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Pacific Stories

Television (Full Length Episode) – 2014

This Māori Television documentary pays tribute to the nearly 20,000 Kiwis who fought against the Japanese in the Pacific during WWll. Using interviews with soldiers, locals and historians, director Iulia Leilua tells stories of bravery and brutality in New Caledonia, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Fiji and Papua New Guinea. Seaman Jack Harold recalls helping sink a Japanese submarine at Guadalcanal, while former Papua New Guinea Governor-General Sir Paulias Matane shares childhood memories of living in fear. New Zealanders fought in the Pacific for two years. 

When we handed over the [ID] passes to them [the liberators], we had to go into the jungle and live there for a number of weeks just to make sure that the soldiers did not come to punish us.
– Sir Paulias Matane on locals adjusting to less restrictive times, after the Japanese surrender in Papua New Guinea

Key Cast & Crew

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Iulia Leilua

Director, Presenter

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Colin McRae

Producer