Ūkaipō Whenua
Ūkaipō Whenua
The Spectacular Imagination of the Pōhara Brothers
The Spectacular Imagination of the Pōhara Brothers

Screened as part of NZIFF 2016

Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts 2016 


Check out the latest and best Māori and Pasifika short films as selected for NZIFF by Leo Koziol, Director of the Wairoa Māori Film Festival, and Craig Fasi, Director of the Pollywood Film Festival.

89 minutes

A collection of Māori and Pasifika short films curated by Leo Koziol (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Rakaipaaka), director of the Wairoa Māori Film Festival, with guest co-curator Craig Fasi (Niue), director of the Pollywood Film Festival.

This year’s expression of ‘ngā whanaunga’ – which means relatedness and connectedness between peoples – is realised with films from Aotearoa, Hawaii, Tahiti and Australia. The name was suggested by Leo’s mother, the late Huia Kaporangi Koziol, who was fluent in te reo Māori as a speaker, reader and writer. Curators’ comments on each film appear in italics.

The Chief’s Speech (to the United Nations) 2015


USA In English
6 minutes

Chief Telematua’s impassioned speech may well change your understanding of climate change. A plea from Moana-Nui-A-Kiwa to the people of the world, a coda for our age. — LK

The Spectacular Imagination of the Pōhara Brothers 2015


Two brothers try to help their mother pay her power bill before the power is disconnected in 24 hours. A touching story of two boys with nothing but their imagination to help support their solo mum in an impoverished community. — CF

The Lost Pearl 2015



Tiairani Drollet-Le Caill (Tahitian Maohi)
20 minutes

A life-changing event sends a young man back to Tahiti where he discovers a family he never knew. In his directing debut, Morrison presents a poignant parable of a young man’s yearning to find his roots – and a first love. — LK

Blackbird 2015

Australia In Solomon Islands Pijin with English subtitles
13 minutes

A story inspired by the little-known history of Australia’s ‘sugar slaves’. Blackbirding was a cruel practice barely a notch below slavery. Amie’s story shines with both pain and beauty. — LK

Stevo 2015

A Wellington security guard brings traditional Māori ways of trade and barter to his life in the city. Stevo lives in the big smoke and makes a simple living as a security guard by day, and bartering with locals after hours. Insightful and intimate. — CF

Ūkaipō Whenua 2016



Hineani Melbourne (Māori)
Aotearoa New Zealand In Te reo Māori with English subtitles
17 minutes

In the misty mountains surrounding Lake Waikaremoana, another generation is poised to inherit the land. Tinged with sadness; Kararaina has crafted in her work a window into the beating heart of a time and place – Tuai, Te Wairoa, today. — LK