Located lovingly between Hawke's Bay and Gisborne Districts, the Wairoa District is large enough to be a Region in it's own right. Mohaka has the stunning railway viaduct, the highest in the southern hemisphere. The historic marae of Raupunga and Mohaka are stunning in their beauty and fascinating in their history, as are also the other 35 marae located in the Wairoa District.

Nestled along the beautiful Wairoa river, the small town of WAIROA is an undiscovered jewel - check out OSLERS and their world-famous meat pies. Then travel along the coast past the precious wetlands of Whakaki to the home community of the Wairoa Maori Film Festival, the historical Maori village of NUHAKA.


Nuhaka is a name given to the town by the first ancestors who lived in the district after travelling from the ancient Maori home of Hawaiiki. Nuhaka is famous for its Fish and Chips and its historic Nuhaka General Store, and now the Wairoa Maori Film Festival.

At the heart of Nuhaka is the KAHUNGUNU MARAE, Ihaka Street, your host for the weekend for all of the Wairoa Maori and indigenous film festival activities. Kahungunu Marae and Nuhaka have been the host community for the Wairoa Maori Film Festival since 2010.

Thisbeautiful master-carved marae was built and carved by World War II veterans in the late 1940s under the tutelage of John Taiapa. Kahungunu Marae features in John O’Shea’s BROKEN BARRIER, the only film made in New Zealand between 1944 and 1962. Many of the locals featured in these scenes, with many living today who can remember when a slice of Hollywood came to Nuhaka.

Festival organisers are once again planning a laid-back atmosphere to the event, with ample opportunity to sample local sights including MORERE HOT SPRINGS, mineral waters from deep under the Pacific Sea, MAHIA PENINSULA beaches and wave action, and of course nearby GISBORNE with everything that global urban life offers.

JOIN US FOR THE WAIROA MAORI FILM FESTIVAL every year, Kahungunu Marae, Nuhaka, Queen's Birthday Weekend, Wairoa District, our annual celebration of the best in Maori and indigenous film arts and entertainment!


The township of WAIROA is one hour by car from Gisborne and an hour and a half from Napier and Hastings. The village of NUHAKA is 40 mins by car from Gisborne and two hours by car from Napier and Hastings.

There is a small airport in Wairoa, but it has no regular flight service. Daily flights from Auckland and Wellington go to Gisborne and Napier airports, with rental car services available at both locations. For flight bookings to Gisborne, check out the Air New Zealand website.

Gisborne Airport is our recommended airport if you are planning to attend the Nuhaka events. Nuhaka is an easy day trip from Gisborne, and visitors can look at booking our film and hot pools package. 

The road from Gisborne is less difficult and skirts the Wairoa coastline between Nuhaka and Wairoa township, an easy and flat road to and from the two towns. The road from Napier is more difficult, but includes a scenic journey past Lake Tutira and through the Mohaka gorge. 

Inter City Coach Services run a daily service to Wairoa from Napier and Gisborne, with convenient connections across the North Island to Auckland and Wellington. Inter City Coach Services stop in Nuhaka, with direct service to Wellington and transfer service to Auckland.


Once you get to the festival, there are a range of accommodation options available:

NUHAKA: Marae Accommodation booking, $25 / night at Kahungunu Marae (limited space) or free with Festival Pass for entire weekend. Further Marae available for group bookings (rates on request). Email us for all bookings: maorimovies@gmail.com

  • MORERE: Tearooms and Camping Ground 06 837 8792
  • MORERE: Moonlight Lodge 06 837 8824
  • MAHIA: The Quarters Mahanga 06 837 5751
  • MAHIA: Mahia Beach Motels 06 837 5830
  • WAIROA: Vista Motor Lodge & Restaurant Ph. 06.838.8279
  • WAIROA: Te Wairoa Motel Ph. 06.838.8204
  • WAIROA: Wairoa Riverside Motor Camp Ph. 06.838.6301
  • WAIROA: Ferry Hotel & Motel Ph. 06.838.8229

For all your travel planning needs contact the Wairoa Visitor Information Centre: Ph. 06.838.7440.


Wairoa Maori Film Festival Society Inc.
C/- PO Box 85, NUHAKA 4192
Aotearoa New Zealand

Email: maorimovies@gmail.com
Ph. Festival Director - Leo Koziol maorimovies@gmail.com (+64)(0)27.280.8729