Almost two decades before Once Were Warriors, another drama about urban Māori under pressure stirred controversy. Hema (Dale Williams) and Janey (Julie Wehipeihana) are two kids adrift in the city, trying to escape a broken home. Screen historian Trisha Dunleavy found this "the most powerful and controversial" edition of the Winners & Losers series; it was TV's first drama about "the alienation of Māori in a contemporary urban setting". Based on a Witi Ihimaera story, it also marked the first solo directing credit for Ian Mune. He later directed the sequel to Once Were Warriors.
This story probably departs from the original the least of all the films … the situation could arise in any family where there is, for instance, a mother who is as insecure as Wiki.– Director Ian Mune, in 1977 Department of Education booklet Big Brother, Little Sister - Shooting Script
Winners & Losers series produced in association with the Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council, Television One, the Department of Education and the National Film Unit
Restoration by Park Road Post Production made possible through funding from the NZ Lottery Grants Board and NZ On Air, with support from Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision
Thank you to the filmmakers and the Ministry of Education for allowing NZ On Screen to reformat and reproduce this title on this website
Music composed and performed by Blerta