“Hoiho” returns for 2013 season on Maori TV

Hoiho presenter Annabelle Lee-Harris.
Hoiho presenter Annabelle Lee-Harris.

Hoiho, the New Zealand television series that explores the bond between Maori communities and their horses, returns for its second season on Sunday at 8pm on Maori Television.

The 13-part series starts in Tolaga Bay before heading on to Ngunguru, Kawhia, Turangi, Urewera and for the first time, the South Island.

Producers Brent Job-Iremonger and Michelle Lee, of Kapu Ti Productions, have searched for new material to give season two a fresh and exciting feel.

“The power of Hoiho as a series is that it celebrates rural Maori communities and how horses remain an important part of that lifestyle,” says Lee.

Hoiho evokes a sense of nostalgia for those of us who may no longer live in country places but still relate to them from the past. Every Maori whanau has their horse story.”

In the first episode, presenter Annabelle Lee-Harris rides bareback down to the Tolaga Bay wharf on what she considers to be the ultimate Maori horse.

Another episode visits a community that has been through some tough economic times, but has managed to overcome those adversities and come together.

Lee says the tiny northern settlement of Pouto was her favourite location.

“It’s a shining example of how a community can live, work and play together in a wonderful way,” she says.

“The kids are exceptionally talented and skilled riders and the folks there are the salt of the earth, so that episode has a special place in my heart.”

Maori have a long history with hoiho (horses).

The first horses arrived in New Zealand with Europeans – a stallion and two mares first swam ashore at Northland’s Rangihoua Beach in December 1814 and the Ngapuhi people became the first horse-owning tribe.

Hoiho tells of the long history and special bond between Maori and their horses – the untold stories that offer insight into iwi social, political and economic history.

Last season is available on catch-up on Maori Television’s website: www.maoritelevision.com.

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