New Zealand. Skeletons in the Cupboard. The Red Heads

A short synopsis

60,000 skeletons ground up for fertilizer, giant skeletons removed from their resting places and destroyed, 2000 bound skeletons simply covered up by bulldozers and buried without respect under modern buildings — WHAT IS GOING ON IN NEW ZEALAND?

‘New Zealand. Skeletons in the Cupboard — Episode One— The Redheads’ digs deeply into the now denied history of the early Patuparaiaehe, the Turehu, the Urekehu and the once powerful but peace loving red or golden-haired, green- eyed early inhabitants — the Ngati Hotu and the Waitaha. Who are these people, where did they come from and where are they now?

One woman’s story of her ancestral folk lore leads to the elocal magazine article: ‘DNA to Rock the Nation,’ and sparks our inquiry. Celebrated author, Barry Brailsford brings the story of Waitaha to life in an emotionally stirring interview. On viewing the film for the first time he remarked, ‘It’s the best documentary investigation of the old history and for the first time it gives a factual scientific basis to help the mainstream understand. I feel so pleased that the lonely journey is now supported in such an authoritative way. Wonderful research, great narration and fantastic film work.’

The story takes us through ancient fairy stories while Presenter Gabi Plumm hunts for proof of their existence. She delves into the history of the red heads and why they are slowly vanishing off the face of the earth. And they are not the only things that are vanishing. Evidence emerges of: missing archaeological data and carbon datings that go back 4000 years, sites with seventy-five year embargoes pasted on them because of the age of the finds, skeletons with skulls the size of pumpkins destroyed and bulldozed over, and people too scared to talk.

  • Peter Marsh
    Cousins Across the Sea
  • Gabi Plumm
    Cousins Across the Sea
  • Peter Marsh and Gabi Plumm
    Cousins Across the Sea
  • Gabi Plumm, Presenter
    Key Cast
    Cousins Across the Sea
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    59 minutes 20 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    November 19, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    35,000 AUD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    New Zealand
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Friday Harbor Film Festival
    Friday Harbor, San Juan, WA
    United States
    November 4, 2016
    Official Selection
  • Friday Harbor Film Festival
    Friday Harbor, San Juan, WA
    United States
    November 5, 2016
    Official Selection
Distribution Information
  • YouTub e
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: Internet, Video on Demand, Video / Disc
Director Biography - Peter Marsh

Peter Marsh, photographer, sound engineer, editor and creator believes deeply in the subject matter of our documentaries, namely Pacific origins and the fascinating migrations of the world's diverse populations. His work through the dedicated website Polynesian Pathways has invested these documentaries with passion and conviction and has won accolades from all over the world.
In earlier years, Peter's skills were honed on rivers and rapids, filming hair-raising adventures, corporate promotions and heart-felt petitions.

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Director Statement

Working on a subject I am passionate about makes the process longer but more worthwhile, the editing takes forever but is worth the wait.