Professor Annie Goldson’s latest film; Challenging New Zealand’s role in Afghanistan

He Toki Huna: New Zealand in Afghanistan premieres on Maori Television on Wednesday 24 April at 8.30pm.

He Toki Huna: New Zealand in Afghanistan is a documentary co-directed and produced by Professor Annie Goldson from the Department of Film Television and Media Studies. It explores New Zealand’s military engagement in Afghanistan, and is due to premiere on Maori Television on the eve of Anzac Day.

He Toki Huna takes viewers on the ground in Afghanistan with independent New Zealand journalist Jon Stephenson as he seeks eyewitness accounts of incidents involving New Zealand troops. It also includes interviews with soldiers who have served on the front line in Afghanistan.

Award-winning filmmakers Annie Goldson (Brother Number One, An Island Calling) and Kay Ellmers (Canvassing the Treaty, Polynesian Panthers), have directed and produced this documentary which backgrounds some of Afghanistan’s turbulent history and gives an overview of the engagement, providing context to the post 9/11 invasion.

Dr Goldson said the documentary sheds light on our recent past and holds valuable lessons for the future.

"By joining in the war post-911, have we been 'good global citizens' fighting the good fight against international terrorism? Or did New Zealand enter into an alliance that has meant our soldiers have been actively and militarily involved in a complex conflict that most of us know little about and have not agreed to participate in?”

Dr Goldson said most New Zealanders’ knowledge of our military engagement in Afghanistan will have been acquired through “embedded” media reports that have been carefully controlled.

She added that the timing of the documentary premiere was very deliberate. “We’ve been making the film over the past two years and were always planning to release it as New Zealand troops withdrew, thus providing an overview and analysis of New Zealand's involvement in Afghanistan.”