Humor is the cure for a painful past

By Kawe Roes

Musical comedy group, the Māori Sidesteps are headlining at Auckland's Civic Theatre tonight as part of the city's inaugural cabaret season.  They are not sidestepping the issues that have made Aotearoa who we are today as Te Ao reporter Kawe Roes found out.

The tradition of Māori showbands mixing music and comedy stretches back generations.

Sidesteps member Jamie McCaskill (Ngāti Tamaterā) says, "We're an evolution of the Māori showbands so we're using that platform to get across a few messages through humour, song parodies and harmonies."

L - R Cohen Holloway, Regan Taylor , Jamie McCaskil, and Erroll Anderson make up the Māori Side Steps.

It's an unusual way of getting the story of the New Zealand Land Wars to a generation that is yet to learn of our nation's history.  

Fellow member Regan Taylor (Ngāti Kahungunu) says, "We're using comedy to educate.  So within these school systems if they don't teach them outright maybe it's through the music syllabus or drama syllabus to help get this message through. Possibly which give us more opportunities to get jobs!" 

The Māori Sidesteps passion for performance and history is sure to rub off on those who attend their shows.

They take to the stage this evening at the Wintergarden at the Civic Theatre in Auckland.