Talking about This is New Zealand


Now and then

Now – 2013


“This will certainly bring back memories again. First time I saw this was when I was at school and had gone to town for a trip ...


"It's wonderful to have this finally made available. This Is New Zealand was not only a huge milestone in the cinema photography history for New Zealand, but also the rest of the world, and dared to stretch the boundaries of technical restraints and produce visual effects not thought possible in that era. And to think this film is still providing the magic, competing very well with the technology which has only just become available today.”


Doug Farr,  pers.comm., November 2013


“As one of the team of projectionists at the Embassy Theatre in Auckland I remember this well. Three projectors and sound on a separate 35mm magnetic tape player all synchronized with selsen motors. Still gives me goose bumps today. As I recall there was a short film about Osaka Expo preceding This Is New Zealand. Sessions ran on the half hour from 10am to 9pm and I lost count of how many times we rewound the 4 reels of film and the separate soundtrack.”

Jim Lamberton, NZ on Screen comment, June 2013


“I'd buy a copy of this in a flash. This is one of the most captivating 3 minute openings of any film I've ever seen. Why not re-release it? As they say, the past is a far country, yet of course surely not a too dangerous one? Is there something about a pre-1970's New Zealand film that needs to be kept away from a modern New Zealand audience?”


Steven, NZ on Screen comment, May 2013


“Why is this just gathering dust in the archives? It is the most brilliant film I have ever seen in my life. I will never forget it on the three screens, so advanced for that period and nothing in my experience even now has equalled it. Please re-release it so this generation can see it - and we can see it again.”

Marie, NZ on Screen comment, April 2013


“Saw this in Wellington in or around 1971. Wish this was on DVD or the full film available here.”

Kate Clarke, NZ on Screen comment, April 2013


“I first saw this film in about 1972 in Canberra on a large screen with surround sound. I had never heard the Karelia suite before. The brilliant use of the first movement of the suite combined with stunning images of NZ just blew me away. When the climax of the music coincided with the flight over the peak of Mt Cook, I felt goosebumps. It was one of the best promotional videos I have ever seen and doesn't seem to have lost much with age. It made me want to go out and buy a ticket immediately for NZ. You should revive it.”


Dr John Rosalky, NZ on Screen comment, January 2013


and then – 1971


(All comments taken from the NZ Listener, June 14-20, 1971, p6)


“I was very impressed... Of the filming words fail me – it was outstanding … It didn't make me feel patriotic, although I was proud that New Zealand could produce such a high quality film.”


Jill Shennan, photographer


“I hadn't thought New Zealand would be capable of producing such an impressive film. To a certain extent I felt proud of the country but not greatly. I was more proud of the people who made the film.”

Carol Packer, journalist


“...the film had everything … We looked at Rotorua, the mud pools and things and decided to go there … We'd seen them before but we hadn't looked at them the same way. There were loads of things like that.”

Phillip Taiapa, apprentice electrician


“Yes, it's good – not in a sentimental way. It's a heartening film that makes you appreciate what you have here … I was interested in the fantastic camerawork.”


Robert Toia, minister of religion


“Some people criticise it because it doesn't show the more unsavoury parts of our cities, for example, but these are not typical of New Zealand. The film showed with great impact the contrasts and diversity of life in this country ... I came out with a feeling of exhilaration, of pride in my own country.”

J. S. Shanks, retired public servant


“I came out feeling as if I was falling over a cliff – that soaring over the mountains. It was exhilarating and exciting but you'd have to see it more than once to pick it all up....”


Mrs S Jarman, housewife


“It's really tremendous. The best advert for New Zealand for a long, long time ... I felt proud that we had been able to present something so technically advanced. It typified New Zealand for me.”

Roy Claridge, company manager


“It's marvellous … I must admit that at one stage I had such a lump in my throat – that's why I'm coming back to see it again. I don't know why it moved me so much. Was it an excess of beauty? I suppose a bit of pride that it's our country and it's so beautiful.”


Norma Comrie, housewife