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Māori Television recreates the past, bringing together New Zealanders to celebrate Anzac Day

It’s been 101 years since blood was spilled at Gallipoli, but for Māori Television that blood has provided the foundation for a new campaign to show the war is a history all of Aotearoa shares, despite our own personal histories. To get people thinking about what Anzac Day means to them, Māori Television teamed up with Goodfolk to create a short-film documentary The Blood We Share.

When research started, creative director Mark Easterbrook says Goodfolk was very conscious of the fact that Māori and Pakeha experiences of New Zealand’s war history are very different.

“We also knew that Anzac Day gives us the opportunity to reflect on what we share, as well as our differences. The idea grew from there.”

The concept involved finding two decedents, one Māori and one Pakeha, of soldiers who served at the Somme and asking them to donate blood in honor of those who has come before. Pita Pirihi and Stefan Tarr answered the call, and the coming together of their two histories was then represented symbolically in a painting of an Anzac poppy.

To ensure the story was told with sensitivity and care, Goodfolk turned to FarmerClark’s Alison Farmer and Simon Clark. Easterbrook says Farmer has “an amazing ability for drawing stories out of people”, while Clark “knows how to capture human moments in an intimate but respectful way”.

For Māori Television, the work by Goodfolk and FarmerClark has produced what head of marketing and brand Ian Howard calls “more than just an ad campaign”.

“It’s not often I’m lost for words, but at the end of the first creative review, I knew I had seen something special… It’s a compelling piece of storytelling that perfectly reflects our inclusive perspective on modern day Aotearoa. I couldn’t be prouder of the end product.” 

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