A tongue-in-cheek take on the whakataetae of kapa haka will be highlighted, along with a cast of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa tauira and kaiako, in a new television comedy.
The Ring Inz is a comedy show set to debut on Māori Television on March 22, following four weeks' filming the seven-series programme last year.
The synopsis describes Ring Inz as "an explosive mixture of triumph and failure. It's about dreams and desperation and it's about giving it a go and working together".
Actor and Certificate in Māori Performing Arts kaiako William Davis, who plays the role of Mokemoke, was an integral part of the project both in front of and behind the camera, says producer Viv Ngatai-Wigby.
"The wonderful William introduced us to Aaron Henare and between them they offered to have the tauira on their course take part in the production as haka extras," says Viv.
"The offer was gratefully accepted. In short, the tauira were fantastic representatives for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and it was a huge privilege to work alongside them."
Aaron, who teaches kapa haka as a Kawai Raupapa certificate, supported his tauira to make the daily trip out to Henderson Valley in West Auckland where the filming took place.
He even went the extra mile by tutoring the performance bracket, within limited time, to produce an "outstanding performance."
"They conducted themselves in a professional and disciplined manner and were a pleasure to work with," Viv says.
"They participated fully and enthusiastically, learning the waiata and haka as required and generally doing as directed. Both Willie and Aaron certainly worked beyond the call of duty and for that we are extremely grateful."
The story of Ring Inz follows Tīpene, an unfulfilled kapa haka leader with an overinflated opinion of himself, who finds a new lease on life when his roopu manages to scrape into the last qualifying position at the regionals, thanks to another team's misfortunate.
This is exactly what Tīpene's been waiting for - to take his place amongst the lofty ranks of Māoridom's elite haka exponents.
"Ring Inz is definitely one of the funniest comedies that I have had the pleasure to work on," says William.
In his eyes the ability to give tauira the chance to learn on the floor with established professionals, while at the same time provide talent for the kapa haka scenes was a win-win.
"Ring Inz was a great opportunity for tauira to get valuable industry experience by working with professional industry experts. Great characters and awesome writing, makes for a hilarious comedy."