After a 14-year run co-presenting Morning Report, Sean Plunket left Radio New Zealand in 2010, to take on morning shifts for Newstalk ZB, then Radio Live. Television jobs dominate his early career: apart from a “dream job” reporting for Fair Go — where a painter once threw a ladder at him — Plunket has both worked on Holmes, and been senior political reporter for TV3. Mid-2014 saw the debut of Prime Television current affairs show Prime Time with Sean Plunket. After a brief spell doing public relations for Gareth Morgan's Opportunities Party, Plunket joined the Broadcasting Standards Authority in October 2017.
The only two jobs I ever dreamed of doing were Fair Go and Morning Report. That opportunity didn't come along very often, so I put my hat in the ring. Sean Plunket, in an interview with the Herald on Sunday, 28 September 2008
20/20 was a US current affairs format first introduced to NZ on TV3 in 1993, where it screened for a decade. In 2005 it was picked up by TVNZ and it became TV2’s signature current affairs show. One hour-long, it mixed content imported from the US ABC-produced show with award-winning local investigative stories; subjects ranged from infanticide to Nicky Watson. The original host was Louise Wallace, then at TVNZ it was Mirama Kamo, then Sonya Wilson from 2011. In 2014 local content ceased being made for the show, and it shifted to a half-hour late-night slot.
TV3's late night news show was devised in 1990 to provide a mix of credible news and entertainment. Once the serious news of the day was dispensed with, the brief was that the show could be a bit "off" with few rules - and the freedom to push boundaries. That's exactly what presenters like Belinda Todd, Bill Ralston, Dylan Taite and David Farrier proceeded to do in the show's often infamous "third break". Meanwhile, newsreaders including Joanna Paul, Janet Wilson, Leanne Malcolm and Carolyn Robinson did their best to keep a straight face. "Yo Nightliners!"
Independent channel TV3 kicked off on 26 November 1989. The flagship 6pm bulletin — originally 3 National News — was first anchored by ex TVNZ news man Philip Sherry, with Greg Clark filling the sports chair. Sherry was replaced by Joanna Paul, then another former TVNZ anchor, John Hawkesby. A 1998 revamp saw Carol Hirschfeld and John Campbell take up the new dual anchor roles. Their move to current affairs show Campbell Live in 2005 ushered in duo Hilary Barry and Mike McRoberts. In 2016 Mediaworks' rebranded its news service — and the slot — as Newshub.
Holmes was a long-running current affairs programme that followed the news each weeknight on TV ONE. Presented by veteran broadcaster Paul Holmes, the show was as famous for his showmanship as it was for examining the issues of the day. Holmes interviewed the day's newsmakers; often championing the underdog 'kiwi battler'. In 2004 Paul Holmes defected from TVNZ to Prime TV to set up a rival 7pm current affairs programme, Paul Holmes. That lasted a few months before being axed (due to low ratings).
Popular consumer affairs show Fair Go is one of New Zealand TV's longest-running series. It began in 1977, devised by Brian Edwards and producer Peter Morritt. The TVNZ programme mixes investigative reporting (daring to "name names" and expose rip-off merchants everywhere) with light-hearted segments. Its roster of presenters has included Edwards, Judith Fyfe, Hugo Manson, Philip Alpers, Kerre McIvor (nee Woodham), Carol Hirschfeld, Gordon Harcourt, and longest serving host, Kevin Milne. A perennial favourite segment is the round-up of the year's ad campaigns.