Pasifika’s NZ Story
To gain an indepth understanding of the Pacific’s New Zealand story, take a journey through the following documentaries. It directs the viewers eyes to the source as to why Pacific islanders struggle to make a life for themselves in New Zealand. It shines a light on viewpoints and changed perceptions that stereotyped Pacific islanders, and a window as to why Pasifika communities do not respond in a public manner.
Today that quiet response is changing as New Zealand-born Pacific islands generation to a more aggressive, loud and public showing that will erupt into mainstream New Zealand if things don’t change.
Part 1: In a Land of Plenty
“The story of unemployment in New Zealand” and In A Land of Plenty is an exploration of just that; it takes as its starting point the consensus from The Depression onwards that Godzone economic policy should focus on achieving full employment, and explores how this was radically shifted by the 1984 Labour government. Director Alister Barry’s perspective is clear, as he trains a humanist lens on ‘Rogernomics’ to argue for the policy’s negative effects on society, “as a new poverty-stricken underclass developed”.
Part 2: Someone else’s country
Someone Else’s Country looks critically at the radical economic changes implemented by the 1984 Labour Government – where privatisation of state assets was part of a wider agenda that sought to remake New Zealand as a model free market state. The trickle-down ‘Rogernomics’ rhetoric warned of no gain without pain, and here the theory is counterpointed by the social effects (redundant workers, Post Office closures).
Part 3: Dawn Raids
This documentary chronicles a shameful passage in NZ race relations: the controversial mid-70s raids on the homes of alleged Pacific Island overstayers. Director Damon Fepulea’i examines its origins in Pacific Island immigration during full employment in the 1960s when officialdom turned a blind eye to visa restrictions. As times got tougher, that policy changed and also led to random street stopping by police — before resistance by activists and media questioning helped to end a policy which has had a long term effect on the Pacific Island community.
Part 4: Bastion Point
In 1977 protesters occupied Bastion Point, after the announcement of a housing development on land once belonging to Ngāti Whātua. 506 days later police and army arrived en masse, to remove them. This documentary examines the rich and tragic history of Bastion Point/ Takaparawhau — including how questionable methods were used to gradually take the land from Māori, while basic amenities were withheld those remaining.