I was captivated by this insight into 5 ( 3 women, 2 men) in their 20s and all coming from an affluent New Zealand life style. Their awareness of the origins of the myriad of consumer goodies, that their working lives allowed them to purchase, were sharply brought home to them as they witnessed the lives of the poorly paid workers that create or grow what the 5 take for granted.
Powerful viewing and I ended up hoping another documentary about these 5 is made in a couple of years time. To see what influence their exposure to modern slave labour, poverty like we have never known and the environmentally degraded city/land/waterways that surround the factories that produce our consumerist life styles. How we have exported our pollution and don’t care as long as our GDP looks positive and our Xmas spending supersedes last year.
These powerful episodes coincide with me reading – A SHORT HISTORY OF NEW ZEALAND- written by Gordon McLauchlan. I was schooled in the late 50s and early 60s and the countries history was avoided or denied in our classes. My education really started when I was hospitalized at 13 and the Maori nurses and cleaners of the wards became my friends. Following, at 16, I worked with many Maoris in hotels and it was there that I felt their anger.
Maori resistance and their courage, when confronted with the superior armory of the British soldiers and new settlers, and in my own province’s ( Taranaki ) terrible wars were never mentioned in my education.
The only difference between Australia’s indigenous peoples and the Maori was the Treaty Of Waitangi, which was signed by Maori chiefs ( 3 versions, the legalized London version, the official one ) and the Crown in the 1840s but was only really advanced in the 1970s ( well after I had migrated from NZ ) when the Waitangi Tribunal was set up to finally acknowledge and begin to move forward from the grievances of the Maori people after 160 years from the original signing.