This 1962 National Film Unit production is a comprehensive survey of the history and (then) state of Māori carving. Many taonga are filmed on display at Wellington’s Dominion Museum, and the design aspects of ‘whakairo’ are examined, from the spiral motif to the origin of iconic black, red and white colouring. Finding reviving tradition in new “community halls”, the film shows the building of Waiwhetu Marae in Lower Hutt in 1960, recording the processes behind woven tukutuku panels and kowhaiwhai patterns, as the tapping of mallets provides a percussive presence.
Jim Moriarty's screen career has ranged from 70s soap Close to Home and Rowley Habib's The Protestors, to starring in mock-doco The Waimate Conspiracy and playing Dad in The Strength of Water. Committed to theatre as a tool for change, he has often worked with troubled youth (eg 2003 documentary Make or Break). Moriarty's directing work includes TV's Mataku, and a stage musical of Once Were Warriors.
From a proudly te reo-speaking Gisborne family, Te Kohe Tuhaka went on to study at drama school Toi Whakaari. Since then his screen career has included Taika Waititi short film Tama Tū, language learning show Kōrero Mai, Shortland Street, and playing All Black Jerome Kaino (in TV movie The Kick). His work as presenter includes TV's Marae Kai Masters and fashion show Freestyle. Onstage, he was praised by Time Out Australia for his "extraordinary intensity" in solo play Michael James Manaia. The longtime action fan played villain Wirepa in te reo movie The Dead Lands, then later co-starred in the Dead Lands TV series.