New land! New life! Start afresh! Adventures in Paradise! Leave the slums! Become a New Zealander!
That’s what the emigration ads promised. The reality was always going to be a lot more dramatic… as our new cast of Here To Stay presenters discover!
Part Indian actor Madeleine Sami uncovers the hidden half of her identity, her father’s Fijian Indian roots, and learns the hardworking legacy of the Indian community in NZ.
Inveterate entomologist Ruud Kleinpaste nearly checks into an all-Dutch retirement village, and meets sports stars Dick Quax, Eric Verdonk and Yvonne Willering, as he takes his own blunt and personal tour through our Dutch influences.
Comedian and presenter Shimpal Lelisi, takes a Naked Nuiean’s approach to the wide influence that Pacific Island families have carried across the great ocean, and discovers roots for our humour, music and ‘she’ll be right’ attitudes.
Singer and actor Stephanie Tauevihi walks the emotional path trodden by the pakeha side of her family, and connects with a famous Danish missionary who was her great-great grandfather – Pastor Hans Madsen Ries.
Actor Paolo Rotondo – self confessed ‘part Wog’ – takes on the mantle of La Bella Italia and scooters his own way around a long tradition of Italian cuisine, etiquette and damn fine coffee and clothes.
And finally comedian Michele A’Court translates a long lost relative and her own passionate Francophilia into a new sense of understanding about herself, our colonial past, and the possibility that we could all have been living in a French colony!
Included are vibrant interviews and scenes from the many families with direct ties back to the colonial settlers. Historians, artists, sports people and designers are a major source of anecdote, conjecture and solid information.
The presenters stride down their own a path of discovery – about who they as New Zealanders, really are. Each finds traditions and values with their own cultural baggage that have formed the distinctive psyche of NZ – the values that make us proud to be Kiwi, and keep us here to stay.
The result is a unique and evocative taste of how different nationalities have woven together to create our social fabric, "glistening like a pearl at the bottom of the world" as the (Irish) Finn bros famously phrased it.