Listed in: Music & Performing Arts

Your guide to events in Nelson, New Zealand

The Wairau Affray

Thursday 1st-Saturday 3rd July 2021

A play about the ill-fated attempt by Nelson colonists to confront Te Rauparaha and a party of his men at Tuamarina in 1843, in a dispute over ownership of the Wairau.

It was the first major armed clash between Maori and Pakeha in New Zealand, the only one ever in the South Island. A pivotal point in Whakatu and the Wairau’s early history, and indeed, colonial New Zealand race relations, with massive repercussions echoing to this day.

The full play has been developed from a series of staged readings and Q and A's over two years, and research and consultation has been undertaken with the Ngati Toa Rangatira Iwi to develop this story and bring it to life in a truthful and balanced re-telling.

The play is to have its 'world premiere' in Wairau in late June 2021 at the ASB Theatre Marlborough and then come to Whakatu a week later.

Written by Justin Eade, directed by Giles Burton

Featuring: Jaemes Peter Churchward, Kiri Naik, Cameron West, Nick Kemplen

Supported by Ngati Toa Rangatira ki Wairau.

Family Friendly


July 1–3




Nelson & suburbs


Theatre Royal
78 Rutherford St, Nelson

Tickets, Bookings and Entry

Adults $35, Seniors $25, Students $18

Tickets from Theatre Royal Nelson ph. 03 548 3840.


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