Maraea Rakuraku (she/her)
Ngāti Kahungunu ki Te Wairoa, Tūhoe - Maraea Rakuraku was raised with her three brothers in Ngāti Kahungunu, at a time when bee stings were common, vegetables came out of backyard gardens, Olly Ohlson kept us cool till after school and we were convinced Bruce Lee and Bob Marley were our relations. She lives in Ngāti Manawa in a multigenerational household.
Incensed at the tropes of wāhine Māori appearing onstage and onscreen led to a Creative Writing Doctorate manawahine, mana wahine, mana wāhine, manawa hine: My Great Great Grandmother is a Māori Princess. Using her lived experience and wāhine Māori central to her life story has resulted in the creation of characters within wāhine Māori driven narratives who call-out, defy and break stereotype. In 2021, this work was recognised with a Victoria University Post Graduate Student Association Research Excellence Award.
In 2022, the second play in the Te Urewera Trilogy, 02 04 16 10 07 was awarded the Adam Prize in the same three categories (Best Play by Female Playwright, Best Play by Māori Playwright and Best Play) she’d won, previously in 2016 with Tan-Knee, the first play. The third play is upcoming and completes a series of work about the longreaching impact of colonialism upon Tūhoe.