Song of the Kauri

  • Running Length:1hr 40mins
  • Cast:Jackson Browne, Karamea Davis, Keith Stewart
  • Rated:E

Session Times

    Between 1820 and 1974 96% of New Zealand’s native kauri trees were lost. This was due, in part, to settlers felling the forests to make space for farmland, and in part due to fire.

    The film maker here explores the politics behind planting trees from outside New Zealand when our native timber is both beautiful and hard wearing. Why was kauri never considered a viable timber for trade? Is it because of the length of time it takes for a kauri tree to mature as opposed to a pine tree?

    The director investigates the history of destruction before moving on to tell the inspirational story of one man whose profession depends on cutting down these magnificent trees one by one. Northland’s Laurie Williams is recognized worldwide as a luthier (maker of stringed instruments) and his kauri instruments are highly sought after. We watch his process as he selects and fells the tree that will become a much-loved instrument.

    People from many different walks of life weigh in here, offering insights and perspectives on the various different sides to this controversial issue.

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