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“In a remote seaside village, a stranger becomes involved in public and personal crises.”

“Festival/Awards: Douarenenez Cinema-France 2001 St Tropez Film Festival-France 2000 Summer School Film Festival-Czech Rep 2002.” - New Zealand Film Commission; /; 28/01/2014.

“A drama of Māori and Pākehā families, Ngāti shows how people in a Māori community cope with personal and public crises which threaten to disrupt their lives and traditional ways. Ngāti is set in the tiny Māori community of Kapua on the East Cape in 1948. Change is in the air; the old freezing works, the district’s main employer, is clearly on the brink of closure. The town’s concern is equally focused on Ropata, the twelve year old son of Iwi and Hine, who is very ill. Iwi places more faith in the healing powers of the tohunga than in the local Pākehā doctor Paul Bennett. A young Australian, Greg Shaw, visits Dr Bennett and his wife Sam. As he becomes involved in the different ways Māori and Pākehā face crisis in their everyday life, and death, he suddenly discovers he has stronger ties to the community than he expected.

“ “It’s about being Māori - and that is political [...] political in the way it was made, a serious attempt to have Māori attitudes control the film. Political in having as many Māori as possible on it or being trained on it. Political in physically distributing the film or speaking about it and showing the film in our own way. Political in going in the face of a long tradition in the film industry here and abroad saying these simple things, without car chases or without a rape scene, actually have appeal, maybe it won’t work... I think a lot of the political struggle is to get through to pakehas and Pākehā institutions that this is the way we think, therefore change your manners. This is the Māori world, take it or leave it...” - (Barry Barclay in, Rongotai Lomas, “A First for the Maori Ngāti”, Illusions, no.5, 1987)

“ “Ngāti is a deceptively gentle film. Its images are composed with a wistful and pensive restraint and its pace is easy and friendly. Yet bubbling beneath its surface is the most powerful political statement about Maoridom - and by extension all indigenous culture - our cinema has yet managed” - (Peter Calder, “New Zealand’s finest”, New Zealand Herald, September 25, 1987)

Filmed on location in the small communities from Tolaga Bay to Ruatoria on the East Coast. Ngāti is the first New Zealand feature film ever written and directed by Māori.

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Year 1987

Reference number F19162

Source Moving Image Collection

Media type Moving Image

Place of Production CAST

Genre Feature

Duration 1:28:04

Production company Pacific Films

Viewing locations

View online, or at Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Wellington


Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, Wellington, Please Ask Staff (Stack) - 1994.1408 Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, Auckland - 2008.6523

Credits Director: Barry Barclay (Ngāti Apa) Producer: John O'Shea Associate Producer: Craig Walters Associate Producer: Tama Poata Director of Photography: Rory O'Shea Writer: Tama Poata Editor: Dell King Sound: Robert Allen Art Director: Matthew Murphy Music: Maui Dalvanius Prime Cast: Tuta Ngarimu Tamati , Ngawai Harrison , Wi Kuki Kaa , Oliver Jones , Judy McIntosh , Alice Fraser , Iranui Haig , Tawai Moana , Michael Tibble , Ross Girven , Connie Pewhairangi , Norman Fletcher , Luckie Renata , Kiri McCorkindale , Paki Cherrington Assistant Editor: Claire Barclay Funded By: New Zealand Film Commission Production Manager: Patricia Murphy Sound Editor: Annie Collins;

Related Link

New Zealand Film Commission