“This way of life” – a Karena viewpoint

My niece had said there was an interesting documentary on ABC1 on Sunday night “This way of life” about the Karena family, living around Hastings. So I watched it, as any Karena from Hastings would be a relative of mine.

I’ve seen this style of story or documentary before; white boy raised by natives, gone bush living an idyllic life in paradisical surroundings, overcoming challenging struggles and in conflict with the evil (insert the bad guy’s name here).  It’s a common storyline, that sells well.

This isn’t a fictional story though, it’s dealing with real people.  But there is always an element of fiction I think in documentaries.  I notice they weave bits and pieces of what they film, picking and choosing what they do and don’t want,  to tell a story the director wants to tell.

Throughout this story the picture is painted of a malevolent stepfather, you know this mostly from what the wife and husband say. Peter and Colleen say things like; ‘he stole Peter’s home’, probably stole ‘his wild horses’, ‘does dodgy deals’, ‘acts out of anger a lot’ and things of that nature. It’s implied the father did abuse to Peter as a child, it’s even implied that the Father burnt the family home down.  Towards the end of the movie you get to meet ‘the evil stepfather’ as the director takes her cameras to film Wero Karena and his wife Patsy overseeing the removal of the burnt out wreckage of their family home.

It was telling that this was the day, the director chose. It would be a highly emotionally charged day.  That home, my family’s home was only a shack really, but there’s been more than 7 generations of Karena literally who have been born and died in that home. (Great things have come out of that place, discussions for the full immersion school that Tame Karena championed, where Maori learnt in Maori and disproved the Government’s belief that Maori had to learn the system in English, by achieving higher scores than Maori children learning in white schools. The raising of one of the first Kohanga Reo – the language nest, Maori kindergarten for pre-schoolers. The restorative justice program the community ran to take prisoners out of gaol and instead have them live and work in the community. The meetings with some of the greats of New Zealand, Sylvia Ashton-Warner and her husband, government ministers of various sorts.. and then you have all those ties to family who have passed on and the memories of recent generations.)

It’s there that Patsy and Wero raised her kids, his kids in other words all their kids. Along with children from abused homes they fostered, as Patsy’s a social worker. And Wero having been adopted himself always opens the doors to children without a home. This wasn’t just a house.

This is the day they chose to impose their cameras? Did the audience I wonder notice Patsy, Peter’s mother walking head down in grief?  I doubt it.  Nor did they care about stomping on either’s pain. And you wonder why Wero gave them an angry reception? The camera’s first shows Wero stopping them from trespassing on his land, and they then re-position the cameras to look up at Wero, only his body, you don’t see his face, so he appears to loom over you ominously. The Director proceeds to accuse him of setting our family home on fire.  Personally I would of slapped her. That was a foul accusation to make and it was made to fit the story she wanted to spin.

As I was watching, I was asking myself, what do you mean “Peter’s house”?? How does Peter, precede his own older brothers let alone the Karena sons and daughters of Wero? How does his Step-Father and Mother’s home suddenly becomes his? When it’s obvious if Wero is selling the home, the home couldn’t of belonged to him in the first place? What gives Peter a sense of entitlement to a legacy that’s not his own? If my memory is correct I don’t think they even paid rent, as Wero and Patsy temporarily vacated the place to give them a home till they could get on their feet.

I found it particularly invasive that they took cameras into our family home and showed the pictures of my ancestors and relatives. Neither Peter or Colleen have a drop of Karena blood in them, so what gave them the right? They would of known how upsetting it would of been to the family, to literally have the eyes of thousands of strangers invade our family privacy.

There were other things I found upsetting, not really for me, but as I imagined how Wero and Patsy would react. As I watched how Peter related to his kids, it struck me, he was modelling the same upbringing he got. The philosophy he espouses, the affection he shows wife and children, he’s modelling the loving parenting that he received. Wero and Patsy are inseparable, they’re a partnership.  How then could he disparage them?  And it was shocking to the rest of the family and the community that knows them all. Wero said to me once, he was talking about his adopted father; Tame, “you owe your parents, they raised you the best they could, you owe them to raise your own children better than they raised you”.

