Through a young orphan girl, a dispassionate and parochial couple learn the true meaning of family and belonging. Written by award winning international writer April Phillips, 'Utu Pihikete' was a derogatory Maori expression for half caste children meaning 'paid for in biscuits'. Colonial New Zealand, 1841. Penniless Beth answers the advert of stoic Tom Brown, who seeks a wife. Beth's arrival is met with hostility and fear by Tom's young Maori servant girl, Atawhai. While Tom is away, Beth nurtures a friendship with the child. A familial bond develops that will challenge the prejudices and decorum of a pioneer society. But Beth's compassion and good intentions expose a shame and scandal so great they become the catalyst for an appalling tragedy.