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Poi E: The Story of our Song wins Bert Roth Award

Poi E: The Story of our Song wins Bert Roth Award

Poi E: The Story of our Song, the documentary about one of New Zealand's favourite songs and the people and communities that created it, won the Bert Roth Award in Wellington on Thursday 20 July.

The award, named for the late historian, is presented annually by the Labour History Project to the work that best depicts the history of work and resistance in New Zealand.

"Poi E is beautiful, brilliant, joyful movie that tells the story of Davinius Prime and Patea Māori Club’s song ‘Poi E’ – the first pop hit in Te Reo," said Grace Millar, one of the judges and the outgoing chair of the Labour History Project.

"The closure of the Patea Freezing Works, and the impact that had on the predominantly Māori community, is woven into the history of the song.

"We see in the movie how art can have a larger social context, as work and as a form of resistance.

"The cultural renewal of Māoritanga, of which Poi E is a part, is an important part of New Zealand's labour history.

"We congratulate the director Tearepa Kahi for his effort to bring this vision to the screen, and want to thank him and all of the other writers, playwright and documentary makers who were shortlisted for their contributions to uncovering and popularising our history," said Grace Millar.

Other works shortlisted

Nicola Braid. ‘A Man’s Environment’? The Petone Workingmen’s Club and Masculinity in New Zealand after 1945. MA Thesis, Victoria University of Wellington, 2016.

Barbara Brookes. A History of New Zealand Women, Bridget Williams Books, 2016.

Elinor Chisholm. ‘Individual and Collective Action for Healthy Rental Housing in New Zealand an historic and Contemporary Study’, PhD, University of Otago, 2016.

Jared Davidson. Fighting War: Anarchists, Wobblies and the New Zealand State, 1905-1925, Rebel Press, 2016

Ngarino Ellis. A Whakapapa of Tradition: 100 Years of Ngati Porou Carving, 1830-1930. Auckland University Press, 2016.

Peter Franks and Jim McAloon. The New Zealand Labour Party 1916-2016, Victoria University Press, 2016.

Pike River, directed by Rupert MacKenzie, Sofia Wenborn, 2016.

Poi E: The Story of our Song, directed by Tearepa Kahi, 2016.

Scarlet & Gold: Remember Waihi by Lorae Parry. Directed by Kate Jason Smith. Choreographer Jan Bolwell. Circa Theatre, Wellington. 25 November – 22 December 2016

Elizabeth Stanley. The Road to Hell: State Violence against Children in Postwar New Zealand, Auckland University Press, 2016.


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