It is spring 1982, and change is in the air. Frank has got a job at one of the big Hawkes Bay meatworks. Mereana's uncle has got her hired on the mutton slaughter floor, and torn her away from her quiet life in the backblocks. The meat companies have plans to bring in machinery that will wipe out jobs, and the government is about to eliminate subsidies to farmers. A confrontation is looming.