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RNZ presents the powerful NZ Wars: Stories of Waitara


Created and presented by award-winning journalist Mihingarangi Forbes, NZ Wars: Stories of Waitara documents the epic battle for control over the fertile lands of Taranaki.

NZ Wars: Stories of Waitara will be launched on Monday, 28 October at Ōwae Marae in Taranaki in conjunction with Te Pūtake o Te Riri commemorations and will go live on the RNZ website and the RNZ Facebook page at 5pm following the launch.

Combining oral histories, state of the art animations and powerful dramatic re-enactments, NZ Wars: Stories of Waitara brings to life the narratives of Te Ātiawa in their battle against the military might of the British Empire.

The Taranaki pā site of Pukerangiora holds a signficant place in New Zealand’s military history as a lasting symbol of Māori resistence and resilience.

Pukerangiora is now the backdrop for the latest instalment of RNZ’s award-winning docu-series on the bloody birth of modern New Zealand.

"I'm so very grateful to the storytellers of Te Ātiawa, the families of Waitara and the iwi leadership for allowing us to share this important story,” said Ms Forbes.

“It's unfair to leave painful pasts on the shoulders of just a few, this history belongs to us all.”

NZ Wars: Stories of Waitara was produced for RNZ by Great Southern Television and made possible through the RNZ / NZ On Air Joint Innovation Fund.
The digital project also features extended interviews with tribal historians Rawiri Doorbar and Hemi Sundgren as well as poi performance, standalone animations and dramatic re-enactments.
In 2017 Great Southern Television produced NZ Wars: The Stories of Ruapekapeka to critical acclaim receiving Best Documentary, Best Māori Programme and Best Presenter - Entertainment at the 2018 Huawei Mate20 New Zealand Television Awards.

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