60 South Auckland students called to Rise in inter-school production

A first-of-its-kind production, involving 60 students from eight different schools in South Auckland, aims to highlight the lives of young Pacific leaders growing up in the South of Auckland.



Showing in June and July Southside Rise will tell the stories of Pacific students called to be leaders in their respective communities, whether it is within their families, churches, schools, sports teams and wider communities.


Produced by the well-known Black Friars theatre company, it brings together students with leadership qualities from Wesley College, Rosehill College, Tangaroa College, Otahuhu College, De La Salle College, McAuley High School, Aorere College and Mangere College.


In an interview with the New Zealand Herald Black Friars creative director Michelle Johansson says the students involved in the production aren’t just great leaders at school, working hard to get into university, they’re also juggling studies with responsibilities at home.


Having multiple responsibilities at home and church is not uncommon to many Pasifika youth.


One particular story follows a teenaged girl caring for her ageing grandmother while simultaneously looking after her younger siblings, as her parents work.


Supported by Creative NZ, Teach First NZ, the Manukau Institute of Technology and the Mangere Arts Centre, where it will be shown, the production asks ‘what does it mean to lead in South Auckland’ an area with a high proportion of Pacific and Maori population.


It seems the production hinges on the very Pacific ideology that the pathway to leadership is through servitude, with the tagline of the show being:


They are called to serve.


They are called to Rise.


For more information on dates and tickets visit: Southside Rise