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The New Migration – Series Premiere

FRIDAY MAY 16 2008

The New Migration – Series Premiere

It’s one of the biggest decisions many Maori will ever make: to leave behind successful and settled lives in the city to return to their tribal areas. This subject is explored in a thought-provoking new documentary series on Maori Television, THE NEW MIGRATION, to premiere on Sunday May 25 at 8.00 PM.

The six-part series follows six individuals as they uproot their lives and families and begin their transition into rural communities. For them, it’s been a cherished dream to one day return to their roots – and that day is now.

These are not people with no connections to things Maori – they have walked in both worlds. But are they prepared for everything they will gain – and maybe lose? From successful careers, family stability, friends and lifestyle, there’s a lot on the line. The begging question: have they made the right choice?

In the first episode: one woman’s vision to set up a restaurant and make gourmet condiments. Tina Wagner (Tuhoe) is young, savvy, entrepreneurial and a mother of three. She and husband Richard have good jobs in Wellington, but give them up to follow the dream all the way to Waikaremoana.

The producer/part director for this series is Yvonne Mackay, from Production Shed TV in Wellington. Other shows she has directed include Qantas award-winning and critically-acclaimed Insider’s Guide to Happiness and Insider’s Guide to Love.

Mackay has also worked on several documentaries for Maori Television, including Justice Durie and Te Koha o Whaea Irihapeti. The latter of these inspired her to make more stories about people going home, and sowed the seed for THE NEW MIGRATION. Sister Elizabeth Ihaka, a member of the Sisters of Mercy, struggled for acceptance among her people when she retired and returned home, after forty years of forced separation.

“I was determined to do a series about Maori returning home to their marae,”says Mackay. “However Manu Anderson, who worked with me on Sister Elizabeth’s programme, said it would be a much greater risk for young people with successful careers in the city to return home. And she has been correct.”

“During filming we have been so touched watching the sacrifices these young people have made by leaving cities and even foreign countries. But it is even more emotional watching them discover who they really are now they are home amongst hapu and iwi.”

Julian Arahanga directs three episodes of THE NEW MIGRATION. This project follows on from Turangaarere: The John Pohe Story, a documentary that proved a critical success in Maori Television’s ANZAC Day broadcast.

He believes the stories in this series represent a turning tide amongst Maori, and are likely to strike a chord with many people.

“I am so grateful to our talent for allowing us into their lives, and to tell their stories. From this experience I have a greater understanding of the difficulties and challenges that these people face in their journey to find home and to reconnect.”

Tune in to Maori Television to follow these intriguing stories in THE NEW MIGRATION, from Sunday May 25 at 8.00 PM.


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