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Source: Auckland Council

Nau mai e ngā wāhine toa.

After sold out women’s events in 2019 and 2020, NUKU Live is back at Elemental AKL with a brand new format, bringing you the ‘Atua Series’ for 2021.

Celebrating our Atua Wāhine (female Māori gods), we have three events over three days to share Indigenous knowledge and practice, specifically for wāhine.

Hinemoana is the atua of the vast ocean, that which connects us all, and the inspiration behind event three.

Join us for this Nesian dance workshop encouraging you to centre yourself, with a focus on creativity and orangatanga (overall health and wellness) while harnessing the energies of the moana. We will work with our taha tinana (bodies), taha hinengaro (minds), taha wairua (spirits) and taha whānau (collective wellbeing).

Facilitated by Julia Mage’au Gray of Sunameke, this workshop is designed for women to dance, laugh and learn.

Wāhine will learn movements from different parts of Oceania – Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. Connecting us all across the vast Pacific ocean, this workshop serves as an opportunity to reconnect with ancient practices and reconnect with oneself.

At the conclusion of the Nesian dance workshop, Qiane Matata-Sipu will share an introduction to whakapurenga and cleansing, using the energy of the moana.

The Hinemoana Nesian dance workshop is suitable for all levels of expertise. We dance in all weather, so please dress accordingly.

In acknowledgement of the importance of holding space we ask that the first day of tickets sales (Monday 14 June) be left for Indigenous women and available to everyone from Tuesday 15 June.

If you love the sound of this event, join us for the NUKU Live Atua Series Papatūānuku earth pigment workshop at Grid Manukau on Friday 23 July, and Hine-Te-Iwaiwa speaker event and Mākete at Māngere Art Centre – Ngā Tohu o Uenuku on Saturday 24 July.

NUKU events are open to all women, including those who identify as wahine, trans or non-binary. Please note, due to the non-profit kaupapa that underpins all of our events, there are no refunds.

This event is part of Elemental AKL festival, a collection of events and experiences across Auckland celebrating the culture, cuisine and creativity of Auckland. 14 July – 1 August. Visit

About Julia Mage’au Gray

Julia Mage’au Gray (Papua New Guinea, Australia) is a dancer, choreographer, skin marker (tattooist), photographer and film-maker who is interested in exploring her Papuan and Mekeo heritage within an urban Australian and New Zealand context.

Her performances frequently combine dance with evocative video narratives. Now based in Auckland, Gray cofounded the performance group Sunameke in 1997.

Dress or adornment, including the marking of the body with tatu (tattoo), is often of particular significance in her performances and films.

Please dress for the elements. Our Hinemoana workshop will go ahead in all weather. We recommend you bring a change of dry warm clothes and a towel, the whakapurenga session with Qiane may see you get a bit wet. Wear comfortable clothing for ease of movement. Please bring a your lavalava, pareo or sarong.