Great South Stories: Generational survival

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With the help of NZ On-air, filmmaker Rupert Mackenzie has taken cameras out to film an eclectic mix of stories about the lives of interesting characters on the famed Great South Road.

The story for Matutaera Herangi, his family, and many others in the Ngaruawahia area has been one of generational survival. This clever and engaging high-school teacher wants to take hold and change the narrative that stifles the Kingitanga country. 

Where Great South Road is often cited as a 'transportation hub' it was once considered "a monster, a ngārara", Herangi says. It's a road that his people have come and lost their way of life, their knowledge, and their community. 

So together with his family, Herangi is fundraising to build a Papākainga (communal area) on his property and his family's adjoining properties. The whānau wishes to return to the community values of their past, so to pave a better future. 

Great South Road is New Zealand’s longest road, starting in Auckland’s swanky shopping quarter of Newmarket and ending in Ohaupo, Waikato Dairy country.

Used by or home to car dealers, churches, residences, food outlets, farmers, the homeless, street rappers, volunteers, and schools, it is a road that intersects and connects our past, the present, and future.

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