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Tala Pasifika - The Overstayer

Television (Full Length) – 1999

In the 1970s Pasifika people bore the brunt of a rigid government policy towards so-called 'overstayers'. The infamous dawn raids and police aggression towards the community left deep scars. This drama by actor/writer Ene Petaia tells of Joe (Laughing Samoan Eteuati Ete), a Samoan overstayer whose stable life with Pākehā Sandy (Sarah Smuts-Kennedy) and their kids is upended by the crackdown on immigrants. The Auckland couple think marriage will solve the problem, but the police are ready to act on their arrest warrant. The Overstayer was part of the Tala Pasifika series, aimed at developing Pasifika screen talent.

How do you sleep at night, picking on us when there are criminals running around?
– Sandy (Sarah Smuts-Kennedy) expresses disgust after Sergeant Saunders (Wayne England) bursts into her home in the early hours

Key Cast & Crew

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Eteuati Ete

As: Joe

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Elizabeth McRae

As: Janice

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Justine Simei-Barton

Director, Producer

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Matt Bowkett


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Ene Petaia


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Sarah Smuts-Kennedy

As: Sandy

See all 46 credits

Produced by

Tala Pasifika Productions