Pokarekare Ana


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?


Promotional Trailer


Production Details

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