Full screen
Video quality

Low 0 MB

High 0 MB



Tangata Whenua - Waikato

Television (Full Length) – 1974

Tangata Whenua was a groundbreaking six-part series from 1974, on Māori. Barry Barclay directed, and historian Michael King was writer and interviewer. Each episode (remarkably screening in primetime on Sunday nights) chronicled a different iwi and included interviews with kaumātua  a first for New Zealand screens. This episode looks at the people of Waikato, and focuses on the Kīngitanga (Māori King Movement), examining why a movement formed in the Waikato in the 19th century to halt land sales and promote Māori authority has contemporary relevance.

Tangata Whenua broke the monocultural mould of New Zealand television. It gave Māori an opportunity to speak for themselves about their lives. It went some way to informing Pākehā New Zealanders about Māori attitudes and values, it whetted a Māori audience's appetite for more documentaries reflecting Māori viewpoints, and it opened the way for later programmes, such as Koha and Te Karere, produced by Māori.
– Michael King, in his book Being Pākehā Now

Produced by

Pacific Films


The makers of the programme acknowledged at the time: "Queen Te Atairangikaahu and the Waikato elders who authorised this programme also Waaka Kukutai, Tūrangawaewae Waiata Group, Tūrangawaewae Carving School, Morrinsville College Principal and staff"

This programme features (in order of appearance): Tumokai Katipa, Piri Poutapu, the elders and workers of Tauranganui Poukai, Ripora Kukutai, Whitiora Cooper, Winera Samuels, Tony Knight, Hopi Samuels, Norman Kingsbury, Te Uira Manihera, Dick Green, Waikato Elders who attended the Tauranganui Poukai

Presented with thanks to the New Zealand Film Heritage Trust – Te Puna Ataata

If you liked this, you might also like...


Tangata Whenua

Tangata Whenua was a groundbreaking six-part...


The Matariki Collection

A selection of iconic Māori TV, film and music video for...


Best of the 70s

This collection celebrates the best of 1970s television,...

Barry Barclay: The Camera on the Shore

Documentary about director Barry Barclay

History Man

Documentary on Tangata Whenua writer Michael King

Tāhere Tikitiki - The Making of a Māori Canoe

More on master carver Piri Poutapu at Tūrangawaewae Marae

The New Zealand Wars 3 - The Invasion of the Waikato (Episode Three)

Preparations for war in the Waikato in the 1860s


Landmark drama directed by Barry Barclay

People of the Waikato

Includes footage of Tūrangawaewae Marae

Waka Huia - First Episode

Groundbreaking magazine series about Te Ao Māori

The Māori Today

1960 NFU film on the Māori world from a Pākehā viewpoint

The Governor - The Lame Seagull (Episode Five)

Waikato war episode of 70s drama epic

Journeys in National Parks: Te Urewera

Also directed by Barry Barclay

Te Marae - A Journey of Discovery

Film on the history and preservation of marae


Early te reo TV drama on the story of Uenuku

New Zealand Mirror No. 3

A 50s Ngāuruwāhia regatta


The New Zealand Wars

Acclaimed series on the New Zealand Wars

Ngā Morehu - End of An Era (First Episode)

Later interview with a Māori kaumātua


Short NFU survey of Māoridom from 1981

Survey - The Town that Lost a Miracle

Barry Barclay-directed film on Opo the dolphin

Women in Power - Indira Gandhi

Also directed by Barry Barclay


Directed by Barry Barclay in the same period

Pioneer Women - Princess Te Puea

A dramatised documentary on Princess Te Puea

50 Years of New Zealand Television: 7 - Taonga TV

Tangata Whenua is discussed here

50 Years of New Zealand Television: 2 - The Whole World's Watching

This episode appears in this documentary about protest

Whare Taonga - First Episode

More Māori telling stories about their people

Marae - John O'Shea on Tangata Whenua

Producer John O'Shea on Tangata Whenua