The first episode of landmark 1977 historical drama The Governor is a one and a half hour epic. Soon after signing the Treaty of Waitangi, charismatic Ngāpuhi chief Hōne Heke (George Henare) defies British forces, culminating in the battle at Ruapekapeka pā. Missionary Henry Williams tries to calm his old friend, but his influence is resented by the British. Change arrives with Governor George Grey —who undermines Williams, aggressively pursues 'peace' and captures fearsome Ngāti Toa chief Te Rauparaha, holding him without trial. Governor writer Keith Aberdein provides a provocative angle on the award-winning show here.
What good will your mana be when you are dead?– Henry Williams (Grant Tilly) to his friend Hōne Heke (George Henare)
Produced by Television One in association with the National Film Unit
NZ On Screen acknowledges the talent and creatives for allowing NZ On Screen to reproduce The Governor on this website
NZ History section on The Northern War, which opened the New Zealand Wars
List of New Zealand's Governors-General, Office of the Governor-General website
Article looking back on the show, The Spinoff, February 2016