As I’ve read the feedback on twitter, Facebook , YouTube and on the radio calling a loving, good man a psycho, a monster, a malevolent evil man. There is some wrong, for the Directors; Sumner Burstyn and Thomas Burstyn to do a character assassination of a man, through careful editing, a one-eyed, one-sided viewpoint in order to make a more engaging story.
It’s been greatly divisive for the family, it’s distasteful and it’s very wrong.

25 thoughts on ““This way of life” – a Karena viewpoint

  1. Hi, I just watched this doc. Amazing- beautifully filmed, the scenes were breathtaking, I loved the children, but I gotta say, I didn’t drink the kool-aid.
    Now maybe because I’m American, I’m cynical – now maybe because I’m a BLACK AMERICAN I spot bullshit fast. All my antennas went up! My first thought was “this guy is a big, entitled acting KID. His wife is in denial and enabling this juvenile. Something ain’t right here. This guy doesn’t own shit! He really got me when “describing” each child. I had to laugh. “He’s high as hell”, I thought. He ain’t saying shit!” So after watching this fiasco, I went searching and found this site.- Yep, just as I thought. Thanks for the insight.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Did Karena family try to stop the release of the movie to the public until both sides’ opinions are presented? It is was so obvious that the whole thing was bias towards Peter. Actually I was thinking that his articulate way of speaking, playing the victim and the righteous, was only for the camera. I am sure that he burned the house down (for insurance, or just for “if I can’t have it, then none can”). He is a psychopath. Did you guys looked as his face when police took the rifles from him? The forced smiled on his face looked everything but normal, and quite dangerous. Also, the fact that the family photos showed up a year later after the fire, not one bit destroyed, is very suspicious to me. I am so sure that Peter threaten his adoptive father’s life, and everyone else in that family, if they tell the truth. I’ve seen this type of low-lives so many times, in my home country. And to think that this piece of one-sided documentary was on the short list to be nominated for Oscars. WTF!


    1. No, and Wero and Patsy didn’t and Wero had 3 lawyers who were happy to sue, pro-bono. They thought it would just create greater friction. When I’ve spoken to people in Omahu, I’ve calmed somewhat because everyone knows what’s going on.


  3. “I am certainly not the judge of anyone who lives half a world away from me. And I am not judging anyone, only observing a film and the people and the situation depicted in it.”

    Jon, bullshit. Of course you’re judging. You are interpreting what is said by Maori, in terms of your own frame of reference, most likely that of a white American living on the opposite hemisphere. Who’s never met any of these people, let alone versed in Maori culture, and yet on the basis of one line in a movie, you’ve judged that Peter was not treated the same as his siblings, was not treated as a son and that he is not family. That’s a hell of a judgement to make based on one line. I would say that has a lot to do with your culture to give you all that extra ‘info’ you’ve made up as a backstory. But what you don’t get that is that your alien culture does not inform any meaning or interpretation of events in ours.

    What do I know of Wero as a father? A number of years back, Peter and his brothers were in Sydney, one had his heart broke I think, they’d rung home a bit homesick. I get a typical call from Wero, ‘can you check on my boys they’re not used to the harder (ways of) Australian women’. When Peter, who’s his father’s favourite was wrongfully nabbed from home by his father and taken across the Tasman. It was Wero who hunted them down and brought ‘his son’ back home. When Peter was bullied at school as kids, Wero got a hold of the children’s fathers lined them up and told them, ‘I’ll take you on as a group or one by one, your choice, but your sons will not beat up my boys, or you will cop the same.’ I’ve seen myself many instances on how all those kids were treated, I’ve seen them loved – so has the rest of Omahu. I know Wero loves all of them. Peter’s sister came on this forum, read what she wrote. – You a stranger thinking he knows more about what goes on in any community, let alone someone else’s family without meeting a soul, really? You can assess their character huh?
    There is no authentic report, or authentic documentary when a director manufactures a perspective she knows has no support in the community.

