Navigation for Stolen Lands: Betrayal of a Chief

Series Classification: PG (Parental Guidance) | Produced for RNZ by Ten Canaries | Made with the support of Te Māngai Pāho

This thrilling five-episode series uncovers the conspiracy against the 19th-century Māori chief Te Whakatōhea Chief Mokomoko who was wrongfully executed for murdering a German missionary Carl Völkner.

In keeping with the Settlements Act of 1863, the Crown also confiscated hundreds of thousands of acres of Mokomoko's tribal land.

In Stolen Lands, the story of Mokomoko's unjust (and now overturned) conviction for the murder of Carl Völkner is narrated by his direct descendants Jake Mokomoko and Summer Mokomoko in te reo Māori. Academics and Māori land experts fill in the facts, highlighting how and why this land was stolen.

In 1992, Chief Mokomoko was pardoned for Völkner's murder but did not receive full recognition of his innocence.

137 years after his body was buried in Auckland's Mt Eden prison, Mokomoko's remains were exhumed and returned to his ancestral land.

In 2013, to restore mana to their ancestor, the Mokomoko whānau led the creation of the Mokomoko (Restoration of Character, Mana, and Reputation) Bill.

In 2023, a decade on, there has still been no official compensation awarded to Chief Mokomoko's descendants for the loss of his life or their land.


Writer, Creator and Producer: Claire Varley
Director: Jake Mokomoko
Cast: Jake Mokomoko, Summer Mokomoko, Karen Mokomoko, Peter Lineham, Te Kahautu Maxwell, Michael Belgrave, Nehe Dewes, Hon Aiden Warren, Teriaki Amoamo