Rangatahi mō Papatūānuku – The Winners!

Department of Conservation —  29/03/2021

Ngā mihi nunui ki a koutou katoa!

Thank you to all of you who entered the Rangatahi mō Papatūānuku competition and also to all of you who have supported and promoted the project through your networks. We’ve had submissions from all over the country; from the West Coast, Bay of Plenty, Northland, Auckland, Manawatū-Whanganui to Otago – to name some!

The Rangatahi mō Papatūānuku video competition aims to encourage rangatahi – critical voices for the future –  to get involved in the conversation about conservation and te taiao. We asked rangatahi aged 16-25 to showcase their ideas of what can be done to ensure Papatūānuku can thrive, prompted by three questions: What do you wish you’d seen? What do you see? and What would you like to see in the future?

Mixed Podocarp Forest Photo: Fiona Hennessey

It’s really fantastic to see your ideas from across Aotearoa contributing to the conversation and action on te taio. Distribution of your films will be far and wide.

The competition closed on 15 March and 19 films were shortlisted for the judging panel: Tweedie Waititi,Tame Malcolm, Stacey Morrison, Rob McGowan, and Sonny Ngatai have spent the last week making some hard decisions!

We asked them to score each film on relevance to theme, storytelling and technical ability.

The results showed we had many more high scoring films in the category of ‘Ambassador for the rohe’ so we decided to award two runners up in that category rather than having a runner up in the ‘Funny’ category.

Here are some comments from the judges:

It was a privilege to be able to watch such amazing work. The standard and quality of the videos blew me away. The content and messages shared are also invaluable. As a result, judging these was a very difficult task
– Tame Malcolm

I found all the videos were good; people have done some very good work. Some were outstanding. Some very good presentations – useful to encourage people to get out there and help and how to go about it. Some did much more – they reached out to people and got the message through on many levels.”
– Rob McGowan

Drum roll please…

Here are the winners and runners up of each category:

Te Reo Māori

Winner: Manawa O Te Whenua/Breath of the Land by Laura Wotton, David Jones, Tasman Vance and Codey Allen

“Each little thing we do in life, from bog-standard mundane, to extraordinary activities or adventures – it all connects back to Papatūānuku. We breathe because of her, therefore she is everything.

Runner up: How to minimise our carbon footprint by Marama Watling.

Creative content

Winner: Unstoppable Soil by Molly Doyle and Luca Joass.

“Our solutions can be found under our feet, but why aren’t we talking about our soil?”

Runner up: Shaping our everyday kōrero and tirohanga (Mullet Avenue)


Winner: Our Earth Mother – Papatūānuku by Kaya Hollands

“I was inspired by the question put to us ‘How can we make Papatūānuku thrive?’ for me this would mean continual enhancement of our freshwater ecosystems now and into the future.”

Runner up: Zoe’s Story by Emma Furlong


Winner:  Boogie 2ānuku by Te Rangi Aniwaniwa

We had a team catch up with the four students and decided on three steps: no littering – leaving no rubbish behind contributes to planet’s health, recycling prolongs the life of our planet, and looking after nature – We know Papatūānuku is our one life force – and one chance to contribute to her life.”

Ambassador for protection of the rohe

Winner: Te Waraki by Maddy Whittaker

“When I fell in love with our beautiful creatures and breathtaking wild places, making a lifelong commitment to help protect them came from right from the heart. We need a nation motivated to change from this same place of love. This film is an attempt to start this change by helping make these magical encounters more accessible to everyone.

Runner up 1: How to find your connection to Papatūānuku by Summer Gleeson

Runner up 2: Tobacco Weed by Michaela Ehetere Pearse.

Rangatahi presenter choice

Winner: Jimmy’s Garden by Sarah and Sam Riddsdale

We enjoyed learning about permaculture being better for the planet; saving energy and water than conventional gardening and decided to share what we’d learned.”

Runner up: Tāua/Us by Michelle Brunt-Tiuetu.

Presenters Sonny Ngatai and Puawai Taiapa.

Winners of each category receive $1000, and runners up each receive $500. If you see your name under any of the categories above we will be in touch.

Congratulations to the winners and runners up! And, thank you to everyone who made and submitted films. With your permission, we would like to share all the shortlisted films to all of Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Keep an eye out on DOC’s social media channels – reaching tens of thousands of people nationwide. We also encourage you watch all the films and to share your own and others’ films widely with whānau and friends. That way momentum from your ideas and actions can start building.

A very big thank you to everyone who made this competition happen – and especially to you, rangatahi, for participating.

Special thanks to:

• Mike Jonathan – Haka Boy Films – who along with with rangatahi presenters Sonny Ngatai and Puawai Taiapa, made three great ‘how to’ videos, distributed on social media.

• Jess Feast, Hannah Grun and Ngato Zharnaye-Livingstone from digital storytelling specialist Storybox, who promoted the kaupapa across the country, provided ongoing support filmmakers whenever needed, and ran four, interactive online workshops on filmmaking throughout the submission period with rangatahi filmmaker Te Mahara Tamehana.

Ngā mihi nui.