    (Incidentally I found it a lack of fair assessment on your part Sherlock that you ignored my comment that no other member of the family or community was interviewed. )

    On the subject of the film’s authenticity – if there are out an out lies, there is no authenticity. Wero never stole or killed any man’s horses, in fact it was Peter who shot dead 4 horses of another man. Wero never beat any of his kids, in fact it was Peter who’s been the bully in the family. Wero is a father to the kids of the first marriage, father to those of Patsy and the children they had thereafter and that has been a lot of responsibility and work. Peter abandoned his children and moved to Germany. Peter did not own the home that Wero allowed him and his family to live in. Wero did not burn our family home down, we all know who did and all know who profited from the sale of items taken before the fire. All of that or more, makes a lie of the story Burstyn fabricated.

    The idea that Peter is rejected as family because he doesn’t have the entitlement to Maori land is ludicrous. In Pakeha cultures, often it’s only the first born that inherit, the other siblings don’t. They may not like it, they may think they have a right to share in that inheritance, but no one says they are lesser, or are not family because of their birth rank. It’s just how their culture is. Their birth rank does not give them rank over the older sibling, which was my original point with regards to Peter. And yet who ever says they are ‘outsiders’ because of that fact, or should be considered less family? I’m sure you accept that situation in Pakeha culture, so why give some b.s over a similar situation in ours?

    On ancestry, this isn’t rocket science, you can’t say truthfully your great Grandmother is so and so, when in fact it’s not. Why because it’s a lie. For us in terms of the importance of identity; what you are today is built on how you are raised and your ancestry. Knowledge of yourself is dependent on knowing who your ancestors were, what you inherit – all that went before that gives who you are today. You can’t lie about who a person is. No one is born that doesn’t have an inheritance of some kind. Where did he get all these expectations when he wasn’t raised that way? It was just B.S.


  4. @Katkarena – What I am getting at here is that the film conveys exactly what you are telling me. The more you tell me, the more the film seems to be spot on. I am certainly not the judge of anyone who lives half a world away from me. And I am not judging anyone, only observing a film and the people and the situation depicted in it. And the film shows us nearly exactly what you are telling us…. that although Peter may have been raised by Wero, he is not considered blood, he is not considered to have any family rights, at the least he is held to be beneath some of his siblings because of a blood line, in terms of family pecking order, if you will. He is not considered the same within the Karena family. And I am not saying this is bad, the work of a monster, etc. I can see where some might take that opinion. But the film doesn’t convey that. The film conveys no more and no less than you, as a Karena, are conveying here: That the way the family is divided in this culture is that Peter has no right to any family heritage in the family he was raised with.

    It doesn’t seem to me that the film makers skewed the film at all. In fact, after reading your writing here, it only makes the film more authentic to the situation. You don’t consider Peter as having any family right here, Wero doesn’t, as he makes it as clear as you that your family makes a sharp distinction between blood relatives and adopted relatives…. and this is all that the film depicts. The fact that many viewers find this fact distasteful or cruel is not on the film makers. That is their value system showing up against yours.

    Again…. the more you explain about the family situation, the more the film strikes home as authentic. What you are telling me is exactly what the film tells us. That Peter presumed a family connection between he and his step father that his step father was not prepared to offer him.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. @JonDurham One of the things about this film, I was thinking, is – it’s not a Maori film. It has Pakeha directors, Pakeha writers and Pakeha producers it’s primarily a white/Anglo story with the subject matter of a Maori family. The pakeha (white) perspective shows a up a lot for example, Burstyn’s righteous attitude to what she thinks adoption is all about. To be ‘adopted’ in Maori culture though, the concept is whāngai – it means literally to feed. And means to treat that child ‘as if’ they were blood, they’re housed, they’re fed, they’re loved, they are raised and treated as you’re own. And spiritually speaking they are. I and other member of Wero and Patsy’s family, Peter’s full blooded brothers, sisters and the wider community would tell you that is how Peter was raised. And they have, which is one of the reasons why not one member of his family or community were interviewed on that film. Think that over, Sherlock.

