THE BROWN BOOK
Māori in Screen Production
Written by Dr. Ella Henry and Melissa Wikaire
Published by Ngā Aho Whakaari: Association of Māori in Screen Production
Publication Date: July 2013
Tuia e Rangi
Te marewa ki runga
Tuia e Papatūānuku
Te pokopoko ā nuku ki raro
Whakamau rehurehu ki tai
Tuia Tāne mahuta
Te uruurua ki uta
Tuia te pouherenga tangata
Ka rangaia te pou tü ki roto
No Tu ka riri
No Tu ka niwha
No Tu ka nguha
No Tu kai taua
Nau mai Awherangi
Nau mai Awhiorangi
Nga toki tarake
Ka kekē Te Kore ka kitea
Ka kukū Te Po ka rangona
Ka kakā Te Ao ka mārama
Ka Ao, ka ea, ka Ao-a-tea.
Tihe mauri ora!
Na Ngamaru Raerino, 2008
Kei te tōpūranga ariki, kei ngā marewa rerenga o te motu puta noa, e ngā reo whanoi, ngā mana urutapu āwhio nei, ā, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa
Me mahara anō ki a rātou te hunga i kaha nei ki te takahi i te nuku o te whenua ki te rapu i nga kōrero, ka hopu ki te rīpene, kia kore ai e ngarongaro noa, ko rātou kua mene atu ki te pō, moe mai, okioki mai i roto i te moenga roa
Ka huri ki a tātou, te hunga ora, he mihi kau ana ki a koutou e hāpai nei i ngā mahi hao taonga mā ngā reanga o tēnei wā, whakaheke tonu ki ngā whakatupuranga kei te piki mai.
Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui, kia kaha ki te kohikohi i ngā kōrero, e taea ai te whakapāho tuatahi ki te iwi whānui, turaua hei oranga mō tō tātou reo rangatira me ngā tikanga, hei maioha mā ngā uri e ngākau nui ana ki te whai i ngā tapuwae o tēnei mahi whakaputa i tō tatou wairua auaha
Na Tini Molyneaux, November, 2012
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: HE WHAKAMŌHIOHIO
Ngā Aho Whakaari extends it thanks and appreciation to those organisations whose funding and professional support made this publication possible. Thank you to the Editorial Board, who provided invaluable feedback throughout the writing process, we are grateful for your advice and guidance, Dr. Leonie Pihama and Bradford Haami.
We are extremely grateful for the support of the current Executive and Chair (Mika) of Ngā Aho Whakaari for entrusting us with the role as authors and editors of this book. Further, we want to extend our thanks to all those previous Executive members, Chairs, Executive Officers and Administrators who made the time to talk to us and share their experiences. Thank you to Anne Keating and Karen Sidney for your recollections of Te Manu Aute. To Tuafale Tanoa’i, aka Linda T, Christina Asher, Whetu Fala, Ruth Kaupua and Cinzia Jonathan, thank you for the use of your photographs and memories. To Te Ara Poutama, the Dean, Associate Professor Pare Keiha, Hohepa Spooner, Lorraine Fairest, Julian Spooner, Ellyce McLeod, Reece Howard, Merenia Henry-Teirney and Ronnie Honana, thank you for your tireless contribution to the iBook and ePub versions of the book. To Rob Hu and Fleur at Ultimo Group, thanks for the printing and design advice.
On the following page is a dedication to my dear friend and co-author, Melissa Wikaire, who passed away on May 7th. I know she would want to thank her whānau, her sons Manaia and Waka, partner Neil, mother Marian, and Auntie Diane, for their ongoing devotion and support.
I too want to thank my children, Joss, Mia Marama and Merenia, the light of my life, who give me endless joy and support, and to my best mate, thank you Hone, for sharing your whānau with us, Putira, Awanui, Te Maapi, Monica and mokopuna, Tia Pounamu and Parerimu.
