This terrier mix has a leading role in the home of filmmaker Libby Hakaraia

Bounce and Māoriland Film Festival founder Libby live in a beautiful, light-filled Kapiti Coast home.

Bouncing down the sand dunes in front of his Ōtaki home, terrier mix Bounce lives in full motion – as do his filmmaker parents, Libby Hakaraia and Tainui Stephens.

Having founded the Māoriland Film Festival, an initiative that showcases and supports Māori and international indigenous filmmakers and creatives, Libby and Tainui often welcome guests to their warm and light-filled Kapiti Coast home. Libby moved back to her tūrangawaewae in her late 20s, long before working from home was the norm.

Bounce came into the family’s lives thanks to daughter Oriwa, who found him on Trade Me when she was six years old. “She thought the name of the site was ‘Save Me’!” says Libby. “She saw a picture of a litter of pedigree puppies and said, ‘Mum, they need saving.’”

They drove down to Upper Hutt to see the puppies, but one in particular captured their attention. “In the corner, shivering, was this much smaller looking puppy. We asked about him and the breeder said he was the runt of the litter and wasn’t worth that much because of his markings and fur – he was more terrier than Maltese or shih tzu,” she says. “We wanted him straight away.”

At first, the puppy cautiously explored the beach on the family’s doorstep. “I still remember him quivering with curiosity as he checked out the sand and the water.” But any uncertainty was quickly conquered, and Bounce was named after his preferred way of presiding over his new kingdom. “As a puppy he literally bounced on all fours rather than walking,” says Libby. “Ever since he has roamed the beach and neighbourhood like it’s all his!”

Libby has worked on many high-profile films, including as a producer for the recently released Cousins, and is currently working on a slate of exciting films in development with, we expect, plenty of creative breaks over the dunes with Bounce. “In the 13 years we’ve had him, he’s been a great part of our whānau,” says Libby. “Mostly he brings joy and playfulness.”


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