THE LAND WE LIVE IN was produced by the NZ Educational Film Company (Messrs Siegal and Wilson) using Charles Newham as cameraman. It was filmed 1918-19 and was aimed at the educational and schools market. It was a two-hour, 10,000ft film made up of scenic shots focusing on all the main centres and, with the aid of a map of New Zealand in the film, showing the principal towns, scenic views and industry in each province.
The surviving 21 minute sequence shows scenes of the new Glaxo factory in production at Matangi which opened in 1919. It was described, in an item on the film, in the Auckland Star, July 9, 1919, p.7:
“Dealing first with the industrial phases of the picture, one of the most interesting was that devoted to the new branch of the dairy industry, under which is to be classified the production of Glaxo, or dried milk. The film shows views of Messrs Joseph Nathan and Company’s up-to-date and extensive works at Matangi, with adjuncts in the shape of comfortable cottages for the workmen. The bringing in of the milk in its ordinary fluid form by the suppliers was first shown. The process of transforming the milk into its dried state was then exhibited. The Glaxo being seen rolled out of a large machine in thin sheets. The sifting process and the packing of the product in tins (also manufactured there), and the final view of the well appointed engine room and the modern plant, completed the interesting visit to these works.”
We can identify the Matangi factory exterior in the film and the above description largely equates to what can be seen on screen.
Shots of the main centres also equate to what is described as being part of THE LAND WE LIVE IN. The scenic shots of the gorge shows a very smart NZ soldier in lemon squeezer hat who looks as if he is returning home or using his free travel warrants to see the country.
The addition is the Versailles scenes that are similar to Pathé newsreels shot around 1918 and were possibly taken by Charlie Barton, making this one of the only films shot by him as official cameraman in the collection of the New Zealand Film Archive (now Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision).
From notes by Chris Pugsley.
Scenes of machinery and workers in Glaxo factory at Matangi. Tins move on conveyor belt, worker weighs milk powder and places it into bags which are put into Glaxo tins, tins go round on machine in background. Men place lids on tins. At the back of the factory horses and carts stand with milk cans on back of carts. Workers roll the milk cans onto a platform where the milk is tipped into vats. Sheet of dried milk processed by machinery.
[Cadillac Touring 1911] car with number plate 'GH1114' drives along road. Car drives onto ferry punt with passengers including a very smart soldier in NZ army uniform with lemon squeezer hat. Soldier smoking pipe on punt. Car disembarks from punt and drives up road. Ferry loaded with sheep nearing riverbank. Views of car, river and bush.
Scenes of [Poor Knights] islands. Long boat carrying seamen in uniform and other passengers rows into cave in cliffs. Boats with passengers viewing inside of caves. Boats rowing out of caves, large steam ship in background. Boats row towards steam ship.
Scenes around Wellington. Children playing at Lyall Bay beach, people swimming in surf in background. People sitting and walking around changing sheds 'men only' sign on one of them. Views of men, women and children in water dipping feet and swimming. Young girl waves at camera. Views of people sitting on beach in bathing gear and street clothes, suits and hats. Families sitting on crowded beach with children. Small girl looks at camera then is joined by another child. Young men in bathers lying on beach, hamming it up to camera. Fade out.
Oriental Parade and Wellington from Roseneath. Pan houses in Oriental Bay, adults and children sitting on park benches. Boats moored at Clyde Quay marina. Men and boys diving into and swimming at Te Aro Baths.
Men and women at New Zealand United Bowling and Tennis Club in Christchurch, women in long white dresses. Men playing lawns bowls on green. Tennis courts with large country club pavilion in background.
Group strolling around Botanic Gardens, Wellington. Plantings.
Girl mounted on horse. Scenes of men working in market garden, plowing land with Cleveland tractor and plough at [Ruakura Experimental] Farm.
Pan of Newtown Park to children playing on large wooden swing.
Australian and New Zealand troops visiting Palace of Versailles [post Armistice in early 1919]. Views of formal gardens and water features at Palace.
Scenes around Dunedin. Wide pan of Dunedin houses and harbour. King Edward Technical College Building, Stuart Street. Dunedin Railway Station, horses carts and trams in street. St Paul's Anglican Cathedral. Pan of The Octagon, passengers boarding tram. First Presbyterian Church. Dunedin Law Courts. Dunedin Railway Station. Queen Victoria Statue. New Zealand Express Building, Bond Street. Pan of Otago Boy's High School.
Scenes around Christchurch. Government Buildings, Cathedral Square, tram passing by. Royal Exchange Building. Wardells Building, corner of High and Cashel Streets. Street scenes, pedestrians, cyclists, cars and trams. YMCA building. Canterbury Museum, with Rolleston Statue in foreground. The Great Hall, Canterbury College. Views of Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament.
Scenes in Wellington. Pan Wellington city and harbour from [Brooklyn] hillside. Views of Courtenay Place, pedestrians, trams and cars, De Luxe Cinema and Mount Victoria in background. High angle view of Courtenay Place from De Luxe Cinema.
Views inside shoe factory. Men making shoes. Close up soles in shoe. Pattern maker cutting out shapes of leather. Close up shoe soles. Man operating sewing machine. Finished shoe held up. Cutting leather. Shoes. Ladies three quarter leather shoes modelled.