I have a theory about this song. After Dave Dobbyn saw “Loyal”, a song about a relationship breakdown, used to foster national pride in a sports contest, he decided to write an actual proper song about pride in New Zealand. And so “Welcome Home” was born, and I imagine Dave has done quite well performing it at all those sports, military and civic ceremonies, all in honour of people who have “sacrificed much to be here”.
The video starts in black and white, with Dave walking down a busy street. He occasionally turns to wave and smile at people off camera, and you just know it’s people who are just shouting “DAVE DOBBYN!” because, hey, it’s Dave Dobbyn.
A bit of colour comes to the video via portraits of immigrants, all posing next to the flags of their former home country, and longer established New Zealanders. There’s a meat worker, schoolkids, dairy owners, a kebab shop couple, a taxi driver, and a forklift driver. There’s also refugee Ahmed Zaoui and a couple of brothers from the Dominican Priory where he lived at the time.
The oddest person to feature is a Westpac teller. She’s standing in front of a partition with “welcome” on it, and for a brief moment the video suddenly feels like an ad for Westpac. But New Zealanders work in banks as well as kebab shops, hardware stores and freezing works.
A lot of New Zealand music videos try to capture an essence of New Zealand, but trust Dave Dobbyn to just layer on the New Zealandness so deep that it goes beyond a cliche and actually becomes how New Zealanders happily see themselves. This is New Zealand.
Best bit: Dave’s thumbs up to one of the “DAVE DOBBYN” yellers.
Director: Tim Groenendaal
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision
Next… nothing ever happens in the suburbs.