“Land of Plenty” was the third OMC single to receive NZOA funding and “Right On” was the fourth, but they were released in the opposite order, making “Land of Plenty” OMC’s final NZOA-funded video to be released.
Pauly Fuemana had enjoyed a global hit with “How Bizarre” and local success with the follow-up single “Right On”. “Land of Plenty” gets personal. It’s very much the work of a New Zealand-born child of Polynesian immigrant parents.
“Land of Plenty” is a valentine to New Zealand. While Pauly’s rapping isn’t as good as it has been (he sounds like he has a cold), it is still a strong song with a killer chorus.
The lyrics list places and features of New Zealand: “Oamaru by Timaru, winding roads, sudden bends, Lake Taupo, Bethells Beach.” Pauly doesn’t forget cities, also mentioning “Mission Bay, Cuba Street, Vulcan Lane”.
There’s a cool story behind the production of the video, as told by Simon Grigg in his rather good book How Bizarre. Director Kerry Brown came up with an ambitious treatment for the video that was budgeted at $60,000 – but all they had was the $5000 NZ On Air grant and $15,000 from the record company.
So they got sponsors. The New Zealand Wool Board chipped in $20,000 on the condition that Pauly would wear a woollen jacket in the video. TVNZ contributed another $20,000 with the understanding that Pauly would take part in a promo for the station (which never happened).
Much of the video is second-unit filming around New Zealand, with Pauly and singer Taisha filmed in the volcanic plateau. Pauly was in a foul mood the day of the shoot, but Brown’s directorial expertise transformed the scowls into looks of thoughtfulness.
The video takes inspiration from the lyrics and the typical “scenic New Zealand” tourism film (check out “This is New Zealand” for a glorious example), so there’s lots of aerial footage of mountains, rivers and oceans. But we also visit small towns and the aforementioned urban hotspots.
Both and song and the video capture the appreciation that a migrant family has for their new home, but it also works as a reminder for those of us who’ve been here a bit longer that New Zealand is a lovely country.
The song was used in a 2001 ad by the BNZ, who effectively remade the video with a bigger budget, more BNZ customers and less scenery.
Best bit: the Wizard standing in front of the ChristChurch Cathedral. cries
Director: Kerry Brown
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision
Next… mission posse-ble.