Since the late 1980s Bryan Bruce has been a prolific documentary maker and presenter. Over more than 30 documentaries, plus three seasons of The Investigator, he has cast fresh eyes on some of the most famous crimes in New Zealand’s history, and asked tough questions about the country’s economic and social trajectory.

...I think we can make analytical, thought-provoking programmes that encourage us to discuss the kind of society, the kind of place that we have here and whether this is New Zealand the way we want it. Bryan Bruce, in a 2007 interview

1981 - The Tour Ten Years On

1991, Producer, Director, Presenter, Writer


A Question of Justice

2005, Director - Television


Beyond a Joke!

1995, Director, Producer - Television

This 1995 documentary about New Zealand humour features classic TV comedy moments from Fred Dagg, Barry Crump, A Week of It, McPhail and Gadsby, Letter to Blanchy, Billy T James, Pete and Pio, the Topp Twins, Gliding On, Lyn of Tawa and Funny Business. Tom Scott, John Clarke, David McPhail and Jon Gadsby talk about the nature of New Zealand satire; Pio Terei, Peter Rowley, and Billy T James producer Tom Parkinson discuss the pros and cons of race-based humour; and the Topp Twins explain the art of sending people up rather than putting them down.  

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Breaking Barriers

1993, Director, Producer - Television

John O'Shea was godfather to generations of Kiwi filmmakers; he was an inspirational force committed to bringing new perspectives to the screen. As Ngati actor Wi Kuki Kaa put it, "had he been a Māori, he would have been a kaumatua years ago". This documentary backgrounds O'Shea and his pioneering indie production company Pacific Films, ranging from his efforts to put Māori on screen, to banned 60s ads. The cast provides proof positive of O'Shea's influence — amongst the ex-Pacific staff interviewed are the late Barry Barclay, Tony Williams and  Gaylene Preston.


In Cold Blood

1997, Producer, Writer, Director - Television


Inside Child Poverty

2011, Director, Presenter - Television


Jesus: The Cold Case

2011, Director, Presenter - Television


Just a Little Mad

2008, Director - Television


Mind the Gap

2014, Director - Television


Monsters of the Deep

2005, Director


Murder, They Said

1996, Director - Film


Nothing to Live For?

1987, Writer, Presenter


Passion in Paradise

2014, Director - Television

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Peter Blake

1990, Director, Producer - Television


Safer Sex

1989, Writer, Presenter, Producer - Television


Serious Fraud

1995, Producer, Director - Television


Shaky Beginnings

1999, Director, Producer - Television


Stand By Your Man

1993, Producer, Director - Television


State of Mind

2000, Director, Producer, Writer, Editor

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The Bridge

2002, Director, Writer, Producer - Television

Presented by veteran newsreader Richard Long, this documentary looks at the history of the Auckland Harbour Bridge, focusing on some of the many and varied events which have happened on the bridge, such as AJ Hackett's first bungy jump off of it, the Dame Whina Cooper-led Maori land march of 1975, and the first plane to fly under the bridge. Interviewees include Joe Hawke, who was both a builder who worked on the bridge and a leader of the land march, and one of the Japanese makers of the 'Nippon Clippon' bridge extensions added in 1969.


The Bughouse

2001, Writer, Producer, Director - Television


The Coach

1996, Director, Producer


The Investigator

2007 - 2009, Presenter, Writer, Producer, Director, Editor - Television


The Late Late Show

1982, Presenter - Television


The Lost Dinosaurs of New Zealand

2002, Producer, Director, Editor, Writer - Television


The Sir Howard Morrison Story

2002, Editor, Producer, Director - Television

This documentary tells the life story of entertainer Sir Howard Morrison. He discusses his Te Arawa whakapapa, whānau, and Anglican faith. Made by Bryan Bruce, it Includes footage of Morrison's investiture, a visit to his old school Te Aute, early performances by the Howard Morrison Quartet in Rotorua, and performances from throughout his career. Morrison is candid about his ego, his foray into film, and his marriage. An especially touching moment is a visit to an old Tūhoe friend (Morrison spent his early years in the Urewera) with a cloak made for his father.


The Trouble with Ben

1999, Director, Writer, Producer - Television


We're Only Human

1986 - 1987, Creator, Composer, Presenter - Television


Whina Te Whaea O Te Motu - Mother of the Nation

1992, Director, Producer - Television


Who Owns New Zealand Now?

2017, Director, Writer, Presenter, Producer - Television


Wild about New Zealand

2000 - 2001, Director, Writer, Producer - Television

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Workhorse to Dreamhorse

2001, Writer, Director, Producer, Editor - Television

The major contribution made by horses to New Zealand’s development is investigated in this Bryan Bruce documentary – from the first to arrive (a stallion brought by missionary Samuel Marsden in 1814) to equestrian gold medallists and sires of Melbourne Cup winners in more recent years. This excerpt features extensive archive footage of some of the 10,000 horses sent to Europe and the Middle East during World War I (with only four returning); and talks to one of the last milk vendors to use a horse and cart (only retired with very mixed feelings in 1984).


World Class? Inside New Zealand Education - A Special Report

2016, Director, Presenter, Writer - Television


You're Soaking In It!

1994, Director, Editor, Producer - Television