He Kākano Ahau - From The Spaces In Between

A courageous takatāpui (Māori LGBTQI) activist is fighting for true diversity in our Gay Pride celebrations.

New Zealand’s Pride celebrations are glitzy and glamorous, but takatāpui activist Kassie (Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga) is challenging the inclusivity of the festival. The historic Wellington Pride celebration forces Kassie to make a decision. Will she take part and speak for those who are both queer and Māori?

This short documentary utilises English and te reo Māori to tell an intensely personal story of a courageous wahine (woman) fighting to be heard.

  • Kathleen Winter
  • Jaimee Poi Poi
  • Kassie Hartendorp
    Key Cast
  • Jess Charlton
    Director of Photography
  • Pikihuia Haenga
    Director of Photography
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Genres:
    Documentary, Realism, Indigenous, LGBT
  • Runtime:
    3 minutes 18 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 11, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    7,000 NZD
  • Country of Origin:
    New Zealand
  • Country of Filming:
    New Zealand
  • Language:
    English, Maori
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Kathleen Winter

Kathleen is an independent director and producer based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington). A feminist, activist and fan of independent media, she is inspired by films that uplift communities. Her first documentary short, FeminEast Makes Zines, focused on a feminist high school group and won multiple awards at the Inspiring Stories Film Competition in 2014. Since then she has jumped in head first, most recently producing DVD Dreams, a short doco about the last remaining DVD rental stores in Wellington. She is currently working on a feature-length film that explores the lives of women working minimum-wage jobs in Aotearoa.

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Director Statement

We’ve tackled some huge themes within our three-minute limit, and met so many beautiful people during the filmmaking journey.
I’m lucky to have Kassie as a friend, and honoured that she agreed to be on screen as the leading face of this project. We knew we were onto something when our crowdfunding campaign resonated with so many people. This labour of love exists thanks to a large village of supporters.

This film speaks to a queer experience that is not often seen on screen. While LGBTQIA+ people are more visible in public life and media, the types of narratives we see are very restricted. The Pride festival and parade are not a reflection of reality for many takatāpui and other indigenous queer people. This film is an opportunity for us to introduce viewers to takatāpui identity – to a word and world they may never have seen before.

We also want to acknowledge and thank Tīwhanawhana, the incredible kapa haka rōpū who were camera shy at the start of the process, but who have so many more stories to tell. This small but far-reaching story was a collaborative effort, and I know Jaimee and I will keep honing our poi skills long after the journey is complete.