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Power from the River

Short Film (Full Length) – 1947

This NFU documentary showcases the hydroelectric power-generating might of the Waikato River. The ‘man harnesses nature’ narrative — shown via concrete, steel and earthmoving for dam building — highlights the path of the power: to drive farms, factories and Wellington’s electric trains. Director Cecil Holmes later wrote that post-war NZ was "a desperately poor country"; the film aimed to highlight Government efforts to overcome power shortages. After the 'satchel snatch' smear campaign of 1948, Holmes left for a highly regarded screen career in Australia. 

But in the course of the Waikato, man has taken a hand: the work of harnessing the river has begun. At Arapuni a great wall of steel and concrete has been laid to hold the water’s power.
– From the narration

Key Cast & Crew