The Waimate Conspiracy

The Waimate Conspiracy

Originally screened at the NZ Film Festival 2006. "This good humoured, deeply fanciful mock documentary about a land claim has a distinctively Cantabrian flavour. The 2005 discovery of a cannonball buried for 138 years in a paddock throws Waimate into turmoil. It’s all some locals need to confirm their long-held belief that local Maori were forcibly removed from their tribal lands in a bloody battle in the winter of 1866. The town is divided as a hotly contested claim eventually ends up in the District Court. Cameraman Dave is embedded with George Kepa (Jim Moriarty) and his whanau – for whom the concept of ‘behind closed doors’ does not seem to exist: we’re privy to their every desperate strategy. This ‘vérité’ footage is intercut with candid interviews with townspeople, including the farmer at the centre of the dispute and with the crucial courtroom drama. Mark Hadlow and David McPhail provide expert caricatures of the white man’s law." [NZFF]

The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 8 ratings, 8 reviews
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I very much enjoyed this film, it was funny and interesting and I couldn't take my eyes off the screen. Also very inspirational to see a great film made with local talent and a low budget.

Congrats to Stefen Lewis and everybody who worked on the film.

An awesome movie that showed a lot of Waimate and my old house, where the car museum is. Thought it was very funny and is definitely recommended viewing. Just goes to show, you don't need a big budget to make a great movie.

the moive was really good i really like it i throught that it was funy

by luka

It is uneven, but also has a great charm that held my interest throughout.

I'm actually a two year old Border Collie who was involved in the shooting of this movie but for what it's worth I think it's terriffic. It's an honest, home grown peice of New Zealand film and it's all about The Treaty. David McPhail and Mark Hadlow are brilliant playing straight drama roles and the lead actors Jim Moriarty and the amazing Helen Pearse-Otene are incredibly natural and starkly captivating. I'm just a dumb dog but my review is way more intelligent than Bobs! Who are you Bob?

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The Press Reviews

  • Waimate is a solid if slightly unsteady mix of race relations, courtroom-set drama and slow burning satire that occasionally bursts into spectacular life... Full Review

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