Re: Tapu Te Ranga Marae fire appeal

Type of post: Association news item
Posted By: Glen McGillivray
Status: Current
Date Posted: Wed, 12 Jun 2019
Dear colleagues,

It is with sadness that the Aotearoa New Zealand members of ADSA are writing to let you know that Tapu Re Ranga Marae was lost in a fire this past weekend.  For those of you who attended the 2014 ADSA conference in Wellington, you will remember visiting the Marae where we were very warmly welcomed and stayed for a day.  David O’Donnell briefly describes the significance of the marae below”

“Tapu Te Ranga has been a centre for social development of urban Maori for decades but it has also been a centre for the arts & theatre in particular. The vision of Tapu Te Ranga founder Bruce Stewart was ahead of its time & needed even more relevant now as the issues of homelessness, poverty & decline of community have got worse since the 1970s. Bruce was a respected actor & his play Broken Arse, based on his own experiences in prison, is an early landmark in Maori theatre. Tapu Te Ranga was often used for rehearsals & sometimes performances in the early years of The Depot/ Taki Rua, and practitioners who were particularly close to Tapu Te Ranga include Jim Moriarty, Apirana Taylor, Roma Potiki & Paul Maunder. I remember seeing a full production of one of Paul Maunder’s bi-cultural productions for Theatre of the 8th Day at Tapu Te Ranga sometime in the 1980s. Paul rehearsed his play Death in Gaza there much more recently & Bruce Stewart remained a staunch friend and supporter of theatre until he passed away.”

The marae whanau are in the process of beginning to think about how to rebuild.  If you would like to follow progress or make a donation, please link to  ( You can find more information about the fire itself on the Radio New Zealand website:

Ng? mihi,

Dr Emma Willis
Senior Lecturer in Drama
English, Drama and Writing Studies
School of Humanities,
University of Auckland
Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142
New Zealand
Tel: +64 9 373 7599 (ext 82254)