    But, unlike Burstyn’s culture, blood ties aren’t severed through adoption. Children don’t belong to the adopted family, their lineage, their inheritance comes from their biological parents. Whites or people like Burstyn may say that’s treating people like ‘outsiders’, but personally I think people who can’t recognise that people of another culture aren’t going to live according to (in this case) a pakeha perspective – hold a very rigid ethnocentric worldview.

    Wero rightly said he is not Peter’s father. Because he’s not. Peter is very loyal to his biological father, and that is who is father is. If you’re talking about inheritance. Peter’s birth right is Oatley, his birth right is whatever his lineage his Mother and Father have to give him. It is what it is. Even, if he was Karena, he is still not entitled to inherit that home. In a real sense land is tied to blood, and whoever is caretaker in this case; Wero is still answerable to the wider Karena family, as to who is to be trusted to be caretaker for the next generation. Even if he was a Karena bloodline, traditionally there’s no automatic entitlement . Peter’s sense of entitlement to the family home, is his own.

    Furthermore the home didn’t belong to him, because it didn’t belong to him he had no right to open it up the wider world. It’s was a dive, but it held significant place in the history of our family not to mention the community and tribe. What he did was thumb his nose at the family and at Wero who was the ‘owner’. Also seriously, how bizarre is it to show people ‘your’ ancestors when in fact they’re not your ancestors at all. You are the sum total of all that’s gone before, you can’t know yourself by pretending you’re someone your not.

    Peter, in those two instances I noticed disengaged himself from the Maori culture that raised him, in his personal pursuit for Maori land.

    P.S. As to Wero being called a monster, a psycho and a whole lot of other things, yes he has. It was on New Zealand radio, on twitter, Facebook and to the family’s face. Do your homework before you make assumptions like you do. I think there some people with a little less bias, who can imagine what it be liked to be badmouthed literally to thousands. And what it’s like to have strangers who feel they have a right to judge your family based on 90 minutes story telling.


  6. @katkarena – You seem to be missing the point. You are selling a story as well. Your side of the story. Everyone is selling a story when they publish their view on a particular matter. Nothing wrong with that, it’s what we do.

    Your side of the story isn’t terribly convincing that the wrong picture was painted by the film makers either, if that is what you were trying to accomplish. In fact, you drive home the same impression that is given in the single scene in the film where we hear from Wero. You say:

    “What gives Peter a sense of entitlement to a legacy that’s not his own?”

    “Neither Peter or Colleen have a drop of Karena blood in them, so what gave them the right?”

    Just like the Karena we hear from in the film, you are quick to make sure that Peter is clearly distinguished and separated from the blood family…. you make him out to be an outsider. This is the precise feeling the film makers conveyed with the film, that there were family members who held Peter out as an outsider, as not entitled to be part of the family. And even as you attempt to discredit the film and call it out as off target for this portrayal, you accomplish the opposite and reinforce that the family problem here is one of the blood family not fully accepting an adopted son as one of their own. No one is portrayed as “monster” as you claim. It actually seems spot on, a typical and common case of a family not accepting adopted or “married in” relatives. That doesn’t make anyone a monster, it just causes family quarrels…. just as we see are present in the film.

    You words betray you.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. @JonDurham So you came to this article through doing a search on the film? That’s the case pretty much for everyone that’s come to this article. The point of my article is that Burstyn’s ‘particular point of view’ is a manufactured view in order to sell a story. It’s a deliberate fabrication, particularly in light of truths and events she was aware of, edited out or simply lied about. Anyone person might not have the full story of an event, but a person’s witness has validity if they try to portray the events they’ve seen, rather than when they knowingly misreport or lie, for the sake or money or any other kind of reward.

