Utu Pihikete

“Utu Pihikete” is a Maori term and was a derogatory expression for half caste children meaning “paid for in biscuits”. Colonial New Zealand, 1841. Penniless Beth answers the advert of stoic Tom Brown, who seeks a wife. Beth’s arrival is met with hostility and fear by Tom’s young, Maori servant girl, Atawhai. While Tom is away, Beth instigates and nurtures a friendship with the child. A familial bond develops that will challenge the prejudices and decorum of a pioneer society whose “civilised” countenance belies an underbelly of drunken lawlessness and simmerings of native uprising. But Beth’s compassion and good intentions expose a shame and scandal so great they become the catalyst for an appalling tragedy.

Find more information on the Utu Pihikete official website.