Inspired by Māori oceanic prowess, Tawhiti follows five Māori astronauts who have returned to Earth after living on Mars for five years. The te reo short film follows the crew of NUKU as they visit their marae. NUKU captain Ruanui (Patara Berryman of Mai Time fame) wants to head back to Mars with his family, but his wife Rongo (Maraea Te Wara) is hōhā (annoyed) — "What kind of Māori are you? This is your home!". Director Tamati Ihaka made the sci-fi short film so Māori could "imagine themselves in a different way", and "reconnect with our explorer heritage."
He rite tonu tō hanga e tāku pāua pounamu. (You haven't changed a bit. You're still my little cling-on.)– Ruanui (Patara Berryman) on reuniting with his daughter Hinehau (Hinerangi Marie Berryman)