PI Kiwi Oscar Kightley is a critically-acclaimed writer, actor, TV presenter and director. After co-creating The Naked Samoans, he worked with the comedy troupe on five seasons of hit series bro’Town, NZ's first animated show to play in prime-time. Kightley has also worked with the Samoans as a co-writer and actor in hit feature Sione’s Wedding and its 2012 sequel. In 2013 he took on a serious role, starring as a detective in TV series Harry.

A revolutionary who has changed the complexion of local popular culture [...]. Writer Diana Witchel, in The Listener, 9 December 2006
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Hunt for the Wilderpeople

2016, As: Policeman - Film

Taika Waititi's fourth feature is the tale of a city kid and a grumpy uncle on the run. Raised on hip hop and state care, Ricky (Shopping's Julian Dennison) goes bush with his foster uncle (Sam Neill), with the authorities on his tail. Wilderpeople is based on Barry Crump book Wild Pork and Watercress. Keen to recapture the style of classic screen yarns like Came a Hot Friday, Waititi's aim was a funny, accessible adventure. The result began winning rave reviews when it debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, before becoming New Zealand's biggest ever local hit.

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Harry

2013, As: Detective Harry Anglesea, Writer

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Rooster Rooster Dragon Rat - Oscar's Guide to the Chinese Zodiac

2013, Presenter - Television

Comedian (and rooster) Oscar Kightley fronts this 2013 beginner’s guide to the Chinese zodiac. His mission: to explore the 12 oriental star signs. As the Kiwi population heads towards one in six being of Asian origin, Kightley surveys a cavalcade of contemporary Kiwi personalities for their views on stargazing, from his Harry co-star Sam Neill to lawyer Mai Chen. This excerpt is a potted history of the oriental zodiac, aided by animation; then it's enter the dragon. Made for TV3’s Inside New Zealand documentary strand it was directed by bro’Town creator Elizabeth Mitchell.

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Tom's Dairy

2013, Director, Writer

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Sione's 2 - Unfinished Business

2012, Writer, Associate Producer, As: Albert - Film

In the five years since Sione's Wedding, the Duckrocker quartet have experienced marriage, children, Australians and the good lord. Then their minister reunites them on a quest to find Bolo (Dave Fane) — once their driver and conscience, now MIA. The sequel to the break-through PI-Kiwi hit reunites the original cast, and adds in a dodgy minister (Kirk Torrance) and a new director (Outrageous Fortune's Simon Bennett). On the burden of following Wedding, Stuff.co.nz reviewer Steve Kilgallon adjudged: "seen on its own merits, it [Sione's 2] proves worth the wait".

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Super City

2013, Director

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50 Years of New Zealand Television - Episode One

2010, Subject - Television

This is the opening episode of the Prime TV series celebrating 50 years of New Zealand television: from an opening night puppet show in Auckland in 1960, through to Outrageous Fortune five decades later. It traverses the medium's development and its major turning points (including the rise of programme-making and news, networking, colour and the arrival of TV3, Prime, NZ on Air, Sky and Māori Television) and interviews key players. The changing nature of the NZ living room — always with the telly in pride of place as modern hearth — is a story within a story.

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RadiRadiRah

2010, Actor

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Walk Right Up

2007, Director - Music video

Luxurious colours and swanky costumes abound in this Oscar Kightley offering, featuring cameos from Scribe and the director himself. The simple, but elegantly-executed concept sees Ladi6 alternate between channelling Billie Holiday and streetwise personas in an assured performance.    

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Questions for Mr Reynolds

2007, Subject - Television

John Reynolds is one of New Zealand's most talked-about contemporary artists. His diverse practice takes in painting, photography, clothing, tattooing and landscaping. Director Shirley Horrocks frames the film as a series of questions. The answers reflect Reynold's exuberant personality, his strong family life, his sense of humour, and his adventurous art-making. Following a year in his life, the film observes him as he makes and debuts a work (Cloud) at the 2006 Biennale of Sydney, and takes time out to appear in an episode of bro'Town.

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Tagata Pasifika - 20th Anniversary Special

2007, Subject - Television

Actor Robbie Magasiva and discus champ Beatrice Faumuina oversee this hour-long Tagata Pasifika 20th birthday celebration. Presenters past and present survey changes in the Aotearoa PI community over the show’s run: from education, arts and culture (Ardijah, OMC, Michel Tuffery’s corned beef bulls and the Naked Samoans), to political pioneers (Mark Gosche, Winnie Laban), and sports heroes (All Black icons Jones, Lomu and Umaga). Among those talking about the show’s importance to NZ Pasifika culture are Helen Clark, Annie Crummer and many others.