    Why did I write it?; “As I’ve read the feedback on twitter, Facebook , YouTube and on the radio calling a loving, good man a psycho, a monster, a malevolent evil man. There is some wrong, for the Directors; Sumner Burstyn and Thomas Burstyn to do a character assassination of a man, through careful editing, a one-eyed, one-sided viewpoint in order to make a more engaging story.
    It’s been greatly divisive for the family, it’s distasteful and it’s very wrong.”


  8. Entertaining film. I was surprised to see this page come up on a web search for a link to the film. If you didn’t like the film, this sort of thing here will only bring more attention to it. But of course, just like the producers of the film, you are just using the media you have at your disposal to give us your point of view. So my question to you is this: Why? If you begrudge the film makers for presenting a particular point of view in a family quarrel, then what exactly do you think makes your publication on the matter different or more acceptable?


  9. I was in a TV documentary once in Australia. I was serving a mission with a Elite Agency Model (think of Cindy Crawford’s Agency). The interesting thing was that they didn’t come and tape us to see what a day in the life of a Model serving a mission was. What they did is they came in with a story already made up – and then for the most part they asked us to play parts so they could ‘patch’ and ‘stitch’ it all together. Certain things we said no to. But essentially the documentary were interested in telling the story they wanted to tell and editing scenes till they got it.


  10. Peter struck me as a very selfish man. Living a selfish life of doing what he wanted to do whilst pretending to be a free spirit. Everyone was so moved by the way he spoke about his children sitting in that tree. He said nothing. Aurora is, well Aurora. Welly is, well Welly and so on. The man had nothing to say about his children. He is a big child himself and Colleen is in denial. She is a saint and deserves a medal but sadly blinded by love. The man left his family in a tent and took off later on. He really needs to leave the weed alone and man up.

    And I think you are absolutely right. It was not a true story we saw. It was made up by the people who filmed what they wanted us to see.


    1. And, to be fair, the filmmakers probably saw a romanticized view of the whole situation themselves at the time. It is hard to spot a man with a mask if you are not looking for it or not very experienced at it.


  11. I got an email from a “Mel”, I’ve had a couple of emails in a similar vein, holding an attitude that they are judges of the Karena family and our larger tribe. “Assessing” the “right’s” and “wrongs” of members of my larger family and laying down their verdict, of who’s ‘bad’ and who’s ‘good’ based on a carefully edited 90 minutes film that used ‘real’ footage — to entertain.

    You’ll notice I don’t answer personal questions, “what’s happening with the family?”, “is the rift sorted out?” etc. I won’t do that, because we were raised in our family and community to mind our own business. To not interfere in each others family, to let people sort things out for themselves, to be there for support and help if needed. But people’s lives are their own and its up to them to sort things out.
    And Omahu is a community – it’s not like the larger world, everybody knows everybody, everybody is one way or another related to everyone else – you can not walk down the street and not see your ancestor’s name on the street sign and not know the bloke coming towards you. (It can be a real pain.) But for all our everyday faults, it’s the most loving giving place I’ve ever lived in, in my life.

    Watching a film, does not make you a member of that community. That sound’s cold but sorry folks that’s how it is. And if you were part of our community no one would put up with what we would call ‘sticking your nose into other people’s business.

    I love watching Rizzoli and Isles on dvd, and discussing the show on the Rizzoli & Isles Facebook page, discussing the characters, their ‘real’ intent, getting into the ins and outs of ‘their lives’. But it’s a show, it’s not real, as highly entertaining it is to muse over the character’s motivations.

    I would ask the casual armchair judge – to understand that there is a big difference to judging who’s the baddie and goodie of fictional characters, to judging real live people of who’s lives you have not even seen so much as a mere fraction thereof, to be in anyway a fair judge. If you had the right -belonging only to God, to be such a judge at all.

