Living Legend

Guardian film writer Diana Dobson visits Whangara, home of the Ngati Konohi people and inspiration behind Witi Ihimaera’s Whale Rider. Rather than touring the location made famous by Niki Caro’s film adaptation, Dobson focuses on the local surfers and their families – “the modern-day wave riders who keep these Maori myths alive.” “The [Whale Rider story] has been part of our history for years and years,” says former NZ surfing representative James Fowell. “Growing up, we always knew the rocks, just out here to be the remains of Paikea and that [… island] to be his whale. I never feel threatened by the sea here. Whatever I am doing, I’m safe. We are such seafaring people and our drive and pull towards the ocean is something we can’t control.” Ihimaera believes the myth could potentially become an international classic: “Like a Maori Heidi or National Velvet. It is a story for all ages, all peoples.”


Tags: Diana Dobson  Guardian (The)  James Fowell  Maori tradition  Ngati Konohi  Niki Caro  NZ surfers  Paikea  Whale Rider  Whangara  Witi Ihimaera  

How Middle-Distance Runner Nick Willis Trains

How Middle-Distance Runner Nick Willis Trains

New Zealander Nick Willis, 39, “who has been at the sharp end of middle-distance running for over two decades”, speaks to the UK’s Athletics Weekly magazine about how he trains in…