The video collection TalkTreaty.org.nz had humble origins. After reading everything we could about the Treaty of Waitangi, Gareth and I wanted to test our ideas by asking people many, very personal, questions – what do they identify with, have they experienced discrimination, how do they navigate cultural differences day to day, do they feel comfortable talking about the Treaty, how do they feel about the Treaty?
We had a long list of people we hoped to talk to, and top of the list was Dr Ranginui Walker. But how to persuade people to take part? Jevan had been brought on board to help contact people and gather responses and it was his idea to use film. We could have posted out a survey, but really, would anyone have answered pages and pages of questions?. So film it was, and the rest, as they say, is history.
With ingenuity and persistence, Jevan managed to get his camera in front of more than 50 people, including Dr Ranginui Walker. Everyone who took part was wonderfully honest and frank and none more so than him.
The contribution Dr Ranginui Walker made to public debate and understanding in New Zealand is immense and it was a great privilege to capture his views within the Talk Treaty project. His passing is a great loss and our thoughts are with his wife Deirdre and family at this sad time.