We are as strong as the people we love, who love us back; and as tall as the people who allow us to stand on their shoulders. To be able to stand on the shoulders of such giants of Māori screen production as Tungia Baker, Wi Kuki Kaa, Dalvanius Prime, Tama Poata, Don Selwyn, Barry Barclay, Merata Mita, and now Melissa Wikaire has made me very strong and very tall.
Melissa and I have always been proud to be part of the evolution of our unique and distinctive Māori screen industry, and I know I share her hope that this book further contributes to that evolution.
DEDICATION: HE MANAWANUI
Melissa Ann Wikaire (Ngāti Hine)
7 June 1970 – 7 May 2013
On Saturday 11 May 2013 at Takaparawha Marae, Ōrakei, Melissa’s final call sheet was published and she was laid to rest at the Urupā, Okahu Bay Auckland, with over five hundred gathered to farewell her. She is survived by partner Neil James and their whānau, Manaia and Waka. For all of us present on the cloudless sunny day it was a bittersweet occasion. Melissa was too young, talented and had just begun a new pathway in Rongoa Māori (Māori healing) convinced that this was the answer to her cancer. We mourn her passing and yet are grateful for the time we were lucky enough to spend with her, our colleague, our friend, and our sister, our beloved ‘Mel’.
Melissa in her short forty-two years had attained her dream professional and personal life goals. She lived with her darling partner Neil on his papakainga (tribal homeland) in Ōrakei, their sons Manaia and Waka were doing well at school and their extended whānau rejoiced in their success.
In her professional life, Melissa was a programme Commissioner at Māori Television (MTS). A powerful position in New Zealand broadcasting, there being only twelve in total across all our national channels, that her colleagues also held her in high regard was a rarity. This was due to her experience and expertise in all facets of production and also to her quiet, calm, practical approach. Melissa was universally liked, no mean feat in the fiercely competitive screen production sector.
Raised by an extended whānau that included five uncles and four generations in one household, and as the oldest mokopuna in her generation, it was natural that Melissa after doing a rare media studies option upon graduation from Penrose High in 1987, gravitated towards a Māori focused film pathway.
The year 1987 was a critical time in Māori screen production, ‘Ngāti’ directed by Barry Barclay starring Wi Kuki Kaa and associate-produced and written by Tama Poata with John O’Shea had become the first New Zealand feature-film directed, written, produced and starring Māori to be selected for International Critics’ Week at Cannes Film Festival. Barry in co-creating the start of a Māori film and television guild, which was named Te Manu Aute by Wi Kuki, had followed their kaupapa of ‘By Māori, for Māori’ and on the ‘Ngāti’ crew employed trainee Māori. Among the trainees were Karen Sidney and Cherie O’Shea.
In 1988 Melissa entered the Don Selwyn run filmmaking course He Taonga I Tāwhiti run at Waiatarau Marae, Freemans Bay in Auckland. It was a six-month course funded by the then Māori Affairs (now Te Puni Kōkiri) Tu Tangata programme. Her classmates of the time have said theirs was the third six-monthly intake. Don, a founding member of the NZ Māori Theatre Trust and also a trained primary school teacher had made the switch to acting and was already a household name on NZ screens (Pukemanu, Mortimer’s Patch; Sleeping Dogs). Don used all his contacts to get the best working film and television makers of the time for his trainees, some of these tutors included the legendary Dick Reade (Sound).
Melissa was one of only two women in her class of ten trainees that included Dell Raerino, Lee Allison and Ted Koopu. After completing her training, at 18 years of age she landed her first three-month job on a feature film in Wellington, working as Continuity or Script Supervisor. This is a ‘self-charge’ position that demands an eye for minute detail and the ability to work closely with crew. From that first film, she worked hard to excel in that position, freelancing in mainstream and the fledging Māori film and television industry for ten years. She trained many of the current NZ continuity workers and before she was thirty years old, told me she had worked with one hundred different directors.
