Meet the West Coasters, new documentary series

06 September 2023
Development West Coast
An intimate documentary series transports the viewer with its poignant narrative of resilience and heritage exploring the lives of Māori on the rugged Te Tai o Poutini (West Coast) of Te Wai Pounamu.

Funded by NZ On Air, WEST COASTERS premieres at 7.30 PM on Monday 4 September on Whakaata Māori and MĀORI+.

Co-producer Tara Durrant (Ngāi Te Rangi), of Fire Fire says the series shows the profound significance of embracing the past whilst stepping into the future.

“Anchored by the Arahura River flowing through their ancestral lands, WEST COASTERS showcases six stories of Māori, their deep connection to the land and their aspirations for the future,” says Tara Durrant.

“At the heart of everything rests the pounamu, a sacred peace stone nestled beneath the flowing waters of the awa.

“The enduring struggle for pounamu has shaped the narrative of West Coast Māori.

“While the gold rush may have faded into history, the breathtaking beauty of the South Island stands as a stark juxtaposition to the losses endured by these lands” says Tara.

“Amidst the challenges, the unwavering spirit of the West Coasters shines through their unbreakable connection to the whenua they call home.”

MONDAY 4 SEPTEMBER 7.30 PM: EPISODE 1 – TE TAI O POUTINI – Discover the essence of Te Tai o Poutini. Delve into the history, pūrākau, and vibrant community of this remarkable place. At the heart of it all rests the pounamu.

MONDAY 11 SEPTEMBER 7.30 PM: EPISODE 2 – ANCIENT LANDS – Journey into the depths of the West Coast, an ancient land encompassing the vastness of the sea, endless stretches of sand, towering mountains, and majestic glaciers.

MONDAY 18 SEPTEMBER 7.30 PM: EPISODE 3 – CONFRONTING LOSS – The arrival of a new culture brings forth a devastating impact, causing loss, disconnection and a decline in their population.

MONDAY 25 SEPTEMBER 7.30 PM: EPISODE 4 – A PATH TO PROGRESS – Through shared experiences, ancestral bonds, and a profound love for their heritage, the people of Te Tai o Poutini – “the stone people” – embark on a journey of reclamation and reconnection.

MONDAY 2 OCTOBER 7.30 PM: EPISODE 5 – EMPOWERING WĀHINE – Embracing their unique strengths, vulnerabilities and resilience, the remarkable wāhine of Te Tai o Poutini are at the forefront of driving positive change and shaping a powerful legacy.

MONDAY 9 OCTOBER 7.30 PM: EPISODE 6 – THE FUTURE OF TE TAI O POUTINI – With unwavering determination the West Coasters work tirelessly to build a community that reflects their values, dreams and aspirations.

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