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Tāmaki Herenga Waka Festival


Bringing moving image content to a water screen on the Tāmaki Makaurau waterfront.

In January this year, the story of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland and the waka that sailed there, took centre stage at the Tāmaki Herenga Waka Festival.

The festival featured land and water stage performances that went into the night, as well as storytelling that captures the region’s rich waka history which shaped the Tāmaki Makaurau we know and love today.

The evening show started at 9.30pm on a stage erected on a large barge moored beside Queens Wharf. The audience were watching from a grandstand on Captain Cook’s Wharf, some 80m away from the barge stage. Beside the barge stage was a large water screen of 30m width and 15m high. The idea being that content would be projected onto the water screen during performances on stage.

We began working with the festival organisers in mid 2019, spending around eight months developing moving image content and audio to play on the water screen as part of the show. We worked closely with the creative team to bring the stories they wanted to tell to life, and inject visual energy to the event.

It was a fantastic process and involved revisiting some our artist collaborations from the Mana Moana project: Designer Mike Bridgeman created some beautiful graphic elements and VJ’d live sequences on the night. Louise Potiki Bryant choreographed a 10 minute dance piece that she performed live on the barge stage. She also filmed and edited her own film which was projected onto the water screen to accompany her live performance. We also had the talented Horomona Horo playing Taonga Puoro, animator Puck Murphy on the motion and musician Paddy Free building our sound design. (For a full credit list see below).

Our installation, Pou Rama, was also part of the event.


Creative Direction – Rob Appierdo and Dylan Herkes
Producer – Andrew Croot
Design – Mike Bridgeman
Illustration – Kimi Moana Whiting
Animation – Puck Murphy
Filming – Mike Potton
Choreography – Louise Potiki-Bryant
Tāonga Puora – Horomona Horo
Music and sound design – Paddy Free
Animation intern – Moretekorohunga Lloyd