Te Kaupapa

Te Whare o Rukutia is a performance space being established to mitigate the lack of a 120 seat theatre available easily and inexpensively for Ōtepoti’s theatre and other performing arts practitioners. It will support the presentation of established, emerging, and collaborative work, and new experiences for our audiences.

The gift of a name

Te Whare o Rukutia is a name that pays homage to Rukutia, a traditional exponent of kapa haka who was renowned for performing arts. Te Whare o Rukutia translates to The House of Rukutia and celebrates her skills and influence.

Te Whare o Rukutia drew its name from a feminine entity, Rukutia, who in mythology was linked with Tama and Tu-te-koropaka in stories of Kāi Tahu origin. She was a woman of phenomenal skill. 

Associated with moko, pounamu, and raraka, Rukutia was also acknowledged as an expert in dance arts. She is seen throughout Polynesian history in varying forms and appears as a critical thinker with advanced ideas and skills.

Who’s involved with Te Whare o Rukutia

The Te Whare o Rukutia project is administered by the Dunedin Fringe Arts Trust for Ōtepoti’s performing arts community.

The first phase of the project is getting the venue set up and open for business so our practitioners have an affordable, accessible, flexible place to present work.

Part of the project’s brief is to develop a governance structure that suits the community’s need for a performing arts space like this. During this pilot phase, there will be community hui to gather feedback and input from our performing arts communities about what this venue could or should be in the long term.