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Guarding the Family Silver

Television (Full Length) – 2005

In 2002, musician Moana Maniapoto was prevented from using her first name to market herself in Germany because it was copyrighted by someone else. That bewildering experience prompted this award-winning doco made with partner Toby Mills. It explores wider issues of commercial exploitation of 'exotic' indigenous cultures by global companies — a vexed area which Western intellectual property law seems ill-equipped to deal with. There are case studies of the good, the bad and the ugly over usage by brands including Lego, the All Blacks, Ford, Moontide and Playstation.

Once we got into Māori culture, we realised there was also strength and there was the whole concept of warriors that were behind it and we thought, “Wow. That has an awful lot to do with what our trucks really mean”.
– Patrick Schiavone, Design Director, Ford USA

Produced by

Tawera Productions


Tawera Productions


Made with funding from NZ On Air


Music from 2005 album Toru, by Moana and the Tribe (featuring Moana Maniapoto). Courtesy of Pirate Records/Sony (Germany) Tangata Records (NZ)

Additional music by Cadzow Cossar and Tony Battle