Maraea Rakuraku is a proudly indigenous Tūhoe, Ngāti Kahungunu ki te Wairoa storyteller who lives in Wellington and the Bay of Plenty.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Canterbury, Christchurch and a Masters in Creative Writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters, Victoria University, Wellington. She is the founding director of Native Agency Limited created to develop and grow indigenous and minority voice across multi-media platforms.
Maraea is a two-time winner of the Adam NZ Play Award. In 2016, her play, Tan-knee won three of the four categories: Best Play by a Woman Playwright, Best Play by a Māori Playwright and Best Play. She won the same categories again in 2022 with her new play 02 04 16 10 07.
Speedmating for Native Girls, a 20 minute-piece created specifically for the 2009 New Zealand International Comedy Festival introduced Maraea Rakuraku to the stage and first garnered interest in her work. This was followed in 2012 with her first full length play, The Prospect that gained several nominations in the annual Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards and was awarded three, including Outstanding New Playwright. Her play Tan-knee was selected for the Next Stage workshop process at Auckland Theatre Company later that year. In 2017, Te Papakāinga was awarded Best Play by a Māori Playwright at the Adam New Zealand Play Awards and was developed at the Kōanga Festival.
Maraea is a published writer (Huia Publishers, Auckland University Press, Otago University Press, University of Hawai’i) who performs with DuskyMaidensNobleSavages, a Spoken Word troupe she founded, comprised of poets of Te Moananui a Kiwa.
She has reviewed for Theatreview and Pantograph Punch.