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Hero image for Power from the River

Power from the River

Short Film (Full Length) – 1947

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
Arapuni’s generators supply half the North Island with electric power. Yet this great flow of power, power from the river, can be controlled at the turn of a switch by one man.
– From the narration
This then is the story that lies behind all the things you use around your home everyday: the light you turn off, the radio you switch on, the hot water you wash the dishes in, the iron you press the clothes with. A story that goes back with the wires coming into your home, going back with the pylons across the land to the sources of power, to the men who work, the materials they use, and the river they harness.
– From the narration
Power from the River is quite the most ambitious and, in many ways, most successful venture of the (National Film) Unit to date. Indeed, if one leaves out of account "classic" documentaries of the type of Pare Lorentz's The River, it is not easy to think of many factual films produced overseas which are markedly superior to this New Zealand effort.
– Listener review of the film, 30 May 1947