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Tala Pasifika - The Overstayer

Television (Full Length) – 2000

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.

You and the kids, you're my first, real family...and now they're going to take me away from you.
– Joe (Eteuati Ete) on being sent to Samoa, and separated from his partner and children

Produced by

Tala Pasifika Productions