    Catherine Karena


  12. I Rain on behalf of every body who has meaningless words to say I truly am sorry about how we see this way of life
    I do agree to what you have had to say I hope all is well with the rest of the family I am sadden to hear the thing’s that peter had to say about his father. my love goes out to colleen no woman deserve to be treated like that ever. So
    again I am sorry for the story’s that we have created on this way of life god bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I am writing a comment because I am affected by this movie personally and reading peoples comments good and bad just want to get my side across because everyone makes assumptions. I am the youngest of the Karena children to Patsy and Wero and this movie is full of rubbish.
    Want to know the real Peter that I grew up with? A bully who used to pick on, beat up and just be plain mean and horrible to his baby sister. I won’t go into detail cause I get upset thinking of how he treated me. I was fearful of this person and still am to this day. I hate him. I don’t hate anyone or use that word but I hate him. He is not a nice person and not the “wonderful” person he tries to portray to everyone in this movie.
    My dad did not burn our family home down and we do know who did. My dad did not treat any of the kids differently to one another or abuse us. I have never been hit by my dad ever.
    My parents are loving to all their kids and grand kids.
    I just get so sick and tired of seeing how badly people talk about my family/parents when they don’t know the truth and Im sick of holding my thoughts in.
    Did the movie say how peter bashed our oldest brother? did it say how he shot my dads horses? did it say he cheated on his wife colleen and has a kid in germany? Only shows what they want to show.
    My parents may not be perfect but I couldn’t ask for better parents, I love them dearly and I wouldn’t be who I am today if it wasn’t for them, I also wouldn’t have done the things in my life if it wasn’t for their sacrifices for us children.
    Still say what you guys want but I know everything personally and what the movie doesn’t show and not all is what it seems.
    Peepsweave you also said a lot I couldn’t say especially about granddad, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Just watched this very moving film and hope all parties do come together as they have lost so much but have so much to give. Those kids will be able to face anything life throws at them as they grow up.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I thought it was a great movie, I love the way peter treats his kids, they are so lucky, and colleen is wonderful too.
    thanks for adding some balance to the picture, it is so easy to only see what we are shown

    Liked by 1 person

  16. i loved this story.
    i love the way they live and wish i could do the same.
    i did not see this all as a one sided attack on Wero.
    i saw peter speak well of his step father many times.
    i would like to really know more as to why a father would be so cruel to his child and grandchildren – my only explanation is that it is because they are not his blood, just as he says that peter is NOT his son, its his wifes son…. this is so sad.
    Just what did peter and colleen do to Wero. And where is Patsy in all of this? why does she not try to fix this between her family. Sad really.
    I wish peter and colleen all the best in their lives and i hope they can move on and live as they wish to without anyone harrassing or harming them anymore.
    I know i am just a viewer and i would like to not just have replies that are negative.


    1. Respectfully Star, these are real people you know? And you don’t know them. A couple of hours of edited movie doesn’t tell you any story but what the writer wants you to see.

      I’m sort of stuck between a rock and a hard place, when I was young and an Aunt and Uncle were having a tiff, if either party turned to the rest of the family to side with either. We stayed out of it. Because it becomes bigger than what it is. Everyone in the family and community knows what’s going on, but suddenly the bigger world got involved, uninvited by the majority. And our lives seem to have become a commodity.

      I put up this page, because it is wrong to demonize someone, to take an everyday person and slander his name, not just amongst the community, but literally worldwide. You don’t know Peter. You certainly don’t know Wero. So don’t tell me my cousin Wero is cruel, that’s absolute rubbish. Or criticize Patsy, really this is a movie, using real lives, but telling a story with carefully edited pieces to tell the story the director wanted to make.


