Nga Taonga Sound & Vision and Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga are partnering to present a programme of over 20 moving image excerpts celebrating Ngai Tahu history, screened in seven local marae. The films, made between 1910 and 2008, feature Ngai Tahu people, land, and traditions.
Residents and visitors to Canterbury, Otago and Southland are invited to attend Te Waipounamu Marae Film Tour - Otautahi ki Awarua screenings (gold coin donation entry) from 24 November to 1 December. This is a unique opportunity to experience moving image taonga, including some of the earliest surviving Ngai Tahu films, presented in marae screening venues across Te Waipounamu.
The partnership between Nga Taonga Sound & Vision, New Zealand’s national audiovisual archive, and Heritage New Zealand, an organisation dedicated to preserving our nation’s heritage places, highlights the tangible nature of history. The films bring the past to life, and screening them in these places of historic significance – some of which feature in the films themselves – adds another layer of immediacy.
The screening programme is composed of home movie, newsreel, and television footage. Rare early images of gathering kai show whitebaiting at Opihi in 1925 and an eeling expedition during the 1930s. The early silent films are accompanied by a taonga puoro soundtrack specially composed by musician Alistair Fraser.
Possibly the most dramatic film on the programme is of muttonbirders leaving Bluff on the ferry Wairua, bound for the Titi Islands, in 1965. The film shows the difficult landings on the islands, with the birders leaping from small boats onto rocks.
A 1931 film documents the centenary commemorations at Kaiapoi Pa. Thousands of Maori and Pakeha from surrounding districts attended the occasion, and kaumatua Te Ari Pitama speaks on film as the hangi is prepared. Other historic films include: the welcome of the 28th Maori Battalion in Wellington in 1946, the opening of Rehua marae in 1960, and many other scenes featuring various Ngai Tahu marae and kaumatua.
Among the more recent clips are: a 2006 documentary on the preservation of Maori rock drawings at Opihi, footage from a weaving workshop at Rapaki Marae in 2001, Maika Mason talking about pounamu in 1998, and a 2008 clip of David Ellison of Karitane speaking about his father’s wartime experiences.
While the focus is on Ngai Tahu, accompanying music clips from a range of popular Maori musicians and showbands will capture the spirit of these earlier times.
The programme has been prepared by Nga Taonga Sound & Vision’s Lawrence Wharerau (Kairangahau: Cataloguer) and Jane Paul (Community Programme Co-ordinator), with Heritage New Zealand’s Pouarahi Te Tai Tonga, Huia Pacey, facilitating the tour itinerary.
Huia says “I can’t think of a better place to view this historic archival film footage than in the whare that represent the continuing presence of our people and the landscape.”
“We are thrilled to be once again working with Heritage New Zealand,” says Jane. “So far this partnership has included screening tours of the West Coast, Hawke’s Bay and Wairarapa woolsheds, and a Canterbury tour last year. One of the venues for that Canterbury tour was the Tuahiwi Marae, and the success of that screening has led to this new tour of Te Waipounamu. We look forward to bringing these films home to the communities in which they were made.”
“The memories that archival film images can conjure up for people are wide and varied: from nostalgia, through to surprise at how different things were then compared to now – as well as noting how little some things change,” adds Lawrence.
The tour dates follow:
Monday 24 November, 6pm
37 Rapaki Drive
Tuesday 25 November, 6pm
79 Springfield Road
Thursday 27 November, 6pm
38 Huirapa St
Friday 28 November, 6pm
5 Apes Road
Saturday 29 November, 1pm
408 Tramway Road
Saturday 29 November, 6pm
Te Rau Aroha Marae,
8 Bradshaw Street
Monday 1 December, 6pm
Arai te Uru Marae
24 Shetland Street, Wakari
Admission cost: gold coin donation (door sales only).
Programme runs 70 minutes. For more details email firstname.lastname@example.org Or phone (04) 8964 827