Pokarekare Ana: A Maori Love Story
This documentary is the full story of a song which is arguably New Zealand’s favourite love song: our unofficial national anthem. The programme traces the romantic history of Pokarekare Ana, said to have been written to persuade Ngati Porou elders to bless a marriage proposal. Not everyone agrees with this claim to the song’s history, however, and the documentary navigates the rocky territory of contrary versions of events.
In 1987 David Lange was publicly challenged over his party’s right to use the song in their political campaigning. We hear from his challenger and Lange’s immediate response at the time.
The popularity and endurance of the song is explained and we also see a number of performances from over the decades including St Joseph’s Girls’ Choir singing in the Waitomo Caves in 1960, and opera singer Inia Te Wiata performing the song in English shortly before his death in 1971. And in a recent performance, entertainer Hinewehi Mohi enlists a 30,000-strong league crowd as her backing singers. As one of the programme participants sees it:
“It’s a mesmerizing type of melody…. Most of the words are easily remembered and even for the most hardened kiwi it still conjures up some interior view they have of this country. I don’t think people realize how much it has touched us all, without us even really knowing.”
Who wrote this famous song – NZ’s unofficial national anthem?
Producer: Philippa Mossman
Associate Producer: Hinewehi Mohi
Special Thanks to: The descendants of Paraire Tomoana and Sir Apirana Ngata
Thanks to: Takitimu Performing Arts, Wayne Baxter, Charles Ropatini, Awhitia Cultural Group, St Joseph’s Maori Girls soloist Maisey Rika
Exec producer: Tony Manson
Director: Chas Toogood
Trainee Director: Kim Muriwai
Researchers: Jane Reeves, Andrea Hotere, Kim Muriwai
Offline Editor: Dianne Revell
Online Editor: Hamish Hill
Production manager: Toni Williams
Production assistants: Lornelle Henry, Elizabeth McGougan
Camera: Richard Williams
Second camera: Hamish Wilson, Chris Terpstra, Martin Cornick
Sound: Tony Wollams, Don Anderson
2nd Sound: Olaf Wiig
Production accountants: Glenda Paterson, Jeanette Wiles-Cromie
Funded by: TV One & NZ On Air