In the 1950s thousands of Pacific Islanders came to Aotearoa to meet a labour shortage. They faced racism, and in the 1970s, notorious dawn raids by police. In 1971 a group of young gang members and students set up the Polynesian Panthers to stand up for the rights of the Pasifika community. They ran food co-ops, homework centres, and lobbied for support services. In this Dan Salmon-directed documentary, presenter Nevak Rogers explores the inspirations, events (Bastion Point, Springbok Tour) and legacy of the movement co-founded by her uncle Will 'llolahia.
We were just exuberant voices yelling out in the dark.– Tigilau Ness
Bill Birch and Robert Muldoon photo: The Evening Post Collection, EP/1980/3341-F, courtesy of Alexander Turnbull Library
Dawn Raid poster by Herbert Otto Roth, courtesy of Auckland Committee on Racism and Discrimination (ACCORD) & Alexander Turnbull Library (94-106-19/07-02)
Documentary made with funding from NZ On Air