The theme of Paradise Lost gets a local twist in this documentary about foreign ownership of New Zealand land and infrastructure by filmmakers Abi King-Jones and Errol Wright.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2006
Paradise Lost is a recurrent theme in this year’s Festival. Filmmakers Abi King-Jones and Errol Wright bring it uncomfortably close to home in their documentary about ‘overseas investment’ in New Zealand. Opposition to the sale of the 60-year-old Blue Bay campground at Mahia to a residential developer provides an informative case study of the continuing privatisation of public resources. Pakeha families who have enjoyed the camp for generations, their sense of well-being abruptly undermined, find themselves identifying with the Māori understanding of the land as common entitlement. The closely related view that the Seabed and Foreshore Legislation has tragic ramifications for all New Zealanders is expressed with vigour and eloquence by an array of impressive activists and commentators, including Murray Horton, Moana Jackson and the late Rod Donald. Meanwhile we watch as the suits power their way through district council ‘consultations’, select committee hearings and parliamentary ballots that only appear to be occurring a universe away from the beach. — BG