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Made in Taiwan

2006, Presenter - Television

In this documentary 'Naked Samoan' Oscar Kightley, and Māori radio/TV personality Nathan Rarere use DNA technology to trace their families' ancestry. They discover that their forebears originated in Taiwan before migrating to the Pacific via Vanuatu (and the Cook Islands, for those going on to Aotearoa). On the DNA trail they meet locals and find striking cultural similarities — even in Taiwan, where the indigenous people look Polynesian, and provide a haka-like welcome. The film won top honours at the International Oceania Documentary Film Festival in Tahiti.

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bro'Town - Morningside Story

2005, Writer, As: Vale Pepelo - Television

This hit animated series about five Auckland school kids was created by Elizabeth Mitchell and theatre group Naked Samoans. This episode sees Vale (Oscar Kightley) dealing with deadlines, punch-ups and prima donnas as he rushes to write and direct the school musical. In the audience are HRH Prince Charles, Chris Knox, Scribe and Helen Clark, who all end up joining in during a showstopping final number about togetherness. "Stop the violence. We're honkies and Asians, horries and curry munchers. Morningside for life."

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Snatch our Booty

2005, Presenter

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Dawn Raids

2005, Subject - Television

This documentary chronicles a shameful passage in NZ race relations: the controversial mid-70s raids on the homes and workplaces of alleged Pacific Island overstayers. Director Damon Fepulea’i examines its origins in Pacific Island immigration during full employment in the 1960s, when a blind eye was turned to visa restrictions. As times got tougher, that policy changed to include random street checks by police, despite official denials. Resistance by activists and media coverage helped end a policy which has had a long term effect on the Pacific Island community.

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bro'Town - Honky the Wonder Horse

2005, Writer, As: Various roles - Television

Hit animated comedy series bro'Town was born from the poly-saturated comedy of theatre group The Naked Samoans. This episode from the second series sees the boys taking on a cast-off racehorse called Honky, and with help (and hindrance) from Vale and Valea's gambling-addicted father, training him to race in the Morningside Cup. Valea faces up to his horse phobia to ride Honky on the big day. Meanwhile special subtitles help explain what this horse is really thinking.

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Sione's Wedding

2005, As: Albert, Writer - Film

Sione's Wedding is feel-good feature comedy about four 30-something guys who must each find a girlfriend before their best friend Sione's wedding — or be left out in the cold. Through the efforts of these bumbling blokes to get the girl(s) Sione's Wedding brought to life the colour and humour of New Zealand's urban Samoan community in Auckland, the largest Polynesian city in the world. A breakthrough PI-Kiwi film, Sione's broke box office records when it opened in cinemas throughout New Zealand in March 2006. Actor Oscar Kightley co-wrote with James Griffin.

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bro'Town

2004 - 2009, As: Various Voices, Writer - Television

This animated TV comedy series is a modern day fairytale following the adventures of five kids growing up in one of Auckland's grungier suburbs. With a fearless, un-PC wit and Simpsons-esque celebrity cameos, it managed to be primetime and family-friendly. The popular show was made by Firehorse Films, and developed from the brazen and poly-saturated comedy of theatre group Naked Samoans. Screening on TV3 for five series it won Best Comedy at the NZ Screen Awards three years running and a Qantas Award for Ant Sang's production design. "Morningside for life!"

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bro'Town - Get Rucked

2004, Writer, As: Various roles - Television

This hit animated TV comedy follows the adventures of five kids growing up in the Auckland suburb of Morningside. This rugby-themed episode starts with God praising George Nepia (with Jesus weeping because he’s no good at sports), before heading down to Morningside for a lesson on teamwork. As the Sylvester 1st XV face up against a superstar team which includes Tana Umaga and Stacey Jones, Mack pulls a sicky so that his mates won't find out how little he knows about the game. Michael Jones is the Savages' inspirational coach.

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bro'Town - The Weakest Link

2004, Writer, As: Vale Pepelo - Television

This animated hit follows the adventures of five kids growing up in the Auckland suburb of Morningside. The show's fearless, un-PC wit was developed from the poly-saturated comedy of theatre group Naked Samoans. In bro'Town's very first episode, Valea gets hit by a bus and wakes up a genius, allowing him to demonstrate that his school is not just full of dumbarses after the boys compete on a school quiz show. The Simpsons-esque celebrity cameos start strong, thanks to Robert Rakete, Scribe, PM Helen Clark, David Tua and "marvellous" John Campbell.

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Children of the Migration

2004, Subject - Television

Through candid interviews and rare archival footage Children of the Migration tells the stories of the Pacific Island immigrants who came to New Zealand from the 1950s - 1980s and changed the cultural landscape of Aotearoa. Presented by David Sa'ena and actor Vela Manusaute, this humorous and moving documentary includes interviews with All Black Tana Umaga, boxer David Tua, actress Teuila Blakely, hip hop artist King Kapisi and poet Tusiata Avia. Directed by Fijian European Lala Rolls.

