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Hero image for Marae - John O'Shea on Tangata Whenua

Marae - John O'Shea on Tangata Whenua

Television (Excerpts) – 1993

I think it was an eye-opener for most...for Pākehā people. Māori people at last felt they had a voice, that people were listening to them.
– Producer John O'Shea on the impact of the Tangata Whenua series
Kõrero is most important to them. And Pākehā never hear it, not only because it's in Māori ... they're not on the marae, and they're not used to being on the marae. And we thought that they needed to understand the cultural and general social attitudes, and spiritual attitudes of the Māori people.
– Tangata Whenua producer John O'Shea on the gulf between Pākehā and Māori understanding
Māori people were speaking for themselves. [Director Barry Barclay] let them speak in Māori if they wanted to. It had a rhythm which was much slower than television, and didn’t have that heavy educational thrust that the [National] Film Unit documentaries had. Finding a whole lot of elders, and significant people in the Māori world talking about their values, histories and traditions was fantastic. Nobody had done anything like that.
– Author and documentary expert Russell Campbell, on the significance of the Tangata Whenua series