The idea of the film was conceived in 1967, when two senior National Film Unit staff attended the international world fair Expo 67 in Montreal and brought back information about the way film was used to promote the countries exhibiting at Expo 67. New film techniques at that time included multiple screen images and multi-track stereo sound.
NFU manager Geoffrey Scott began to promote the idea of a three-screen film showcasing New Zealand being made to play at the next world Expo in Osaka, Japan, in 1970.
The star attraction at that event was a revolutionary 20-minute film 'This is New Zealand’, made by the National Film Unit that introduced viewers to New Zealand in a glorious three-screen presentation. With highly inventive camera work and editing, it showed everyone where we are, who we are, and – taking advantage of the super-widescreen format – what a spectacularly beautiful land we live in.
The film was seen by more than two million people at Expo 70, and by 350,000 more when it returned home afterwards. Hidden from view since that time, this landmark film has been given a stunning restoration by Archives New Zealand and Park Road Post, and it looks – and sounds better than it ever has before.
‘This is New Zealand’, along with the documentary detailing its production, is now being re-released to cinemas beginning in the Wellington region from July 2021.