This short National Film Unit documentary travels to Westland to meet the kōtuku or white heron. In Aotearoa, the kōtuku is known for its beauty and scarcity (the bird’s only NZ breeding colony is near Ōkārito Lagoon). The black and white film joins the ranger to go whitebaiting, as kōtuku arrive in spring. The kōtuku’s special place in Māori mythology is recounted, and legendary ornithologist Robert Falla checks out chicks in a crowded ponga fern nest. Directed by John Feeney, the film premiered in Christchurch in front of Queen Elizabeth, on her Coronation Tour.
Soon the silence will be broken: soon white shadows will glide through the alpine valleys and over the waiting bush ...– From the narration