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The film documents the occupation of Bastion Point in the struggle for Māori land rights. The protest began in 1977 when the government proposed to subdivide Māori land in the centre of Auckland. Ngāti Whātua people occupied the land, built living areas and planted crops. The film concentrates on the 507th day of occupation (May 25th, 1978) when the protesters were forcibly evicted by police. No other film crew was permitted in the occupied area.

Merata Mita: “This film is the total opposite of how a television documentary is made. It has a partisan viewpoint, is short on commentary, and emphasises the overkill aspect of the combined police/military operation. It is a style of documentary that I have never deviated from because it best expresses a Māori approach to film making.”

The Bastion Point occupation was one of the most important events in modern-day Māori protest.

I noho a Ngāti Whātua me ngā tāngata tautoko i a rātou, ki runga i te whenua e kīia nei ko Takaparawhau, arā, Bastion Point, mō ngā rā 507. Ka whiua atu e te kāwanatanga e ngā tokomaha pirihimana kia riro atu te tangata whenua. He whawhai rongonui tēnei nā Ngāti Whātua kia whakahokia ō rātou whenua kāinga, nā rātou i tū kaha, ka tere tautoko ētehi atu o ngā iwi ki a rātou.

Nā wai rā, ka whakahokia tērā wā kāinga ki te iwi.

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Year 1980

Reference number F9380

Collection Film and Video Collection

Media type Moving Image

Place of Production NEW ZEALAND/AOTEAROA

Genre Television

Duration 0:27:11

Production company Mita, Narbey, Pohlmann

Viewing locations Digital file available to view at medialibrary, Wellington

Taonga Māori Collection Yes

Credits Producer: Merata Mita
Producer: Leon Narbey
Producer: Gerd Pohlmann
Director: Merata Mita
Director: Leon Narbey
Director: Gerd Pohlmann
Editor : Leon Narbey
Camera: Leon Narbey