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Hero image for Tāhere Tikitiki - The Making of a Māori Canoe

Tāhere Tikitiki - The Making of a Māori Canoe

Television (Full Length) – 1974

This National Film Unit documentary records the 18-month-long building process of a waka taua (war canoe): from the felling of the trees — opening with an awe-inspiring shot of the giant totara selected by master carver Piri Poutapu — to the ceremonial launch. The waka was commissioned by Māori Queen, Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu, and built at Tūrangawaewae Marae. The Harry Dansey-narrated film was significant in showing the importance of the canoe-building kaupapa alongside the everyday lives of the workers (at the freezing works, the pub).

To learn is to respect, to participate in a heritage. So let us take this canoe as a symbol of collective spirit.
– Narrator Harry Dansey

Key Cast & Crew

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Harry Dansey

Narrator

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David H Fowler

Producer

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David Sims

Writer, Director, Editor

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Val Federoff

Sound

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Brian Cross

Camera

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Bruce Dunn

Camera