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One Land


Thanks for your questions!

One Land on TV ONE

Tarnia Smith

TV ONE's new documentary series One Land brings three families together and transports them back to 1850's New Zealand.

Two families of Maori ancestry live on a traditional Maori Pa, and the third Pakeha family live nearby as they would have done as European settlers in the 1850s.

The Pakeha settler family, the Smiths, have been on hand to answer any questions you have about the series - why did they agree to the series, what was the toughest moment, who coped the best among the family, anything you want to ask.

Several requests have come in asking for the location of the show - it was filmed at Tapapakanga Regional Park, beside the Firth of Thames, and you can find more information at their website here.

Talia asks: Kia Ora Smith family,
My Mother and I loved watching One Land, and we found it wonderful watching all the families grow, and truly love your family and how beautiful you and your family got into the situation you all were placed into and solving the issues that arose in the course of the show.
My only question is one that always seems to stump me while watching reality television shows. In the last episode you talked about the sanitary pads and how crude they were, but what did you and the other females on the show do regarding shaving your legs and arm pits. and did the show provide you with toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo or any other items like that?

Tarnia Smith replies: Hi Taila,
Glad that you and your mum enjoyed the show. Thanks for all your positive comments. 
I laughed so hard when I saw what they aired with the sanitary pads, what a dawk! Anyway back to your question, I don't know what they do on other reality shows but this one certainly didn't have any of the modern day luxuries.

We all had arm pit hair inches long and leg hair to match by the time we had finished, the only shavers we had were the cut throat blades, they showed Evan Dalrymple using one.

Our hair and bodies were washed with the same soap we used to wash our clothes. Toothpaste and toothbrushes were good ole baking soda and a bit of rag (tasted gross).
Thanks for watching the show, hi to your mum from me

Sue asks: What things do you appreciate the most in your current lifestyle, after the experience of making the programme?

Tarnia Smith replies: Definitely amenities, i.e., electricity, hot water, flushing toilets and most of all supermarkets lol
Cheers Tarn

Amanda in Napier: Which of your kids coped the best?

Tarnia replies: Hi Amada, I think my older sons probably coped better given their ages...for the little ones the experience of going without regular meals was a real challenge. I'm extremely proud of them all


Josh Peterson in Gisbourne: I'd like to know is there anything from the 1850s that you'd like to take back to 2009?

Tarnia replies: Hi Josh. Ummm tough question...probably the peace and quiet and communication between us all. 
It was really nice be able to reconnect as a family without all the distractions of modern life ie. phones, busy working schedules and technology as entertainment. 

Belinda in Christchurch: Tarnia - well done how did you manage with the historic clothes? Did Lindsay help you to get dressed each day? Is it different from modern days? Also which item of clothing would you keep and which item of clothing would not not touch again?

Tarnia replies: Hi Belinda, thank you for the well done :)
The clothing was a novelty in the any female its always fun to dress up, but the novelty soon wore off once faced with the heat of the coromandel and the heat of the open stove.  I abolished the hoop unless we had a formal occasion ie moving around the house was certainly easier without it. 
Yes on the odd occasion Linds did have to help me get dressed, it was mainly the lacing up of the corset or if I forgot to put my shoes on prior to putting on the hoop skirt, it was an absolute mission to bend down once the hoop was on lol...yes definitely different from today's clothing...much more restrictive
Items I would keep...the boots, they were surprisingly really comfortable given the terrain we had to cover.
Items I wouldn't touch...the bloomers..I'm surprised there were so many children born in that era cause the underclothing was not sexy.

Ester writes: Kia ora Smith family. Just congratulating you on being courageous to begin with in doing this series.
I am a Maori and I was wondering what did you hope to learn from this experience, especially in regards to living alongside Maori without any added distractions other than just getting by day to day?
No reira, Nga mihi ana kia koutou,

Tarnia Smith replies: Kia ora Esther
We had no preconceptions when the family started the show. For us it was mainly about family bonding and sharing an experience that we would remember. 
I speak for our whole family when I say the opportunity of going back in time and reliving our ancestors' history was priceless and we have certainly come away with a lot of respect for our ancestors and the hardships that they would have endured. 
During the six weeks doing One Land and getting to know some of the Maori culture was both educational and spiritual.

We were surprise how lovely the Maori language is when spoken fluently...the experience certainly was a lived history lesson in which two different people came together as one for dual survival.
I hope I answered your question, I have a tendency to waffle on.




Photo gallery

New Zealand in the 19th century 

A look back at some of the images of early New Zealand settlers and Maori whanau.


One Land on TV ONE One Land on TV ONE
One Land on TV ONE One Land on TV ONE