Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Bailey Poching teams with other Māori Comedians to lap up laughs for relief

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air
Photo: Supplied
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Kendall Vano | Reporter

Writer and comedian Bailey Poching is set to perform at the Māori Comic Relief benefit alongside fellow stand-up comedians who are joining forces to raise funds for whānau who have been impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle.

The benefit will be headlined by Shortland Street actor Kura Forrester and joined by some of the funniest Māori comedians in the business, including Albert Belz, Kura Turuwhenua, Courtney Dawson, Heta Dawson, Joel McCarthy, and Aroha Awarau.

Of Samoan, Māori and Torres Strait island heritage, Bailey says, “I was approached by Albert Belz, a long-time fellow comedian I’d met with and he told me about putting together a show to support the families affected by Cyclone Gabrielle.”

Bailey remembers the moments watching the reports of lost whānau and damaged Maraes that really got to him.

“I count myself lucky to be safe in Tamaki Makaurau, I found myself deeply impacted by the footage of the disasters. Alarming my already growing concerns for climate change,” he says.

24 year old Bailey says it’s an honour not only to perform to an audience but also to serve his community. Bailey hopes that events like this will become more recognised and will continue on beyond the relief benefit.

Headlined by Shortland Street actor Kura Forrester and joined by some of the funniest Māori comedians in the business, including Albert Belz, Kura Turuwhenua, Courtney Dawson, Heta Dawson, Joel McCarthy, and Aroha Awarau.

“There hasn’t been a show of this kind before, if we look back ten years ago. There were not enough Māori, or Pasifika comedians to pull off an event like this.” he says.

Bailey credits the increase in Maori and Pasifika comedians, and says there is an audience and a market for these kinds of events.

The comedian links his comical stylings to his “brown” background. The young comedian was  raised in England but then arrived in Aotearoa and rediscovered himself and what it really meant to be “Brown” as well as being surrounded by his people.

“I’m very proud of my heritage, being in and around Māori and Pasifika communities for sure informed my comedic sensibilities. There’s a reason we laugh the most and laugh the loudest” He says.

Bailey is fast becoming a fixture of the New Zealand comedy scene having been nominated for multiple awards both individually (Best Newcomer, Breakthrough Act) and as a member of Bull Rush (Best Improv Group) at the NZ Comedy Guild Awards.

He recently had his television debut as part of The Comedy Mixtape with Pax Assadi on Three.

Māori Comic Relief is at Te Pou Theatre, Corban Estate Arts Centre, 2 Mount Lebanon Lane, Henderson on 1st April at 7:30pm.

Tickets at: www.tepoutheatre.nz

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