Think of the New Zealand film industry and you'll probably have visions of hobbits, orcs, Peter Jackson and the snow clad Southern Alps. But that's not the whole story. Just up the road from where I live they've been filming a true slice of Kiwiana, Mt. Zion.
Bob Marley's influence on Māori culture sets the theme for this movie which was largely filmed in Pukekohe (pook-e-coe-ee).
In Mt Zion, Stan Walker plays Turei, a talented singer who dreams of his band playing the support act for Bob Marley's 1979 tour.Well, obviously it was a local journo who thought that bit about "potato-growing capital" was a relevant comment. You can read the whole thing here, fresh from this morning's edition of the district rag.
But it's a dream that challenges the traditions and values of his upbringing and will set him at odds with his potato-picking family, particularly his father (Morrison), who is a true man of the land.
Pukekohe is the backdrop for the film and earlier this year, the expertise of local growers was called on, confirming Pukekohe as the potato- growing capital of New Zealand.