The trailer for new television series The Panthers has launched.
The series visits the 1970s and explores the injustices experienced by Pasifika people in Aotearoa at the time, particularly the dawn raids.
It comes ahead of the long-anticipated apology, which the Government will be delivering on August 1, nearly 50 years on.
Let's set the scene: It's 1974 in Auckland, New Zealand. Will 'Ilolahia, the black sheep of his Tongan family and "The Professor" of the streets, is sick of seeing his community stuck in a broken system.
The "Trump-esque" Prime Minister at the time, Robert Muldoon, comes to power and fuels the divide between white and Polynesian New Zealanders, commencing racially targeted immigration raids.
Inspired by the Black Panther movement in the US, 'Ilolahia, a group of young street gangsters and university students founded the Polynesian Panther Party (PPP), with a mission to fight the system and become the history-making revolutionaries that their community so desperately needed.
The Polynesian Panthers this year celebrated their 50th anniversary, reflecting on 50 years of activism, advocacy for the fair and equal treatment of indigenous minorities and protecting the Pasifika peoples of New Zealand.
The three-day celebration included a panel discussion with members of the US Black Panther Party and Māori activist group Nga Tamatoa who were extremely active in the 1970s alongside the PPP.
Pasifika film-maker Benji Timu urged Pasifika peoples of NZ to support a petition to push for an apology, which gained the support of the PPP.
The petition was delivered to Parliament and was accepted by Māori Party leaders Debbie Ngarewa-Packer and Rawiri Waititi.
An apology was planned for June 26 but was postponed because of Covid-19 concerns. It will now be delivered next month at the Auckland Town Hall.
The Panthers is a six-part series, made with the support of Irirangi Te Motu | NZ On Air and stars Dimitrius Schuster-Koloamatangi, Lealani Siaosi, Roy Billing, Beulah Koale, Frankie Adams, Chelsie Preston Crayford, Jordan Mooney, Jordan Vaha'akolo, Villa Junior Lemanu, Rokalani Lavea and Ravikanth Gurunathan.
The show was created and executive produced by Halaifonua Finau and Tom Hern of Tavake, in association with Four Knights Film.