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The Green Chain

1 x 52 mins

The incredible true story of former Whakatane sawmill worker Joe Harawira who fought a three-decade-long battle to seek the truth behind the workplace poisons that afflicted his community.

The Green Chain is the story of a man who fought the powers of industry and government…and won. Harawira is New Zealand’s homegrown version of Erin Brockovich.

In the 80s after being afflicted by health issues, Harawira noticed his co-workers were getting sick.

He believed exposure to Pentachlorophenol (PCP), the poison used for timber treatment at his workplace, was the cause of the problem. In 1988 he helped found SWAP (Sawmill Workers Against Poisons) and began investigating the effects of exposure to dioxins.

This compelling story challenges New Zealand’s clean green reputation and highlights the difficulties faced when seeking justice from corporate bodies and the state. Harrowing, emotionally engaging, but ultimately hopeful, The Green Chain is the story of a man and a community who refused to be silenced.

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