Pacific Underground

aka Pacific Underground Music Productions, P.U.M.P.

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).

Michael Banks, Chris Searle and Pos Mavaega, 1997, as part of the Romeo and Tusi band
Walter Lagatule
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
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
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
Warming up before the Romeo and Tusi show in Frank Kitts Park, Wellington, 1999: Dallas Tamaira, Shane Asi, Barbara Carpenter and Ave Robertson
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
Pos Mavaega and Nathan Chalmers during the recording the 1999 Landmark collection
The 1999 Pacific Underground album Landmark. Designed by Jacob Liuamanuvae, It featured a young Scribe on two tracks
Pos Mavaega with Pacific Underground, Ponérihouen, New Caledonia, 2013
Andrew Sione at the Wanaka Festival of Colours, 2011
Photo credit: Photo by Simon Darby
Chris Searle at the April 2011 Wanaka Festival of Colour
Photo credit: Photo by Simon Darby

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

Funded by

Partners with