Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Bad News Turned Into Good Doco Career

Bad News Turned Into Good Doco Career

By Jacqui Stanford, an Auckland University of Technology student journalist covering the Pacific Islands Media Association (PIMA) conference

Writer and filmmaker Makareta Urale turned to making documentaries after becoming disillusioned with journalism.

"I realised that good news is bad news in the media today," she told this year¹s Pacific Islands Media Association (PIMA) conference that has just ended at Auckland University of Technology.

She came to this conclusion after her first graduate job at Radio New Zealand, where she says she was encouraged to cover heartbreaking events such as a baby being stabbed to death.

"I got quite disillusioned as a journalist there," she said.

Her documentary, Savage Symbols, was shown at Auckland¹s International Film Festival last year.

It is about the art of traditional Samoan tattooing, called pe¹a, and is based on interviews with nine men who have these tattoos.

Urale made the piece without any film training, after receiving a $30,000 grant from Creative New Zealand.

A book that she borrowed from a library written by a BBC World director on how to make documentaries was her sole guide.

"I really just looked at the pictures ­ it was a pretty thick book," she said.

Urale hired only two others and created Savage Symbols with limited resources.

"It was many months of hard work," she said. "It was such a low budget thing. You can hear the wind in some of the interviews because we didn¹t even have a sock for the mike."

Born in Savai¹i, Samoa, Urale migrated to New Zealand with her family when she was nine and a half.

"I was probably the most politically minded in my family," she said. "I¹m a bit more bolshy. I¹ll throw my weight around a bit more."

When she was a student at Wellington East Girl¹s College, Urale led a protest against a beauty contest her sister had entered.

She and a group of friends threw eggs and tomatoes in protest - but her sister won the competition.

Her current project is a one-hour documentary on the Auckland hip-hop group Nesian Mystik, which will screen on TV2 when completed.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Cancel Culture And The ‘hate Speech’ Laws

If there really is anyone out there who feels genuinely panicked about what ‘cancel culture' is doing to our precious freedoms, then maybe they should just take a deep breath, look hard at who has allegedly been ‘ cancelled’ and see if they can detect any trace of a lasting “cancellation“ effect. Chances are, the alleged cancellees will be doing just fine. By and large, they will be people who do not lack for a public platform – never have, never will – and the downstream effects of being “ cancelled” will almost invariably be trending towards zero... More>>


Government: To Rev Up Reductions In Transport Emissions

The Government is calling for feedback on a range of potential policies to eliminate emissions in the transport sector. Transport Minister Michael Wood today released Hīkina te Kohupara – Kia mauri ora ai te iwi - Transport Emissions: Pathways to ... More>>

KiwiSaver: Default Provider Scheme Improvements Slash Fees, Boosts Savings

Hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders will be significantly better off in retirement following changes to the default KiwiSaver scheme, Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark said today. More>>


Government: Hundreds Of New Electric Cars For State Sector

Total of 422 new electric vehicles and charging infrastructure across the state sector $5.1 million for the Department of Conservation to buy 148 electric vehicles and install charging infrastructure $1.1 million to help Kāinga Ora buy 40 electric ... More>>

Child Poverty: Reports Highlight Need For Ongoing Action

The Government has released the first Annual Report for the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy and the second Child Poverty Related Indicators (CPRI) Report, both of which highlight improvements in the lives of children as a result of actions of the Government, ... More>>


PM: Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate

“The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. ... More>>

Parliament: Mallard Fails To Give Taxpayers A Straight Answer

Trevor Mallard has confirmed he is unfit to be Parliament’s Speaker by failing to answer several important questions relating to the false rape accusation saga that cost taxpayers more than $330,000, Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says. ... More>>

Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>





InfoPages News Channels