Taniwha Utu is a kiwi colonial horror. A wealthy British family, recently settled on the the shores of NZ are struggling to adjust to the harsh new environment and constantly clash with the native Maori.
Captain Sampson is the father and patriarch of the family. An uncompromising merciless man, he is ruthless in his desire to become a prominent figure in the colonization of NZ. Sampson's only daughter Elizabeth is at odds with her fathers cruel nature. She's an innocent, kind hearted young women and does not understand her fathers intentions and only wishes to return to the safety and comfort of England.
We open with Elizabeth exploring the horrors of a Maori village razed by her father, who slaughtered everyone within it. A lone Maori boy survives with the iwi's baby Taniwha. He is found by Elizabeth and they develop a bond over the creature. She protects them both by keeping their presence a secret.
Meanwhile Sampson's patrol men are disappearing in the night under mysterious circumstances. Searching for answers, Sampson finds the boy and learns of his relationship with Elizabeth. He beats the boy and kills the baby Taniwha, believing the creature to be the evil killing his men.
Sampson believes he has ended the threat to his settlement but the next morning, devastation is brought down on the small settlement as the Mother Taniwha attacks, determined to find the one who killed her child. Will she spare Elizabeth? Can she be stopped?