May 22 2022 – Tania Rupapera
Community are coming together for a special screening of WHINA ahead of the film’s official public release at Matakana Cinema with a little help from local wahine Tania Rupapera of Unity Collection.
The highly anticipated film celebrating the life of Dame Whina Cooper and her quest for racial equality and land rights releases in cinemas nationwide on June 23, aligning with New Zealand’s inaugural Matariki long weekend.
Matakana Cinema will be rolling out the red carpet a day earlier, on June 22, for an invitation-only special free screening for the community with the blessing of local iwi Ngāti Manuhiri supported by Rodney Local Board, Auckland Council.
The driving force behind the event is Tania Rupapera, owner and founder of Unity Collection, a small gallery of authentic Māori contemporary art, design and fashion based in the heart of Matakana Village.
The timing of WHINA’s release with Matariki gave Tania the idea for putting on an event.
“After navigating Covid as a community these past two years we wanted to bring people together to enjoy an event and connectivity. Celebrate the Māori New Year and be together,” she says. “We are inspired by pioneering leaders and people who have made a difference in life. Contributing to people's lives and community is one of our core values. Dame Whina Cooper certainly did that.”
Tania adds, “It’s a brilliant and important film that highlights a part of New Zealand’s history that needs to be acknowledged and understood, as well as being an inspirational story and celebrating a strong Māori Mana Wahine Toa.”
Local support to make it all happen has been seamless. “Everyone has supported being part of this event. Ngati Manuhiri connected us with Rodney Local Board who loved that it is celebrating Matariki and a free event by invitation. Matakana Cinema has adapted to host us too. Our community have come together to make this possible,” she says.
Her hope for the event is to bring the community together and the WHINA screening is just one of many Matariki events planned by Unity Collection, which represents more than 50 leading Māori creatives supplying the gallery from all over Aotearoa.
“The events are to bring people together, share in new experiences unique in Māori and Te Ao Māori. In these gatherings we all share in wairua, tikanga and whanaungatanga,” she says.
Tania believes a big reason for Unity Collection’s success in Matakana Village is that the gallery provides accessible quality authentic Māori work with an open friendly environment. “People feel connected and welcome. They are often overwhelmed with emotion while sharing their time at Unity,” she says. “We’re a small gallery with a big wairua, sharing authentic storytelling, aroha and manakiatanga with our community and visitors.”
Numbers are limited for all events and tickets will be available on www.unitycollection.co.nz or instore at Unity Collection Matakana Village.
For more information contact Tania Rupapera 021 333 377 or email firstname.lastname@example.org