This is unedited raw film footage, shot by Academy Award winning US Marine cinematographer Norman T. Hatch for a US newsreel that was never completed, provisionally titled 'Meet New Zealand'. Around 21,000 Marines were stationed in camps around the Wellington region from June 1942 until November 1943. Most of their time was spent training hard preparing for the war in the Southwest Pacific against the Japanese.
The footage on this reel is silent and has been spliced together from various film reels out of chronological order.
[Scene 43] Silverstream Hospital in Upper Hutt was taken over by the US Marines from 1942-44. Many American nurses were shipped in to care for the American war casualties.
[Scene 92] A wide shot looking across Auckland towards One Tree Hill, and across suburbia towards Pukekohe. Looking across to Rangitoto Island from a vantage point.
[Scene 67] Marines high diving and general cavorting at the famous Rotorua Blue Baths.
[Scene 75C] Throngs of uniformed students walking and cycling across the quad in Christ’s College, Christchurch. [Scene 75D] Students entering the school hall and [75D] walking with a Marine through the school entrance.
[Scene 78] Static shot of an older, rural church with a tower.
[Scene 49] Close-ups of horse-drawn plough.
[Scene 92G] An elderly man in a bowler hat blowing a whistle abruptly cuts to a tram travelling along Queen Street, Auckland with the John Court Ltd department store to the right of frame. Looking from Queen Street up Victoria Street many people are crossing this busy intersection including American soldiers. Sharland Chemist can be prominently seen and Begg’s Musical Electrical Centre and McKenzies department store can be seen from another angle looking along Queen Street.
[Scene 65G] At Whakarewarewa Marae, Marines flip coins into the warm springs and Māori tamariki dive or jump in after them.
[Scene 66] A geyser is billowing a massive column of steam.
[Scene 76A] In busy Cathedral Square, Christchurch, an old man is sweeping debris off the tram tracks. Cyclists and pedestrians on the move in all directions.
[Scene 64D] Close-ups of a putting shot.
[Scene 65B] Wahine bathing in hot spring, mother with baby.