  17. Thank You Peepsweave for filling in some of the blanks. I wondered about his step father, what caused this great divide? What kind of a man he really is. Also Peter’s mother Patsy, what is her relationship with Peter like. So much left unanswered. I DID see the emotion in his mother. I did hear and believe his father when he answered NO to burning down the house. I was well aware of the one sided story. I think most thoughtful people are aware of that.

    After saying all that, I absolutely LOVED this movie and family. I know nothing of the maori, but it was fascinating to see. I am very happy it was made. I have told several people to watch it. Peter and Colleen seem very meek and unique to me. Very loving and caring. They are young and have more to learn but they also have wisdom. That makes it all the more puzzling about this divide between father and son. I do not know the cause of it but I am certain of the answer… FORGIVENESS. That is what our creator has shown us, forgiveness.

    I am not convinced the Directors question about the fire was anything but an honest question replied to with an honest answer. Both sides were shown in that brief moment. I am sorry you felt offended at the cameras in your ancestors home. I can certainly understand your feelings but just to let you know, I thought it was a beautiful part showing the history of this family, your ancestors in an honorable way.

    Thank you again for shinning light on this story. If you are able, could you answer some questions? If any are offensive or too private, please forgive me, it is not my intent. simply don’t answer or tell me it’s not a proper question.

    Was whoever started the fire ever caught?
    What did cause the divide between Wero and Peter?
    Have they made peace yet?
    Do Patsy and Peter get along?
    Why wouldn’t Peter be considered a Maori? Is it really “blood only”?
    Who stole his horses?


  18. To forget is one thing but to for give is enother. Yet to for give is more powerful. To be with the father that treated him rong no dout that the son him self has done a little rong so why do we sit and point the finger and juge. I would love to see a father and son, to be at peace with one. To see the love that would spread like butter thru out the whole family now that would be very moving dont you think. My
    Mother beat me up and told all these bad stories to me about how bad my late father was to her and my brother so i gru up having all these bad thoughts of my dad and all the good thoughts of my mum until i was taken away from my mum and put in a family home after a while of being away from her i realised that my mum was bad not dad as i got older i got at peace with my father let go of all those bad feelings but not with my mum i still could not stand the sight of her. Then one day i really got what it was all about i fore give my mum i wanted her to be in my life my children’s life i got that it was me making her the bad one my mum was suffering with mental illness and still is today i gusse what i am trying to say is let there be paece i hope that peter will conect with his mother and father i would love to giude him throw this massive in pact this would have on peter and his father lovely


  19. Wero did say though “that’s not my son, that’s my WIFE’S son.” There is no perfect family, everyone has their fair share of trials and tribulation and it would be naive of us to think that Peter and Colleen have not hurt their elders also. It is a story, a beautiful tale that is so far removed from this digital age that we cannot help but wish them luck in maintaining their humble yet enviable life.


    1. Hi Dave,
      Thanks for your remarks. I appreciate your thoughts. “Wero did say though “that’s not my son, that’s my WIFE’S son.”
      Yes he did. Peter has a father, whom he’s lived with. Not the step-father that taught him how to hunt, ride or live the life he enjoys. His father’s Australian. Barbara-Sumner Burstyn jumped on that comment insinuating in her reply, that he treated his step-son differently, he adamantly declared ‘he did not’. You have to have noticed by his attitude that wasn’t the first time she’s accosted or acused Wero in 4 years. That was not the first time they’ve met. If you were a family member or member of the tight knit community of Omahu, you would know this. But as strangers, how would you know anything but what you have been shown?

      What you were shown was 2 minutes of movie footage preceded by 2 people who said nothing BUT ill of both Wero and Peter’s mother. Not one single word of good. That’s astounding to me, knowing those two people.

      It’s a beautiful movie, good luck to them, you can meet quite a few people like that in Omahu around New Zealand, it’s not unique. But it has amazed me, that people can demonise a man, when they get a one-sided view, particularly when that view contained lies and really foul inneundo.


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