David Whittet's Blog
Family Physician and Film Maker

Location Research for the Marae Scene

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The Marae ceremony in which the young Aroha and Hunapo are made blood cousins is a key scene in the film and getting it right has been weighing heavily on my mind.

Finding the right Marae proved a challenge. There were important logistic considerations, including transporting the cast and a large number of extras to the location and associate budgetary considerations. Walter Walsh (the Wiz) again proved an amazing asset to the team, with contacts on all the local Marae committees he was an invaluable help in negotiating permission for filming on the Maraes.

This afternoon, Mark and I travelled round all the Maraes in the region, including Te Poho-o-Rawiri Marae at Kaiti Hill, Pokowhai andRongo Pai Maraes at Patutahi and the Manatuke Mearae. But eventually I decided on the Takipu Marae in Te Karaka. I have driven past this Marae practically every day in the past fifteen years and it holds a special place in my heart. The beautiful rural setting is perfect for the film, with the rolling hills in the background leading to the Rere falls!