At the same time as Melissa was starting her career, Don Selwyn encouraged all his trainees to engage in Māori film and television Hui that Te Manu Aute were organising. Melissa attended the 1988 Te Manu Aute Hui at Hoani Waititi Marae, and met Karen Sidney and Kara Paewai. These three were to become influential in later projects.
In 1992 Melissa was appointed to Te Ara Whakaata the first and only Māori film and television committee of Te Waka Toi, the former Māori arm of Creative New Zealand. Her fellow committee members included Gabrielle Huria, Wi Kuki Kaa, Anne Keating, Kara Paewai and Whetu Fala.
In their short twelve-month existence the committee published three issues about Māori films and filmmakers in the Te Ara Whakaata magazine, edited by Karen and Gabrielle, as well as running a national Māori film and television hui at Turangawaewae Marae, Ngāruawāhia.
Melissa volunteered in Auckland and Karen in Wellington as the secretaries for Te Manu Aute and when Karen moved to Auckland in the late 80’s Kara Paewai took over in Wellington.
In 1993 Melissa and Kara published a world-first, ‘The Brown Pages’, a directory of Māori film and television crew. The Brown Pages was updated in 1996, 2003 and 2008. This book is now an online directory that is edited by Māori-Samoan film-maker, Iuelia Leilua.
In 1994 Melissa travelled to ‘Dreamspeakers Native Film Festival in Canada’ with writer Karen Sidney, to screen and present the ‘Ngā Puna’ drama ‘Kahu & Maia’, produced by Don Selwyn and Ruth Kaupua, starring Cliff Curtis and Vanessa Rare. It won the top film award for Karen, and earned Melissa the title of ‘Iniskimaki – Buffalo Stone Woman’ gifted to her by elder Joe Croweshoe, of the Blackfoot Peigan people.
In 1996 Melissa co-founded with Kara Paewai, Ella Henry and others, Ngā Aho Whakaari. Melissa served as the Secretary on the Executive until 1999, when she was appointed to the Short Film Fund of Creative NZ. Her fellow Committee members included celebrated Samoan film-maker, Sima Urale.
In 2000 Melissa stepped down from the Ngā Aho Whakaari Executive and was selected to represent Māori filmmakers at the South Pacific Festival of the Arts in Noumea, New Caledonia. Melissa and Ella raised the funds and organised the screening programme under the banner ‘Wāhine Whitiwhitiāhua ki Kanaki’ (Māori women film-makers to Kanaki). Among those that attended were Karen Sidney, Ruhia Edna Stirling and Whetu Fala. Screenings were held in the Festival Village, next to the Māori ‘ta moko’ (tattooing) stall, and also in the Noumea Library and Art Gallery.
In 2001 Melissa co-produced the ‘Aroha’, a six-part, half-hour drama series filmed entirely in Te Reo Māori. This series screened to critical acclaim at the 2002 New Zealand International Film Festival; Dreamspeakers Festival, Canada; Hawaii Film Festival; Message Sticks festival in Australia, and it won Best Drama at the ImagiNative Film Festival in Toronto, Canada. Also that year, Melissa was selected along with Lisa Reihana to represent Māori filmmakers and screen their work at the Festivale de Cinéma de Douarnez in France.
In 2006 Melissa joined Māori Television where she produced several popular in-house series and trained a new generation of Māori broadcasters, before becoming a programme Commissioner.
Her five hundred production credits include crewing on ‘E Tipu e Rea’, the first Māori drama series for TVNZ (1989), the feature film ‘Once Were Warriors’ (1993), the second Māori television drama series, ‘Ngā Puna’ (1993), international productions of ‘Hercules’ (1995), producing Māori Television series, ‘Tau Kee’, and Executive Producing the documentary series for Māori Television , ‘Songs from the Inside’ (2012).
Hoki ki ō mātua tūpuna, kua wheturangitia koe! Haere e hine, haere atu rā!
Whetu Fala, May 12th 2013