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Activist filmmaking at its finest — the documentary PATU!, directed by pioneering indigenous director Merata Mita, records a watershed moment in New Zealand history.

The 1981 tour of New Zealand by South African rugby team the Springboks divided the country’s opinion and marked the largest and most sustained period of civil disobedience in our recent history. PATU! records events from the point of view of those who were against the Tour.

A collaborative effort, it was created by a large collective of filmmakers and directed by documentary maker Merata Mita, who passed away suddenly in 2010. The footage was gathered under very difficult, sometimes dangerous, conditions and was subject to efforts by authorities to seize the resulting material.

PATU! was digitally preserved for the 40th anniversary of the Tour in 2021. The process took five years and included high-quality new scans of the master film and sound material. It was also returned to its original length by reinserting scenes that were trimmed for television.

PATU! is considered one of the best examples of activist filmmaking in New Zealand.

Archive Location


Catalogue record

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision


PATU! Film (full length) – 1983