A TV series that foretold Ihumātao


Aroha Bridge is a cartoon and political satire that started in 2013.

Beyond telling relatable stories, it’s prescient. Ihumātao is a case of reality mimicking fiction. Aroha Bridge is being mimicked by the events happening at Ihumātau.

In Aroha Bridge’s season three finale, Kamo Kamo Corporation constructs a wall separating Aroha Bridge from the rest of world.

“The residents of Aroha Bridge – the angry dads, the people monopolising the cause, those disillusioned and those trying to be wakened – are divided in where they stand politically,” writes Lana Lopesi in her review.

“That is until everyone starts to be impacted personally, whether it be through the inability to get burritos or the relentless corporate control of the suburb.”

In the same way that Jacinda Ardern has to eventually take a stance on Ihumātao, Tokouso, the overly idealistic mayor of Aroha Bridge, always thought he could please everyone until he finds that he too has to eventually take a stance.

“An uncanny coincidence? Or a premonition manifested by the series’ writer?” asks Lopesi.

“Like that friend who asks you if you really want to do that, and then tells you I told you so, Aroha Bridge, acts as a shady pop-up window asking us if we really want to repeat history again.”

Aroha Bridge began life as a comic-strip and later developed into a short, online animated series. Now a full-length season made with the support of NZ on Air.

It is a cartoon snapshot of a multicultural melting pot that is New Zealand.

The series focuses on urban Māori characters, delving “into the racial politics and millennial Māori anxieties that manifest in the animated hubbub suburb of ‘Aroha Bridge’.”

Click here to watch season three of Aroha Bridge


Additional reading

News category: New Zealand.

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