As Busy as Aunty Bea


As Busy as Aunty Bea – Bea Yates or Aunty Bea, as thousands know her, leads an incredibly busy life devoted to demonstrating love to others….in the kitchen at school camp, pounding the streets as a Maori Warden, on stage as “Tina Tuna” and at home and school as mother….to anyone who needs her.

At 61 years of age, she is a fulltime teacher at Rotorua Lakes High School where she now teaches and influences the lives of the children of former students.  Her teaching career of 42 years has benefited many more children than those lucky enough to be part of her classrooms.  The books she has written in both Maori and English for children and teachers have been translated into languages of the Pacific.  Her book “Hohepa te Puru” has even been translated into Spanish.  Songs that she has written, such as “AEIOU” are sung daily in primary schools throughout New Zealand.

Many charities benefit from Aunty Bea’s endless drive and enthusiasm.  She dedicated the QSM that she was awarded for her community work to the memory of her mother.  The proceeds of her Tina Tuna performances are often donated to The Cancer Society.

A deep love of her own culture and country does not stop her from learning about others.

Aunty Bea sees a time in the future where she might have to slow down….but there are no signs of that happening just yet.


Promotional Trailer

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Production Details

Producer: Catherine White

Consulting producer: Tony Manson

Thanks to: Rotorua Lakes High School & Whangamarino Primary, Marilyn Gardiner, Ellis Tepania, Chas Pound, Nga mii aroha ki a Aunty Bea, Uncle Albert and whanau

Network exec: Jude Anaru

Director: Chas Toogood

Original idea/researcher: Kim Muriwai

Online editor: Brendon Gibbons

Offline editor: Andy McGrath

Production manager: Kim Muriwai

D.O.P: Richard Curtis

Sound mix: Graham Wallace

Narrator: Don Selwyn

Production accountants: Glenda Paterson, Jeanette Wiles-Cromie

Funded by: New Zealand On Air & TV One for ‘Nga Reo’ series