The Tigers of Wrath

It’s 1974, Beijing. Trish and Pauline are a pair of 20-year-old Aucklanders, Maoists and lovers. They’re on an NZUSA trip to Red China. Trish is a trainee primary school teacher, Pauline a political activist. Also on the trip is Oliver, a radical and a would-be writer. He’s fallen hugely for Trish. But she’s with Pauline.

Twenty years later Trish and Oliver have married and now live in Herne Bay, Auckland. Trish is a second-term Labour MP, opposition spokesperson on education, busy organising the removal of the leader of the Labour party, Mike Moore, and his replacement with Helen Clark. Oliver has given up writing, taken a law degree and is about to join the board of a finance company. The couple has two children and we meet one, 13-year-old Simone who is attending St Cuth’s and wanting to join a pony club. 

Fifteen years later Pauline and Oliver meet up by chance in a karaoke pub at Mangere Bridge. Pauline has had a rugged life and awaits an apocalyptic future. Oliver is now facing criminal charges lodged by the Serious Fraud Office under the Securities Act. We glimpse Trish on a screen: she’s progressed from being a cabinet minister to hosting a TV current affairs programme and being deemed the mother of the nation. And we meet up again with Simone, now with children of her own, and all that’s left for Oliver.