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Survey - The Town that Lost a Miracle Television (Full Length) – 1972 Documentary Māori

Survey - The Town that Lost a Miracle

Television (Full Length) – 1972 Documentary Māori

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The Town That Lost a Miracle was my first attempt at introducing a Māori element into the mainstream. I was searching for a resolution by way of values I hardly knew at the time.
– Barry Barclay
It was the most haunting thing of all that summer: watching Jill swim backwards and forwards with Opo. They were like partners in a ballet ...
– Maurice Shadbolt recalls dolphin rider Jill Baker
Kupe brought her here for a purpose.
– Piwai Toi
He said, ‘I’m going to shoot that fish’, and I said, ‘do you mean Opo?’. ‘Yes’, he said, ‘I’m going to shoot that fish’. I said ‘why?’. He said ‘because you fellas think more of that fish than you do of me'.
– A teacher remembers an encounter with an Opo-hater
I think we can prove nothing, but the facts point as you suggest: not a natural death.
– An interviewee
The Town That Lost a Miracle, is without a doubt the most interesting and evocative programme I have yet seen in the series.
– Michael King, writing in The Listener, 3 July 1972
At that time there was quite a lot fishermen. None of them was too keen on Opo.
– A fisherman remembers
As the documentary showed graphically, the coming of Opo released contradictory forces that are perhaps latent in all New Zealand communities but rarely seen so nakedly: loyalty and envy; gentleness and viciousness; trust and scepticism; generosity and avarice. At its most fundamental level, The Town That Lost a Miracle was about the citizens of Opononi, not their dolphin.
– Michael King in The Listener, 3 July 1972