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Island of Spirits

Television (Full Length) – 1973

This 1973 film sees poet Alistair Te Ariki Campbell explore the history of Kāpiti Island — from being a stronghold for Māori chief Te Rauparaha, to whaling station and its present form as a bird sanctuary. The film chronicles Campbell’s first visit to the legendary motu, where he feeds a kākā parrot a date from his mouth, and witnesses a remarkable scene where a weka kills a Norway rat. With impressionistic sequences set to verse, director Peter Coates’ ‘poetic realisation’ of the island was called “a remarkable contribution to NZ television” by Listener critic David Weatherall.

This island is alive with ghosts ...
– The opening to the narration

Key Cast & Crew

Peter Coates

Director, Producer

Ian Paul

Camera

Alastair Te Ariki Campbell

Presenter

Bill Parker

Poetry Readings

Michael Scott-Smith

Executive Producer

Howard Taylor

Editor

Produced by

NZ Broadcasting Corporation