25 Years - The New Zealand Film Archive.

Re-enactment of the signing of The Treaty of Waitangi. Frame grab, Episode 1, The Governor (TV1, 1977)

Hone Heke's men chop down the flagpole. Frame grab, Episode 1, The Governor (TV1, 1977)

Actor Corin Redgrave plays Governor Grey. Frame grab, episode 4 The Governor (TV1, 1977)

Title credit. Frame grab, The Governor (TV1, 1977)


Tracking Shots

Close Ups on NZ Film History

The Governor / Te Kawana

Broadcast on TV1 in 1977, The Governor, a six-part series based on the life of Sir George Grey, was then, the most ambitious drama series ever produced in New Zealand.

The Governor was expensive, and critically received. And it caused controversy even before it was broadcast. Then Prime Minister Robert Muldoon deemed the production costs exorbitant and ordered a Parliamentary Public Expenditure Committee to investigate.

As commentator, Lawrence McDonald remarked, “the negative fallout effectively spelt the end of ambitious historical dramatised documentaries on New Zealand television. Apart from the series Pioneer Women in the early 1980s, there has been nothing quite like it since.”

The series was broadcast during October and November 1977 and won the 1978 Feltex Award for Best Drama. Episode 4 won the Award for Best Script.

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Text by Diane Pivac for NZFA, June 2007


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Related Film & Video
The Governor - Episode 1. The Reverend Traitor
The Governor - Episode 2. He Iwi Tahi Tatou
Related Audio
Film & History Conference. Lawrence McDonald. Mary Paul
Related Books
The Governor, Keith Aberdein
Ourselves in Primetime: a History of New Zealand Television Drama, Trishia Dunleavy

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