This paper outlines key categories and elements of Kia Manawanui: Kaupapa Māori Film Theoretical Framework, developed to interrogate film texts and shed light on the processes of Māori film production and environments within which filmmakers operate. Kia Manawanui film theory is informed by diverse expressions of Kaupapa Māori , Indigenous and critical media studies, discussions with Māori filmmakers, theorists and film texts, particularly Ngati (1987), Mauri (1988) and Te Tangata Whai Rawa o Wēniti—The Māori Merchant of Venice (2002).
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. Zion (Hita, Milligan & Kahi, 2013).