The story of New Zealand’s unique Maori-Chinese community through the experiences of one Auckland family is the subject of a new documentary, EATING PORK‘N’PUHA WITH CHOPSTICKS, screening on Maori Television for the first time.
The hour-long film – headlining the New Zealand Documentary slot, Pakipumeka Aotearoa, on Wednesday August 1 at 8.30 PM – is produced by Coromandel-based Freckle Films Limited.
Director and executive producer Alison Carter says the documentary follows three generations of the Lee family with the story beginning in the market gardens of South Auckland in the 1920s.
As well as featuring footage of trips back to China, the Lee family share with viewers what it is like to be both Chinese and Maori – when the Maori treat you as Chinese, the Chinese treat you as Maori, and Pakeha do not know what you are.
EATING PORK‘N’PUHA WITH CHOPSTICKS examines questions of identity and racism, and illustrates the shared values and differences between the two races, Carter explains.
“By following an extended family through the stories of three generations, we look at what it meant to be Chinese Maori in the past and what it means today.
“The documentary focuses not only on their struggle to cope with their dual identity but on the positive things they share as cultures, strong family ties, respect for elders, the honouring of the dead, and manaakitanga.
“It provides a rich story of a people who although not large in number have played a special part in New Zealand’s history.”
EATING PORK‘N’PUHA WITH CHOPSTICKS screens in Maori Television’s New Zealand Documentary slot, Pakipumeka Aotearoa, on Wednesday August 1 at 8.30 PM.