The harsh realities of farming provide a baptism of frost, rain and mud for 14 cadets on the new Maori Television series, TE WERO O TIHIOTONGA, premiering on Sunday November 25 at 5.00 PM.
The cadets are part of Te Arawa Future Farming Trust – an organisation that promotes and develops the training of a new generation of Maori farmers. Farming is experiencing boom economic times and while Maori landowners are happy to share in the returns, they are concerned about the future of farming for their people and how much of a part they will have to play in the future.
TE WERO O TIHIOTONGA takes viewers on a journey with the cadets – experiencing their highs and lows, their joys and sorrows and the inevitable tensions that occur when people are thrust into new living environments. Produced by Rotorua’s Haututu Productions and presented by Rawiri Waru (Te Arawa, Ngapuhi), the crew follows the fortunes of the cadets for a year as the youngsters struggle to find their feet, many living away from home for the first time.
Home away from home for the cadets is some renovated shearing quarters that sit in the shadow of the hill that gives this series its name – TE WERO O TIHIOTONGA. Most of the cadets have not excelled at school and this course could be their last chance to gain educational qualifications, learn new skills and make solid friendships.
TE WERO O TIHIOTONGA also explores the dynamics between the cadets and their adult ‘teachers’. Irishman Alex Johnstone has 15 years of farming experience in New Zealand under his belt but nothing can prepare him for trying to herd the cadets into places they don’t want to go. It’s a challenge too, for the course administrators. Todd Cooper and Clarry Church are part disciplinarians, part mentors and part brothers-in-arms. They share a special relationship with the cadets and are critical to the success of the course.
Follow the farming fortunes of the 14 cadets on Maori Television’s new show, TE WERO O TIHIOTONGA, premiering on Sunday November 25 at 5.00 PM.