World Premiere Christchurch 30 Oct 2021 NZ International Film Festival

Our repo, our swamps, store carbon, restore biodiversity and purify the water cycle - solutions we need to dig us out of the looming environmental problems humanity faces. With filmmaker Kathleen Gallagher and writer Dylan Pyle we travel throughout Aotearoa New Zealand from Whangamarino in the north to Ōkarito in the South with fishermen, local iwi, farmers, healers, artists, scientists, trappers, teachers and students – as they replant, reflood and restore our old intimate relationship with rohe kooreporepo our swamps our sacred places.

Rohe Kōreporepo The Swamp The Sacred Place is available as both a film and a book which includes the full length interviews of all 60 kaitiaki wetlands guardians interviewed for the film, at Maketu, Whangmarino, Rotopiko, Te Hākari Kuku Beach, Taupō Swamp Porirua, Moawhitu D’Urville Island, Ōkarito, Ō Tū Wharekai and Wakanui Ashburton, Ōtautahi Christchurch wetlands, Te Waihora Lake Ellesmere.


“If you’ve never cried about a swamp, you’ve probably never seen Rohe Kooreporepo. Placing a strong emphasis on Māori voices and perspectives, this film offers a fascinating, hopeful and often heartbreaking survey of the activities and ecology working to protect Aotearoa’s wetlands.” Amelia Berry

”This film is outstanding and really highlighted the part wetlands can play in sinking 30% of the world’s carbon. ” Paulette Double, Teacher

Wetlands aren’t just a vital component of the natural environment, to tangata whenua wetlands are a place for resource gathering and making kai, a vital habitat for waterfowl and tuna, raupō and harakeke. In these days of eco-anxiety, we need positive stories like this to show us a way forward.” Rebecca Priestly NZIFF

”In Rohe Kōreporepo we visit some of Atoearoa’s few remaining swamp areas and the people who are preserving, protecting and expanding on what is left, for the good of us all. This is an informative and inspiring wee film that I enjoyed very much.” Graeme Tuckett, Stuff

“A wonderful premiere of your latest ‘chef d’oeuvre’. A fantastic achievement.” Dr Philippe Gerbeaux Department of Conservation .


“If your forest is healthy, your bird life is healthy, if your bird life is healthy, then we are healthy” Liam Tapsell in Rohe Kōreporepo The Swamp The Sacred Place.

”Our mana psychic influence, our mauri life essence and our hauora spirit of life, are implicitly woven inside the mana, the mauri and the hauora of our water places. If our water places are unwell, that diminIshes us and we become unwell. If we restore our rohe kooreporepo wetlands and they become healthy again, we too recover our mana, our mauri and our hauora.” Ropata McGowan Rohe Kōreporepo The Swamp The Sacred Place.

“SPOONBILL” “noela

Rohe Kōreporepo The Swamp The Sacred Place has screened in the NZ International Film Festival at the Theatre Royal Christchurch, Lighthouse Wellington, Suter Nelson and Rialto Dunedin

There will be cinema screenings in February 2022 in New Zealand including on World Wetlands Day

This film was made with assistance from a finishing grant from the NZ Film Commission.

and with putea from CCC, DOC, Ashburton Conservaton Trust and District Council, WET, National Wetlands Trust,Selwyn District Council, DOC Edge Rough Cuts.

If you wish to organise a fundraising screening, or buy the book please e-mail us at or phone 064 3 3329192

Copyright 2021 WickCandle Film