with his father and his own impending fatherhood.

The Adam NZ Play Award winners were announced at a presentation at Circa Theatre on 13th March. Suli Moa, winner of Best Pacific Island Play with his boxing play 12th Round, is pictured with Rakuraku at the Award ceremony. Read about all the winners at

Hear from Maraea Rakuraku and our other 2016 MA Scriptwriting students in their own words.