Maori Television launches Pakipumeka Aotearoa documentary series

Maori Television will be showcasing a range of New Zealand documentaries in the Pakipumeka Aotearoa series. The one-hour documentaries will air on Saturday nights at 8.30-9.30pm.

This week, Saturday 20 August, meet New Zealand’s own version of Erin Brockovich in The Green Chain. Whakatane man Joe Harawira fought the powers of industry and government and won.

The former sawmill worker believes his exposure to poison in the workplace led to him becoming seriously ill, so he fought to seek the truth behind the death and sickness that afflicted his community. The Green Chain tells his story.

On Saturday 27 August check out a new movement coming out of Hawke’s Bay that is encouraging Maori people to get fit and healthy in IronMaori: Movement of the People.

The first IronMaori half-ironman was born in December 2009 with 288 competitors after event founder Heather Skipworth, a health professional from Pakipaki – the rural predominantly Maori settlement south of Hastings – had an epiphany to do something to reverse the negative health statistics prevailing in the Maori community.

She viewed a half-ironman (2km swim, 90km cycle and 21.1km run) as a challenge that would force a significant lifestyle change that could be continued – “one that would lengthen the time to get to your grave”, she says.

Finally, one week out from Rugby World Cup 2011 kick off, we explore the history of New Zealand rugby culture and the world cup and its affect on our psyche in The Wait of the Nation on Saturday 3 September.

The Wait of the Nation tells the story of the All Black’s inaugural world cup triumph on home soil in 1987, where the Men In Black helped heal the wounds of the disastrous Springbok Tour of 1981 and reunite Kiwis behind their national game.

As the tournament returns to New Zealand this year, only one thing matters: winning that elusive World Cup. For this rugby-mad nation, it’s a question of national pride.

So sit back and relax whanau and look in with Maori Television for these essential Saturday night viewing of some great home-grown documentaries.

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