The Handlers


Te Pou Theatre, 2 Mount Lebanon Lane, Henderson, Auckland 0612

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Wednesday 29 May 2024

Thursday 30 May 2024

Friday 31 May 2024

Saturday 1 June 2024

Sunday 2 June 2024

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  • $30 Ngākau Hihiko (Early bird) | Early bird tickets available until 31 March 2024
  • $50 Tautoko
  • $35 Pakeke (Adult)
  • $28 Kaumatua (Senior)
  • $25 Hapori


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Graphic Design: Frank Turner Photography: Andi Crown | Hair & Make Up: Shirley Simpson
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Graphic Design: Frank Turner Photography: Andi Crown

The Handlers, by Poata Alvie McKree
Crown Lynn wahine, handling it all. 

When a whānau of Māori women working at the Crown Lynn factory all take time off to attend a tangihanga, the production line grinds to a halt, putting their jobs on the line.

It’s 1976 in West Auckland; the Crown Lynn factory is producing record amounts of crockery made primarily by the hands of Māori and Pacific peoples. Running the Handle Room is Aunty Whero, who, despite her boss John’s mandate against close whānau working on the same production line, hires her nieces Kiri and Hine to work alongside her. Their Tongan mate, Salote, keeps their secret well.  

These wāhine keep things moving at mahi and on the home front while also handling the workplace discrimination and racism that was rife in the 70s. This was when the fires of mana Māori motuhake were being stoked; meanwhile, the Dawn Raids were traumatising and tearing Pacific families apart. As if these wāhine didn’t have enough to handle already!

The Handlers by Poata Alvie McKree will make you laugh, cry, reminisce, get you all fired up and make you remember all the mana wāhine in your life, as well as your favourite Crown Lynn mug. While The Handlers is a fictionalised account of Māori women’s experiences working in factories like Crown Lynn in the 70s, the wāhine that carries these stories are familiar to all of us.

The Handlers was originally commissioned as part of Te Pou Theatre’s annual Kōanga Festival – celebrating Māori stories and storytelling. This production is presented by Te Pou Theatre, in partnership with Te Rēhia Theatre.

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