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In an effort to combat unemployment and the departure of their young people to urban centres, the local Kaikoura marae led by kaumatua Bill Solomon, mortgaged their homes to fund a venture to regularly take tourists out to observe sperm whale in their natural environment. The local Maori called their venture “Whalewatch” and the boom in tourism dollars that followed caused a struggle in Kaikoura between those hoping to benefit from the venture.

This documentary looks at the success of the venture, including the construction of the marae which gave the local people the chance to refamiliarise themselves with the stories of their ancestors; photographs and footage of whaling that took place a hundred years ago; a brief overview of Kaikoura’s whaling history; TVNZ news footage of the sabotage suffered by “Whalewatch”.

Interviews with: Bill Solomon, Chairman Whalewatch; Tipene O’Regan; Wally Stone, General Manager of Whalewatch; Lorraine Hawke, Skipper; Rebecca Clayton; Des Snelling; Barbara Todd, Nature Watch; Mike Morrissey, Department of Conservation; Graham Chambers, Seal Swimming; Marcus Solomon, Skipper; Miriama Watson, Office Supervisor; Alan Hickey, Hotelier; Claire Mathews, Youth Hostel.

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Year 1992

Reference number F57961

Collection Film and Video Collection

Media type Moving Image

Place of Production NEW ZEALAND/AOTEAROA

Duration 0:46:07

Production company AROHA FILMS, Potiki FILMS

Location information

Credits Director: Haunui Royal
Produced: Gabrielle Huria
Produced: Karen Sidney
Network Executive: Tom Finlayson
Consulting Producer: Allison Weber
Director of Photography: Wayne Vinten
Sound Recordist: John McNicholas
Original Music: Jaydee Productions
Graphics: Dan Brown
Production Assistant: Melissa Wikaire
Production Assistant: Nathan Pohio
Editors: Douglas Braddock
Editors: Anthony Muru
Narrator: Don Charles Selwyn
Dedicated To: Wharetutu Stirling

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