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Hero image for Te Ao Kapurangi (Warrior Woman)

Te Ao Kapurangi (Warrior Woman)

Short Film (Full Length) – 2001


This short film draws on a key incident in the life of Te Ao-kapurangi, a woman of mana for Te Arawa's people. In the late nineteenth century, Aotearoa was in the grip of a 'musket war'; firearms were having a devastating effect in tribal battles. Hongi, a Ngāpuhi chief, leads a well-armed assault on a rival Te Arawa tribe. Te Ao-kapurangi (Stephanie Grace) challenges Hongi and uses her wits, not a gun, to save her people. Invited to prestigious French festival Clermont-Ferrand, the film marked a rare drama directing credit for the late Tama Poata, writer of landmark Māori film Ngāti.

I don't know if we won or lost.
– Ngāpuhi chief Hongi (Lawrence Wharerau) realises he has been outmanoeuvred by Te-Ao-kapurangi

Key Cast & Crew

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Stephanie Grace

As: Te Ao Kapurangi

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Lawrence Wharerau

As: Hongi

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Tama Poata

Director, Writer

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Robin Murphy

Producer, First Assistant Director

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Ace Renata Welsh

As: Dying Chief

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Tama Kirikiri

As: Ngāpuhi Chief #2

See all 23 credits

Produced by

Te Hokioi Films