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Sportzah

2003 - 2004, Presenter

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House Obsessed

2003, Narrator

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Intrepid Journeys

2012, Presenter - Television

Long-running travel series Intrepid Journeys took Kiwi celebrities (from All Blacks to music legends to ex-Prime Ministers) from the comfort of home to less-travelled paths in varied countries and cultures. The Jam TV series debuted in 2003 on TV One. With its authenticity and fresh, genre-changing take on a travel show (focusing on personal experience rather than objectivity), Intrepid Journeys was a landmark in local factual television. It managed to achieve the rare mix of high ratings and critical acclaim.

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The Living Room - Series One, Episode Eight

2002, Subject - Television

Brought to you from "the Samoan Embassy" (in reality, the Naked Samoans' motel room) this episode of The Living Room follows the comedic theatre troupe during their time at the Edinburgh Fringe, before retreating to the wild west coast of the South Island where acclaimed cinematographer Alun Bollinger reflects on his diverse life and career. Also featured is the first 'proper' exhibition of Illicit artists on K' Road, (featuring the late Martin Emond) and a visit to small town Mangaweka, setting for surrealist short film Little Gold Cowboy. 

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Chinks, Coconuts and Curry-munchers

2002, Subject - Television

This 2002 documentary explores contemporary Aotearoa from the perspective of Kiwis from a range of different (non-Māori, non-Pākehā) ethnic backgrounds. These citizens speak frankly about their experience of assimilation and stereotyping in a supposedly multicultural society, where ethnic food is beloved — but not ethnic difference — and where jokes and racism blur. Directed by Libby Hakaraia, the documentary screened on TV3 as part of doco slot Inside New Zealand. It was a follow up to 2000's The Truth about Māori, which looked at identity from a Māori perspective.

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Offside

2001, Presenter

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The Panel

2001 - 2002, Subject

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Otara Market

2001, Presenter - Television

Otara Market documents the biggest outdoor market in New Zealand, held every Saturday in the heart of South Auckland. Presented by Samoan writer and comedian Oscar Kightley (bro'Town, Naked Samoans, Sione's Wedding) and directed by Lisa Taouma (Senior Director Tagata Pasifika), this colourful and entertaining documentary tells the stories of the multi-cultural Polynesian, Asian, Indian and Pākehā Kiwi stall-holders and market-goers at one of the country's best known community institutions. 

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Tagata Pasifika - The Naked Samoans

2001, Subject - Television

Tagata Pasifika takes a look at Kiwi PI theatre phenomenon The Naked Samoans, and features extensive footage from a number of their stage comedies. Viewers will recognise early versions of a number of characters who would later feature on the Samoans' animated hit bro'Town. Co-founder Oscar Kightley talks about the group. AO-rated, the episode captures the hilarious non-pc island humour that shaped five seasons of bro'Town, and two Sione's Wedding feature films.

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Newsflash

1998, Writer

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The Big Chair

2000, 2001, Presenter

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Skitz - 'Best Of' Excerpts

1997, Writer, Actor - Television

Skitz was a popular long-running sketch-based comedy that ran for four series from 1993 - 1997. This selection of excerpts contains sketches from the final season of the Gibson Group satirical show famous for its broad, take-no-prisoners humour and memorable characters and catch phrases. The wacky Semisi family and their 'fresh off the boat' antics inspire mirth and groans in equal measure and filmmaker Sima Urale is enjoyably ludicrous as the terrifying Aunty Mele. Jemaine (Flight of the Conchords) Clement and members of the Bro' Town posse also feature.   

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Telly Laughs

1996, As: Various Characters, Writer

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Skitz

1993 - 1997, As: Various Characters, Writer - Television

Skitz was a popular long-running sketch-based comedy that screened for four series. Populated with memorable characters and catch-phrases, and broad, take-no-prisoners humour, it won Best Entertainment Programme at the 1996 NZ TV and Film Awards. A particular favourite in its arsenal of regular characters was the Semisi family with their 'fresh off the boat' antics inspiring mirth and groans in equal measure. Skitz featured seasoned comedians such as Jackie Clarke, as well as new faces at the time, including Jemaine Clement offuture Flight of the Conchords fame.   

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Shortland Street

1992 - 93, Writer - Television

Shortland Street is a fast-paced serial drama set in an eponymous inner city Auckland hospital. A South Pacific Pictures production, the iconic show is based around the births, deaths and marriages of the hospital's staff and patients. It screens on TVNZ’s TV2 network five days a week, and in 2012 the show celebrated its 20th anniversary making it New Zealand’s longest running drama by far. Characters and lines from the show have entered the culture, most famously, “you’re not in Guatemala now, Dr Ropata!”.

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Life '91

1991, Presenter

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Life in the Fridge

1990 - 1991, Presenter