May 12, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

NZ on Screen – Matariki 2010

4 min read

To celebrate Matariki 2010 veteran broadcaster (Koha, Waka Huia, Marae) Whai Ngata follows up his inaugural 2009 selection of iconic Maori TV, film and music video with another choice celebration of te ao Maori on screen.

Ngata’s 2010 edition ranges from Howie to Hotere, from John Pohe to Poi-E, Bastion Point to behind the scenes of Boy. Dame Whina Cooper leads the way, Barry Barclay looks at Tuhoe, Hirini Melbourne explores Tane’s realm at night, Tiki Taane takes on Tangaroa, Don Selwyn plays Tamehana, young Tem does haka and Dalvanius does a pukana out the car window.

Nga mihi mo te tau hou, ko Matariki

te ao Maori on screen

Te Matakite O Aotearoa

Television, 1975 (Full Length)

When old and young come together to do this, it shows the strength of their convictions. This important documentary is a chronicle of a key moment in the Maori renaissance: the 1975 land march led by then 79-year-old Whina Cooper.

The Governor – He Iwi Ko Tahi Tatou (Episode Four)

Television, 1977 (Full Length Episode)

This award-winning episode of the controversial 70s series about Governor George Grey sees war looming in the Waikato as Maori tribes band together. Peacemaker and kingmaker Wiremu Tamehana (Don Selwyn) agonises over the right course of action.

Don’t Let It Get You

Film, 1966 (Full Length)

The big ALL FUN show for the whole family to enjoy! was the tagline for this classic musical comedy feature. Any plot is only an excuse for a melange of madcap, pep-filled 60s musical fun. Howard Morrison, Kiri and Rotorua are the stars in the tiki-flavoured tale.

Reluctant Hero

Television, 2008 (Full Length)

In 2007 Corporal Willie Apiata, of the NZ Army’s SAS, was awarded the Victoria Cross for carrying a wounded soldier to safety while under fire in Afghanistan. This doco had exclusive access to the shy soldier, from the time of award to sudden celebrity.


Film, 2010 (Trailer, Excerpts, Extras)

Watch excerpts and go behind the scenes of the local box office record-smashing film. Taika Waititi’s second feature revolves around an imaginative East Coast boy trying to make sense of his world – and the return of his just-out-of-jail father.


Patea Maori Club, Music Video, 1983

The uplifting clip is as famous as the song, which in 2010 re-entered charts courtesy of Boy. Accompanied by Jo, our breakdancing guide, we take a tour of Patea, as the Maori Club is captured bopping and twirling like piwakawaka. Legend.

Journeys in National Parks: Te Urewera

Television, 1987 (Full Length)

This controversial episode of the Peter Hayden-presented National Park celebration series looks at the unique relationship between the Tuhoe people and the birds and bush in Te Urewera. Directed by Barry Barclay, it strives to tell the story through their [Tuhoe] eyes”.

After School – Maorimind Episode

Television, 1981 (Full Length Episode)

Olly Ohlson was the first Maori presenter to anchor his own kids TV show, and his sign-off “Keep cool till after school” is remembered by a generation of Kiwi kids. This episode sees a game of Maorimind and a gob-stopping place name pronunciation.

Haka – A Musical and A History

Short Film, 1988 (Full Length)

In Haka Maori myth is re-told through a series of stirring haka performances, amidst spitting mud and fire and … in Paremoremo Prison and under a motorway. These scenes are tellingly intercut with archive imagery of post-pakeha Maori life.


Tiki Taane, Music Video, 2007

Muscular and intense, this music video uses haka to boldly bring to life personal struggle. Taane: “I had to shoot a video for this powerful piece of music. It has become a catalyst for change … a tool to help unlock and understand the past, present and future.”

Bastion Point – The Untold Story

Television, 1999 (Full Length)

In 1977 protesters occupied Bastion Point, land once belonging to Ngati Whatua, after the announcement of a housing development. 506 days later police and army arrived to remove them; includes key interviews, and footage from landmark doco Bastion Point Day 507.

Turangaarere: The John Pohe Story

Television, 2008 (Excerpts)

John Pohe was the first Maori pilot in the RNZAF. ‘Lucky Johnny’ was a WWII hero who flew 22 missions, and was involved in the legendary ‘Great Escape’. Watch excerpts from the doco Listener reviewer Diana Wichtel called “a terrific yarn”.

Ralph Hotere

Short Film, 1974 (Full Length)

This doco explores the work of Ralph Hotere, now arguably NZ’s greatest living artist. The film is framed around the execution of a mural made for the Founders Theatre, Hamilton; and accompanied by an Ian Wedde essay and reflections from director Sam Pillsbury.

Ghosts of Gondwana

Television, 2001 (Full Length)

This award-winning NHNZ doco uses front-running camera techniques and Maori myth to delve into the night-time world of our ancient forests: bat-filled tree trunk saunas and furry kiwi with chopstick bills. Goerge Henare narrates with composer Hirini Melbourne as guide.

Behold My Kool Style

Dam Native, Music Video, 1996

This clip won Best Video at the 1996 NZ Music Awards. Directed by Jonathan King, the sepia-tinged print, colonial photo studio-styled art direction (tokotoko and Edwardian suits) is beautifully realised as an effective back-drop to the political lyrics.

Kaleidoscope – Witi Ihimaera

Television, 1982 (Full Length)

Witi Ihimaera was the first M?ori writer to publish a book of short stories and a novel. In this wide-ranging Kaleidoscope profile Ihimaera (here in his late 30s) talks about being the boy from the sticks made good, and conforming to expectations.

This Is Your Life – Sir Howard Morrison

Television, 1989 (Full Length)

NZ showbiz icon Howard Morrison gets the surprise of his life in this emotional reunion of his many friends and whanau. Veteran Presenter Bob Parker consults his big red book to revisit all of the major career milestones of the man known as simply, Mr Entertainment.

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