The Great Trees
The Great Trees

Screened as part of NZIFF 2009

Tangata Whenua 2 

NZ documentary classics. The Prophets concerns the Tūhoe of the Urewera country and the Ringatū religion. The Great Trees talks about leadership and education. Sir Āpirana Ngata is remembered.

54 minutes

Newly restored prints of the third and fourth programmes from the historic series made by Barry Barclay and Michael King for New Zealand television in 1974.

The Prophets – Tuhoe Ringatu 1974

Director

Producer

John O'Shea

Screenplay

Michael King
,
Barry Barclay
27 minutes

The Tuhoe people of the Urewera country have maintained the Ringatu – religion founded in the 19th century by Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki. Tribal leader John Rangihau takes a group to visit the deserted marae at Maungapohatu from where the prophet Rua Kenana was taken prisoner, and speaks of his Tuhoetanga.

The Great Trees 1974

Director

Producer

John O'Shea

Screenplay

Michael King
,
Barry Barclay

With

Wiremu Tarei
,
Eruera Manuera
,
Puti O’Brien
,
Sid Haig
,
Whaia McClutchie
,
Eruera Stirling
,
Amiria Stirling
,
Tamati Reedy
,
Tilly Reedy
,
Harry Dansey
,
Api Mahuika
,
Koro Dewes
27 minutes

There is a saying about the old leaders: ‘He Totara Whakaruruhau’ (They are the great trees giving shelter from the wind). Interviews with both Eruera Manuera and Wiremu Tarei cover many issues, such as tikanga relating to burials on Putauaki the education system today (Te Teko school, which has 95% Maori pupils, is shown and discussed), the impact and effects of the Kawerau paper mills and more. Sid Haig, who worked for Sir Apirana Ngata, is interviewed. Eruera and Amiria Stirling are shown in Auckland and attending hui at Victoria University in Wellington. Their influence and importance are spoken about. At Mangahanea marae in Ruatoria, the annual conference of the Maori Graduates’ Association is held.