Making Marlborough – the Migrant Story

Making Marlborough 11
The fact Marlborough merits a documentary on the settlers who have arrived here over generations is testament to the diversity of the people, the land, and the unique stories of this region.

Making Marlborough – the Migrant Story is a full feature-length documentary that tells Marlborough’s immigrant stories in a contemporary manner for a twenty-first century audience. It is a celebration of the diversity of Marlborough and of the people who now call this place home.

It was created by Marlborough’s award-winning filmmaker Paul Davidson with support from the Marlborough District Council and Marlborough Multicultural Centre.   
Davidson’s many New Zealand and Australian productions include the award-winning Giving It All Away and the acclaimed bi-cultural Helen’s Story. He has also completed several Marlborough heritage documentaries including Ngati Apa Were Here, The Final Flight, Once Were Whalers, Vintage Marlborough and the intriguing Kaikoura UFOs.  
Making Marlborough is presented by former Marlborough Heritage Trust chief executive Steve Austin, assisted by an expert team including historians John Orchard, Cynthia Brooks and Barry Holdaway, Rangitane kuia Judith Macdonald and researcher Barbara Gibb.

The documentary traces the history migration to Marlborough beginning with those who settled at the Wairau Bar — Te Pokohiwi o Kupe — near Blenheim, the site of the earliest known human arrival in New Zealand.  
As noted in the film, the Wairau Plain of Marlborough has experienced all the elements of New Zealand’s human history — from moa hunter to Māori, from missionary to musket wars, whaling, immigration, social change including women’s rights and the development of industry.   
This is all part of the Marlborough story.  
“We are lucky to have the talent and experience in Paul and his team for producing documentaries that are not only fascinating and heart-warming to watch, but also serve the community in telling and celebrating the stories of the region in a professional and attractive manner," says Screen Marlborough Manager Dorien Vermaas. 

Why Marlborough? 

“Over my 30 years in Marlborough I became aware that most people did not realise how ethnically and culturally diverse their community actually was. From early whaling days to the world-famous wine industry, people have come from all over the world to make Marlborough what it is today. I wanted my film to tell some of their fascinating – and important – stories."

Dr Paul Davidson – Director

A woman shakes a cocktail behind a bar while a filmmaker films

"Over the years the sunny district of Marlborough, at the top of the South Island, has become a place of magic and wonder… and a melting pot of people of different nationalities who have come from many parts of the world, each with unique story of why they chose to call Marlborough home."

"The Making Marlborough documentary is testament to the diversity of the people and the land. It highlights the richness of ethnic diversity, acknowledges the significant economic input of newcomers, and celebrates the dignity, resilience and contribution of migrants, past and present."

Margaret Western - Founder
Marlborough Multicultural Centre

Two women involved in a documentary stand smiling beside a film camera
Screen Marlborough
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