Our film highlights important social, cultural, and political aspects of Indigeneity in Aotearoa New Zealand, giving voice to kaihekengaru (Māori surfers) and their roles as kaitiaki (guardians) of surf breaks and coastal environments.
The following principles guide our approach in this project:
As a start to the film, Te Ara Moana (Pathway to the Sea) crew met in Ragland to experience the Tainui Games, an inter-tribal family surf competition.
Director Nick Reo (Ojibwe) is a surfer and Indigenous studies professor who specializes in Indigenous environmental studies. His professional + surfing network and research experience in Indigenous ethnography and other methods make him uniquely qualified to make this film. Dan LaFranier is an Indigenous photographer who runs Sundance Media (Kalispell, Montana). Mark Wilson is an audio engineer, filmmaker, former elected Tribal official.