The Road to Whakarae” is part of the new Loading Docs initiative established by the New Zealand Film Commission and NZ On Air. Filmmakers Tim Worrall and Aaron Smart saw it as a perfect opportunity to create a small project that celebrated the lighthearted and joyful aspects of being Ngai Tūhoe. It was also an opportunity to bring together and train a film crew from Te Waimana in preparation for future projects.
The lyrics of the song “Te Rori ki Whakarae, e” tell of how the winding, dusty road is a special part of the mana of the Waimana Valley. The same could be said of the various whānau and hapū in the valley who have retained much of what it is to live in a uniquely Tūhoe way. This is the spirit the filmmakers hope to share in the film.