Police drama Mortimer's Patch included a Māori sergeant (played by Don Selwyn) among its quartet of rural coppers, yet the series only rarely explored Māori topics. Penned by Greg McGee, this episode plots a small-town twist on questions of racism, abuse of privilege, and the horse-trading behind which cases go to court. After a theft at the local takeaways, one of a trio of young Māori reacts to the racist perpetrator — a Pākehā businessman — by breaking the law himself. The guest cast includes Frank Whitten (Outrageous Fortune), Selwyn Muru and Temuera Morrison, whose only line is "Honky. Smooth honky. Nasty".
Rūātoki-raised Reuben Collier cut his screen teeth reporting on Waka Huia. In 2001 he founded Maui TV Productions in Rotorua. Collier's producing and directing credits include Marae, Matatini coverage, award-winning documentary Sciascia, and long-running food show Kai Time on the Road. in 2017 Collier was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the television industry and Māori.
Made for roughly $60,000, the debut feature from Cristobel Araus Lobos was award-winner The Waiting Place, a tale of two escaped convicts trapped in an abandoned psychiatric hospital. Inbetween a prolific diet of short films, many made for the 48 Hour film contest, the Chilean-New Zealander has since made culture shock comedy Curry Munchers in Auckland and New Delhi, and hardboiled, Southern-set thriller Netherwood.
Tainui Stephens is a Kiwi screen taonga. Since joining Koha as a reporter in 1984, he has brought many Māori stories to television, and worked on everything from Marae to Māori Television's version of It's in the Bag. Among the notable documentaries he has directed are Māori Battalion doco March to Victory and award-winning show The New Zealand Wars. He was a producer on Vincent Ward film Rain of the Children.
In 2016 Andrew Munro found himself on top of the world — on-screen at least. He was starring as Everest mountaineer Edmund Hillary in Platinum-funded miniseries Hillary. After working sporadically in the TV and film industries in Wellington, Munro had moved to Auckland in 2005, to pursue an acting career. He went on to act in comedy show Hounds and web series Stand Up Girl, and played Dougie, best friend to All Black saviour Stephen Donald, in 2014 TV movie The Kick. In 2017 Munro was nominated for Best Actor at the NZ Television Awards for playing Hillary. The award was won by his Hillary co-star Dean O’Gorman. Image credit: photo by Dean O'Gorman