Pacific Underground Profile

aka Pacific Underground Music Productions, P.U.M.P.
Peter McLennan
25 Jun 2015

Pacific Underground formed in late 1992 in Christchurch, as a performing arts collective aimed at telling stories about Polynesians living in New Zealand.

Representing Polynesian culture in a white bread city like Christchurch must have been challenging, but their plays, concerts and workshops proved a magnet for a wealth of exciting young talent in that city, drawing in the likes of Beats N Pieces (featuring a Malo Luafutu, aka Scribe), Dallas Tamaira (Fat Freddy's Drop) and Sheelahroc (featuring Ladi6, Tyra Hammond, later of Opensouls, and Sarah Tamaira, Dallas’s sister).

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Pos Mavaega and Nathan Chalmers during the recording the 1999 Landmark collection
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Sara-Lia Tamati, Dallas Tamaira and Joy Vaele on the 1996 Romeo and Tusi theatre in education tour
Photo credit: Photo by Mishelle Muagututi'a
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Michael Banks, Chris Searle and Pos Mavaega, 1997, as part of the Romeo and Tusi band
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The 1999 Pacific Underground album Landmark. Designed by Jacob Liuamanuvae, It featured a young Scribe on two tracks
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Pos Mavaega with Pacific Underground, Ponérihouen, New Caledonia, 2013
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Andrew Sione at the Wanaka Festival of Colours, 2011
Photo credit: Photo by Simon Darby
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Pacific Underground at The Festival of Colour, Lake Wanaka, 2011: Tanya Muagututi'a, Andrew Sione Dru Base, Pos Mavaega, Chris Searle, Hemi-quaver Lesatele and Seta Timo
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Chris Searle at the April 2011 Wanaka Festival of Colour
Photo credit: Photo by Simon Darby
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Walter Lagatule
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Pos Mavaega at the April 2011 Wanaka Festival Of Colours playing his father's steel guitar. His father's name can be seen on the sticker.
Photo credit: Photo by Simon Darby
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The closing of Fresh Off The Boat, University Free Theatre, Christchurch 1993: Oscar Kightley, Mishelle Muagututi'a, Michael Anthony Hodgson, Tanya Muagututi'a, Erolia Ifopo and Losa Tamati supporting Tanya
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Warming up before the Romeo and Tusi show in Frank Kitts Park, Wellington, 1999: Dallas Tamaira, Shane Asi, Barbara Carpenter and Ave Robertson
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Trivia:

Pacific Underground were based at the Arts Centre in Christchurch prior to the recent earthquakes.

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