© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2024

Reconnecting: A short documentary about reclaiming Māoritanga

Layla Bailey-McDowell
Sam Clark
Sophia Hansen
George Meehan
Declan O'Connell
Mckenzie on the beach holding Tino Rangatiratanga flag  Reconnecting production rōpu

'Reconnecting' - finalist, DocEdge Tertiary competition 2023

At the hands of colonisation, Māori have been stripped of their language and their sense of belonging. For some, Te Reo Māori was not a core part of their upbringing, which can cause significant conflict with themselves and their Māoritanga (Māori identity). Our documentary aims to highlight this journey by showcasing the mamae (hurt) and illustrating the importance of reconnecting to Te Ao Māori.

'Reconnecting' is a raw and emotional short documentary exploring what it means to be Māori. It focuses on the journey of reclaiming a culture, through a kōhine named Mckenzie, who hasn't always embraced her Māoritanga. Never before heard stories of kaumātua who remain on their healing journey are told, and personal struggles are shared. Mckenzies story illustrates what many Māori aspire to achieve which is bringing back Te Reo Māori and tikanga to a new generation.


"I'm relearning my culture for future generations"
- Mckenzie Bailey-McDowell


Director & Writer: Layla Bailey-McDowell

Producer & Assistant Director: Sophia Hansen

Editors: Holly Lorna, Declan O'Connell, George Meehan 

Technical Directors: George Meehan, Sam Clark 

Sound & Audio: Declan O'Connell, Sam Clark

Camera:George Meehan, Sam Clark, Holly Lorna