Mataku

Season 2 Episode 4

The Final Plume: Te Raukura

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Aired Thursday 9:30 PM Nov 28, 2002 on TVNZ
9.2
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The Final Plume: Te Raukura
AIRED:
The Final Plume' tells the story of Sean Ngari , a young man who is a role model teenager. However, one day, without warning, Sean's nature changes. His mother consults a Tohunga who reveals that Sean is acting on the dying wish of an old Maori Chief. However, when the Tohunga tries to break the curse, he soon finds that the forces at work are more powerful than he could ever have imagined.moreless

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    • TRIVIA (2)

      • A Tohunga is an "expert" in something, in this episode he would be priest and scholar. The higher class of priests were tohunga ahure wa and tohunga tuahu while a tohunga whaihanga is an expert canoemaker /carpenter.

      • In 1993 this episode was nominated for "Best Episode: Drama Series or Serial" at the 2003 AFTA New Zealand Television Awards.

    • QUOTES (0)

    • NOTES (1)

      • "The idea for 'The Final Plume/Te Raukura' originated from two story ideas," says director Carey Carter. "The first relates to the old traditions of a Chief's dying words or 'ohaaki': if that Chief also possessed the priestly powers of a Tohunga then sometimes his dying wish would also become a curse to his enemies or something that his followers would swear allegiance to."

        "The second and most important element of this story focuses on 'Mate Maori' or Maori sickness which is a spiritual type of sickness."

        Carter says the idea for the story came to him after hearing again of the increasing rate of youth suicide in New Zealand and the notion that sometimes, Western medicine is ill-equipped to deal with mental health or issues such as 'Mate Maori'.

        "I was inspired to write this story because old Maori beliefs such as spiritual sickness have been frowned upon as heathen beliefs that have no place in Western society," he says. "I think it is important that we look to the traditional methods to help as options, just as much as the more modern techniques."

        For those involved with the Mataku story, highlighting Maori issues and beliefs and their relevance to modern-living was something they all felt was important.

        "As well as stating the significance of spiritual sickness, we felt it was important to get the whole topic of mental health out in the open," says Carter. "The more people are made aware of these things, the less it becomes a taboo subject."

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