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We are working on a short documentary to rediscover our buried waterways. It is a search for the Waihorotiu stream (Ligar's Canal) that once ran where Auckland's Queen Street now lies. The issue is multidiscinplinary, pulling the heart strings of environmentalists, historians, politicians, iwi and conscientious members of the community alike. 

Selected for Loading Docs 2015 and funded by NZ on Air and The New Zealand Film Commission, the goal is to get some cameras down under Queen Street and into the Ligar to film what this stream looks like today and raise awareness of the issues surrounding these buried waterways in a short form documentary.

Although we are working with Auckland Coucil, the main expense of the project will be gaining access to the Waihorotiu itself, including onsite engineers, traffic control, saftey gear and permissions. Specialist filming equipment will also need to be hired for the dark and wet conditions down under. 

The Loading Docs films will launch online in July, until then updates on this project will be posted here, and on our website with new information as we come closer to getting under Queen Street and into the Ligar.

The film is being made by Frances Haszard, Louis Olsen, Scott Elder, and Vincent Paunovic with respective backgrounds in animation, film, engineering and journalism. The team is based in Auckland, New Zealand.

An original score will be made by Lawrence Goodwin.

Graphic design by Eva Charlton and Ange Smuga. 

Thanks for reading! Please pass it on! 



  • Waihorotiu launched


    Along with four other of this year's Loading Docs films, 'Waihorotiu' is now available to view at http://www.vimeo.com/loadingdocs

    We've put together a small website with a few extra interviews with people we've encountered along the way, with more interviews to be added in the coming weeks:


    Thanks so much to our generous boosted supporters for helping to get this project completed!

  • Under Mt Albert/ Sewer Saturdays


    Apart from all of the concrete and bricks and roads that are separating us from the Waihorotiu, there are a whole lot of safety regulations, traffic and wildly inconsistent information. But don't worry, we've been working with the Best (specifically an archeologist called Simon Best) and also Auckland Council to get a good idea of what's going on down under Queen Street and gain access. Even so, it looks as though we may only be able to get an hour or so with the river itself. To make the most of it, and be sure we can get quality footage, we are practicing up. These photos were taken on the weekend in a stormwater tunnel in Mt Albert, it was about 200 metres deep with a few bends, and smelt of fresh paint from all the cool taggers. The Waihorotiu's pipe is about 200 years older than this one, and is made of hand laid bricks and mortar.

    Under Mt Albert/ Sewer Saturdays

Loading Docs

Loading Docs is a unique New Zealand documentary initiative that aims to captivate and inspire audiences as well as develop and promote New Zealand filmmaking talent. Since launching in 2014 Loading Docs has touched audiences all over the world. Our films have been seen online, on TV, in film festivals... even on airplanes!

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