Once a Panther: Podcast dives deep into what went down in the 1970s

By Mare Haimona-Riki

Writers and producers Brad Flahive and Alex Liu, have spent the past six months creating rich, emotionally charged audio documentaries that give deep insights into how a group of young activists started a homegrown revolution.

'Once a panther' is a podcast series about the activist group the Polynesian Panthers.

For Liu, the inspiration to embark on this in-depth look into the panthers spawned from his own journey of cultural identity.

“It started for me in my early to mid-twenties as a child of a Tongan father and a European mother and started from just going to the library and reading books,” he says.

The six-part series marked the 50th anniversary of the Auckland-based group and highlights the movement that was borne out of the need to respond to systemic racism experienced by Pasifika and Māori in the 1970s.

“It’s the most transparent way that you can re-tell history really. It’s through conversations, it’s not a lesson or a textbook. It’s their history in their words,” Flahive says.

All six episodes of the podcast are available to listen to here.