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Ware ana a Rātā, tū ana te aka o Tānemahuta. The Rātā seed cries out, its tuakana reaches out.

(Whakatauāki nā Chris Winitana)

Our art is important.

Tuatara Collective has developed Rātā, an innovative arts practice supporting mental health in the arts industry (for artists and audiences). The highly-acclaimed Māori play Over My Dead Body: LITTLE BLACK BITCH by Jason Te Mete was the first project to launch this initiative.


Engaging professional health services to work alongside and collaborate with artists is a core value of Tuatara Collective, and this new practice will inform the kaupapa and work they create and present.  


Once artists and audiences alike have support within the spaces where they experience art, the quality of work will be elevated, improving community and audience engagement and participation.

“Thank you for bringing to light things that are hard to talk about. This show will save lives.” (audience member)

Our art is rongoā.

Our projects provide an important platform to share an open kõrero, inspire healing through arts, and remind each other that it is the responsibility of the whole whānau & hapū to look after each other and raise our rangatahi, encouraging them to take their 'dog' for a walk together. 

“Experiencing your play has allowed me to let go of something that I have been carrying for 30 years. I cannot thank you enough.” (audience member)

Our art, our people.

Tuatara Collective aims to take theatre projects to the wider communities at a lower cost to help reduce barriers, increasing public engagement and providing an opportunity for New Zealanders to access and experience nga toi Māori in communities. 

These venues include community groups, community centres and schools. 

These community performances will run concurrently with presentations at professional venues to ensure Tuatara Collective can retain financial sustainability, and engage regular theatre audiences

“Stories about mental illness can easily stray into unsettling grey areas, where historic pain and volatile emotions are too close for comfort for artist and audience alike. But Te Mete and his creative team honour the trust placed in them by the audience and walk together with us into a dark space, ensuring we keep the light at the end of the tunnel within our line of sight.” (Pantograph Punch)

Our people, our future.

The Over My Dead Body series by Jason Te Mete is full swing. LITTLE BLACK BITCH has had a professional season with excellent reviews. A development season was presented at the Kia Mau Festival 2019 at BATS Theatre in Wellington, in collaboration with Manukau Institute of Technology.

A development season of UNINVITED (about the AIDS epidemic in NZ 1980's, including the continued issues facing the LGBTQI+ community) was presented at The Basement Theatre during Auckland Pride 2019.  In 2021, UNINVITED returns with a professional season at Q Theatre as part of Auckland Fringe and Auckland Pride Festivals.

WITH THESE HANDS was presented during Matariki 2020 in collaboration with Artworks Theatre, and was a wonderful example of community spirit and engagement. 

Other works in the series currently being developed. 

"I hope more people see this, and honour the story that Jason Te Mete has carefully crafted. I am so excited to see more of his works being performed in the near future, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for all these young and fresh performers." (Theatrescenes)