Private Project

Koro's Hāngi

Neil Reid has been creating traditionally modernised Māori kai, using a Hāngi earth oven for many decades. He grew up watching and learning the process of the Hāngi through his ancestors during the whanau Christmas parties they had in their homestead, Maketu. Neil decided to take this knowledge to his new home in South Auckland and began creating his own hangi with the help of his whanau. Guiding his younger generations through the all-day procedure, we watch as the Reid whanau come together to create, eat and enjoy New Zealand's oldest dish.

  • Gianni Aro-Reid
  • Gianni Aro-Reid
  • Danni Liang
  • Elizabeth Hoyle
  • Harsh Patel
    Assistant Director
  • Dexter Cheng
  • Hannah Warburton
  • Lealani Siaosi
  • Niamh Gavaghan
  • Neil Reid
    Key Cast
    "Koro Neil"
  • Anthony Reid
    Key Cast
    "Uncle Ant"
  • Torie Lee
    Key Cast
    "Aunty Torie"
  • Bernadette Wiki
    Key Cast
    "Aunty Bern"
  • Priscilla Reid
    Key Cast
    "Aunty Priscilla"
  • Magick Reid
    Key Cast
  • Wairua Reid
    Key Cast
  • Terrick Reid
    Key Cast
  • Dean Reid
    Key Cast
    "Uncle Deano"
  • Michael Hodgins
    Key Cast
    "Uncle Mikey"
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short, Student, Other
  • Genres:
    Observational Documentary
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    October 25, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    660 NZD
  • Country of Origin:
    New Zealand
  • Country of Filming:
    New Zealand
  • Language:
    English, Maori
  • Shooting Format:
    Canon C200 Clog 4K
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Gianni Aro-Reid

Gianni Aro-Reid, 21, is a Maori filmmaker based in Auckland, New Zealand. She especially enjoys producing documentary’s as she believes it is important to voice story’s which are already present in the community but may not have the stage to become a part of society’s broader conversation. Gianni particularly enjoys touching on topics relating to cultural diversity, personal stories, and historic events that need to be addressed and openly discussed.

She has developed her passion for filmmaking over the last 3 years of her studies, finding her feet in the film industry. Within her studies, she has completed five short films that reflect her style of work, practising different roles such as directing, producing, editing and writing.

Once Gianni sets foot into the film industry, she aspires to become a film director representing her South Auckland community, as well as touching base on Maori issues that need to be addressed. She believes that her culture is slowly fading away, and wishes to uplift the culture in a way where people can feel inspired to create a change, just like she is.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Hāngi has always been an important part of my life. Whenever there is something big to celebrate, Christmas, birthdays, baby showers etc, my whanau (family) would come together at the family homestead, Koro Neils home, to create, eat and enjoy this traditional Māori kai (food), and I believe that was the real magic- everyone coming together.

This observational documentary shows exactly that. Family and friends from all over the world coming together to, not only lend a helping hand with the hāngi, but also to reconnect and bond during this procedure, and at the end of this hard-working day, eating and enjoying this meal as a whanau.

I wanted to capture the hard work that goes into creating a hāngi from start to finish as well as the loving interactions within the whanau creating it, and I believe filming this in an observational style added to the raw realness of this film.

The more I would work on my script, the more I understood that the underlying theme of this film is to preserve the Maori culture and tradition as I was very dedicated to maintaining the idea of creating traditional hāngi inside an earth oven rather than the modernised version of cooking in a normal kitchen oven.

As hāngi is Māori’s, and therefore New Zealand's, oldest known dish, it has very important cultural aspects. To incorporate Māori ambience, we decided it would be best to showcase this through our soundtracks as we had no prominent visuals.

The haka, a Māori chant about adhering to and looking after our land, heard in the beginning, was done by my three little brothers who also voiced the karakia (prayer) at the end to bless the kai. Throughout the film, a guitar instrumental is heard. The guitar is a very favoured instrument when it comes to Māori waiata (songs/music) as it has a soft yet bold sound which enhances other sounds it’s blended with. The waiata you hear at the end, Pokarekare ana, is quite a well-known love song in the Māori culture. We thought this would be an ideal waiata to use within this film as the overall meaning is to bring loved ones back together.

This film is very important to me and holds a special place in my heart as it follows my own family and our greatest tradition. We are excited about sharing this with the world and hope you find it to be as genuine and wholesome as we do.

Ko te kai te mea e whakapiri ai tatou.
Food is the ingredient that binds us together.