Like a number of fundamental Māori rituals and practices, pōwhiri have appeared in New Zealand fiction feature film since its beginnings in the silent era. Pōwhiri are multisensory, kinaesthetic experiences that, for most Māori, recall one’s tūrangawaewae—where he or she stands and belongs—because, in general, the predominant experience of pōwhiri is at home, amongst one’s own community. This article critically analyses pōwhiri as it has been constructed in New Zealand feature film history. It first presents an historical overview of pōwhiri and then focuses on Tearepa Kahi’s Mt.
Many Māori researchers have mahi-toi skills. Mahi-toi, arts and the production of art, is where a concept takes physical form, and is brought into the physical realm by mahi-ā-ringa. The mahi-toi practitioner is the conduit. When the practitioner is also the researcher and vice versa, these vernaculars can enrich each other, and structure the work. Setting research writing practice beside mahi-toi practice also lends theoretical and analytical frameworks that could be useful for mahi-toi practitioners making the transition to academic research.