Screened as part of NZIFF 2009
Newly restored prints of the first two programmes of the extraordinary series made by Barry Barclay and Michael King for New Zealand television in 1974.
The first programme in the Tangata Whenua series focuses on the life and reminiscences of two kuia. Ngakahikatea Wirihana recalls her early life at the time of King Mahuta. Herepo Rongo is the last woman with moko kauae in the Poihakena community. She revisits places of her youth and discusses her present life, looking after her mokopuna. She describes how her community at Raglan lost its land to the government during the Second World War and how the local council turned it into a golf course.
The name of the Turangawaewae marae was taken from a 19th-century prophecy by King Tawhiao, that in his grandson’s time Ngaruawahia would become the turangawaewae (standing place) of the Kingitanga. His granddaughter Te Puea dedicated her life to fulfilling his prophecy and Waikato explores the relationship with and support Waikato people’s relationship for the King movement. The visual and emotional climax of this episode is the poukai or annual loyalty hui held at Turangawaewae marae, on the bank of the Waikato River.