‘Aotearoa New Zealand, Our Story’ features narration entirely in te reo Māori. / Supplied
A film by renowned, award-winning Rotorua filmmaker Mike Jonathan (Tainui, Te Arawa, Mātaatua) should put Aotearoa back on the global stage, after years of border and trade restrictions triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Aotearoa New Zealand, Our Story features narration entirely in te reo Māori, by the film's hero, 10-year-old Wiremu Kamariera.
Director Mike Jonathan says te ao Māori is core to the narrative.
“The film encapsulates the values that set our country apart and create interest offshore,” Jonathan says.
Through engagement with iwi and Māori enterprise, four te ao Māori-inspired values were developed: Pōtikitanga (curious, ingenious and adventurous spirit); tiaki (a drive to care for people, place and planet); manaaki (welcoming others and building relationships based on respect, care and reciprocity); and pono (acting with integrity, honesty, and transparency).
Renowned, award-wining director Mike Jonathan says te ao Māori is core to the narrative of ‘Aotearoa New Zealand, Our Story’, a film crafted to put Aotearoa back on the global stage, after years of border and trade restrictions triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic. / NZ Story
“I’m incredibly proud of my part in capturing the national strengths and values that reflect who we are, what we stand for and what we can offer the rest of the world,” Jonathan said.
Commissioned by the government’s marketing body, New Zealand Story, the film features everything from the creation story with Waka Hourua, juxtaposed with America’s Cup race boats, and tech innovations like our feats in space through RocketLab.
Mānuka, marae and the country’s natural landscape also take centre-stage; New Zealand Story chief executive David Downs says the narrative is unapologetically Māori.
“New Zealand is a progressive nation of creative idea-makers delivering new solutions, while caring for people and place,” Downs says.
Director Mike Jonathan says te ao Māori is central to Aotearoa New Zealand, Our Story, a film designed to showcase Aotearoa on the global stage following border and trade restrictions triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic / Supplied
“[it] proudly celebrates New Zealand’s Māori heritage … Our story is grounded in our values”.
While recorded entirely in te reo Māori, the film which will be promoted online and used during trade and diplomatic missions, also features subtitles for 14 different overseas nations.
“Research into global perceptions of New Zealand reinforces that offshore audiences admire our embrace of te ao Māori.” Downs said.
“Cementing this ethos by working closely with Māori creatives was incredibly important to us as the government agency that markets New Zealand and our way of life to the world.”