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Te Rauparaha Short Film (Full Length) – 1972 Documentary Māori

Te Rauparaha

Short Film (Full Length) – 1972 Documentary Māori

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This NFU mini-biopic eulogises the 19th Century Māori leader Te Rauparaha. The Ngāti Toa chief led his people on an exodus from Kāwhia, to a stronghold on Kāpiti Island where he ruled — via musket, flax trade and diplomacy — over a Cook Strait empire extending south to Akaroa. The free-ranging film includes recreations of the 'Wairau Incident' which stirred fears of Māori uprising amidst settlers; Te Rauparaha’s ignominious 1846 arrest by Governor Grey; and the 1849 reburial on Kapiti of the "cannibal statesman" (evocatively rendered using inverted colours).

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He believed in magic, yet was the ultimate realist. Perhaps he was a martyr, a sort of god?
– A fictional settler