Te Puutake: Raahui Pookeka and Genesis – an inspirational video that strikes the perfect balance between acknowledging the past and looking toward future opportunities and aspirations.
The construction of the Huntly Power Station left some long-lasting impacts for mana whenua and Waikato-Tainui. The land where the station was built is an important tribal area and was the original site of Rakaumanga Native School (currently named Te Wharekura o Rakaumanga), with both locations cleared to make way for the site construction.
We were focused on telling this story authentically and collaboratively with all parties involved. The videos were about empowering people to share their narratives. We recommended upbeat energy, layered with more down-to-earth moments where needed. We planned to approach this with a documentary style –starting with candid interviews that covered a broad range of perspectives and subject matter, and narrowing this down to piece together a strong, cohesive narrative using the best moments.
We wanted the videos to acknowledge the mamae (hurt) that had been caused for local Māori and provide a space for this story and their experiences to be shared. We did not take the responsibility of telling this story lightly.
We immediately engaged a Māori Cultural Advisor and suggested giving each storyteller the choice of interviewing in te reo Māori or reo Pākehā or both, whichever language they felt most comfortable with.
We were deliberate in our crew selection, ensuring that they had familiarity working with kaupapa Māori, and were just as excited, grateful and honoured as we were to be a part of telling the story. Throughout, our crew approached the engagement with the community with humility and respect, acknowledging that tāngata Māori are the authority when it comes to any issues that affect them. We planned a gentle approach with the filming, to bring the best out of the interviewee.
Practically, this meant allowing plenty of time in the schedule so nothing had to be rushed, and ensured we held a safe space on set.
During post-production we planned for a lengthy edit period, with multiple revision stages, including a community viewing session, enabling all the voices to feedback at one time.
We felt the level of care throughout as well as the whole of the Eyes and Ears teams’ personal investment.Genesis Energy
The Desired Outcome
This video was a way for Genesis to support an opportunity for community voices from Raahui Pookeka to tell a story in a way that was authentic to them, not shying away from the challenges, and at the end of the project, gifting their contributions back to them. They understood they needed to tell this story in collaboration with community leaders, kaumatua, rangatahi, mana whenua and Genesis team members (past and present).
The client felt that hearing the responses from the local community said it all: “I’m so glad it’s being told”, and commenting on their sense of pride and contentment, noting that they felt respected.