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Frontier Of Dreams

Sundays 6.40am | TV ONE


With the economy booming and the population increasing rapidly, New Zealand cities flourished. Auckland grew relentlessly. Roads, motorways and the harbour bridge went up and commuting to work became a way of life.

After having largely stopped during the war, the government began building state houses again.

North of Wellington, bulldozers and graders toiled for a decade from the mid-1950s. They were building the largest planned town ever created by the New Zealand government, called Porirua. People began to move in while the raw new suburb sprouted around them.

Among those flocking to the cities were thousands of Maori. For the most part, Maori were missing out on the golden age of agriculture enjoyed by Pakeha farmers. Many tribes were left with only poor quality land, often in multiple ownership. So for the young the city lights beckoned.

Maori began to move to the city in droves, leaving behind the security of their families and their home marae. A massive re-location saw Maori change from a rural to a largely urban people in just one generation.

There was plenty of work but also a great deal of dislocation. Maori in the city had to find new organizations, new leaders and new ways of doing things. To help, a Maori Community Centre was set up in central Auckland.

Maori urbanisation during this period would change Maori society forever. But individuals were blissfully unaware of this as they joined the hordes of others streaming into the big cities in an atmosphere of excitement and growth.