This years Keynote Speaker will be Te Waihoroi Shortland , one of the most well known cultural commentators and proponents of the Maori language today. As in previous years, this will be no boring speech, but an evening that will guarantee you leave wanting more. If you haven’t attended a keynote address in the past then it is really worth coming along and having a listen. 23rd March 6pm, Rangiatea Church.
With such a wide-ranging and interesting career we could fill the whole page but have left it to Tainui Stephens to give us a bit of insight into his friend and whanaunga “Wassi”.
“I remember vividly his time working with us on the television programme KOHA in the mid 80’s. He had come over as a secondment from the Maori Affairs Department, and quickly made his mark as a natural television storyteller. He soon became a full time broadcaster, unique then as he is now, in his eloquent use of language. His reo Maori is earthy, expansive and flavoured with his Ngati Hine roots. His English can reflect his beliefs in concise or rhetorical fashion. Wassi is a thinker and a speaker. He is a teacher and a guide. He loves his golf too.
He has used his expertise with te reo Maori to make a profound mark in Maori broadcasting. Whether as a news reporter, a commentator, a voice over artist, translator, or studio talkshow host, Wassi long ago cemented a reputation as a sturdy and insightful TV presence. Over the years, he also developed impressive acting and writing skills in the field of film drama. He played pivotal supporting roles in Vincent Ward’s Rain Of The Children and Taika Waititi’s Boy. He won the NZ Film Award for best actor in 2003 for his role as Shylock in Don Selwyn’s Maori Merchant Of Venice
Heoi Tainui Stephens – Ōtaki