Founded in 2005, the Wairoa Māori Film Festival is the longest running Māori and indigenous film festival in NZ. The festival occurs every Queen's Birthday weekend on the East Coast of the North Island, at Kahungunu Marae in Nuhaka and the Gaiety Theatre in Wairoa. Kahungunu Marae was the setting for scenes from the classic NZ film "Broken Barrier"by John O'Shea in the 1950s. The festival each year is part of the living history of Māori and New Zealand cinema. Film screenings are held in the marae and in the cinema, and a centrepiece Gala Awards Night includes presentation of an annual Women in Film & Television WIFT Mana Wahine Award and an annual Pacific Islanders in Film & Television PIFT Mana Pasifika Award.
Since 2012, the Wairoa Māori Film Festival has curated the Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Short film programme of the NZ International Film Festival, with the shorts co-curated by the Pollywood Film Festival. In 2018, Wairoa Māori Film Festival presented the first ever He Wiki Kiriata Māori – Māori Film Week, a celebration of Māori and indigenous cinema and multimedia in central Auckland. In 2018 the theme was Māori Futurism, a feast of futuristic and fantastic Māori and indigenous art and culture, including Lightbox Art Exhibitions in Freyberg Place and Bledisloe Lane. Kindly supported by Auckland Council.