1 Jun 2021

Episode 3: Bullets on Black Saturday (Samoa) | Untold Pacific History

From Untold Pacific History, 6:00 am on 1 June 2021

This episode examines the fatal consequences of New Zealand’s rule in Samoa, and the key events that led to the rise of Samoa's ‘Mau’ resistance movement.

Series Classification: PG (Parental Guidance Recommended for Younger Viewers).

NZ's Governor to Samoa (dramatic recreations)

NZ's Governor to Samoa (dramatic recreations) Photo: Lisa Taouma

The Mau became a revolutionary movement for Samoa’s independence against New Zealand’s brutal period of colonial administration. In what is possibly one of the most significant stories of New Zealand’s little-known history in the region, this episode looks at the events that led to the rise of the ‘Mau’ resistance movement and the fatal consequences of New Zealand’s rule in Samoa.

New Zealand’s period of rule in Samoa was marred by bungled administration and fatal decision-making. The death of one-fifth of the population via Spanish influenza, and the fatal shooting of unarmed Samoans by NZ police during a peaceful public march are two key events.

This piece sheds light on this period of New Zealand and Samoan history that remains little examined in Aotearoa. Former Head of State Tuiatua Tupua Tamasese, the nephew of the slain Mau leader, tells of his tumultuous family history under the NZ reign and how it led to Helen Clark’s famous 2002 apology on behalf of the New Zealand Government.

Mau House in Samoa

[graphic:261893:full] Photo: Tikilounge Productions

Pepe Robertson, whose grandfather was shot and killed by the NZ administration in 1929

Pepe Robertson, whose grandfather was shot and killed by the NZ administration in 1929 Photo: Tikilounge Productions

Samoa's former Prime Minister and Head of State and current holder of the title Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi

Samoa's former Prime Minister and Head of State and current holder of the title Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi Photo: Tikilounge Productions

Leasolagi Dr Malama Meleisea discusses the Mau movement in Samoa

Leasolagi Dr Malama Meleisea discusses the Mau movement in Samoa Photo: Tikilounge Productions

NZ Historian, Michael Field, discusses NZ's dark colonial past in Samoa

NZ Historian, Michael Field, discusses NZ's dark colonial past in Samoa Photo: Tikilounge Productions

Mau House in Samoa

Mau House in Samoa Photo: Tikilounge Productions

About Tikilounge Productions:

Tikilounge Productions

Tikilounge Productions Photo: Tikilounge Productions

Tikilounge Productions brings the stories of the Moana to the world and amplifies indigenous narratives by centring indigenous voices as the mainstream. The multi award-winning young team of Tikilounge creatives are constantly evolving forms of Pacific storytelling, as they share their kaupapa and histories with the world.

The Untold Pacific History series is an attempt to unravel some of the histories of the Pacific region as a starting point to wider conversations around what has happened in NZ’s colonial past.

With a raft of award-winning feature documentaries and a variety of Film and TV Producer credits under its belt, Tikilounge Productions is also the creator of the world's biggest online hub of Pasifika content in the portal the coconet.tv.

Additional audio provided courtesy of Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Additional audio provided courtesy of Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Photo: Ngā Taonga

RNZ/NZ On Air Innovation Fund logos

Photo: RNZ/NZ On Air