After graduating from drama school Toi Whakaari in 2012, Alex Tarrant scored a couple of lead roles on screen. When We Go To War offered his first starring spot — as Manaaki Kokiri, a Māori pacifist forced to fight at Gallipoli. The mini-series was swiftly followed by the role of bad boy Ike in hit NZ-Australian TV series 800 Words. Tarrant also acted in profile local drama Filthy Rich, as a young man who becomes both a parent and part of a backstabbing business empire.
When We Go To War is my first show and I can't think of a better way to have started my career. It was truly an honour to be in the shoes of Manaaki Kokiri. Alex Tarrant in an interview with Stuff, 21 April 2015
This miniseries was made for the centenary of New Zealand’s involvement in the Gallipoli campaign. Created by Gavin Strawhan and Briar Grace-Smith, the six one hour episodes explored the impact of World War l on characters connected to a Pākehā family. Each episode was framed around a letter written home. The characters include a nurse and doctor caring for wounded in Egypt, a lawyer turned officer in Gallipoli and his wayward brother, and a Māori preacher turned soldier and his sister. Directed for TVNZ by Peter Burger, the series was produced by Robin Scholes.
Hosted by Alex Tarrant (Filthy Rich) and Niwa Whatuira, this series for rangatahi featured interviews (from singers Ladi6 and Che Fu, to model Ngahuia Williams), and visits to festivals and events (eg the NZ DMC DJ champs, Waiata Māori Music Awards and Armageddon). Animated feature 'True Cuz' gave wry advice on everything from laying a hangi, to preparing for doomsday. Those behind the camera included former Mai Time presenter Olly Coddington (feild directing), and Toi Iti (producing). The series was made by TVNZ’s Māori department, and screened on Saturday mornings on TV2.
This is the bloopers reel from the 2013 TV2 series for young people. Presenters Alex Tarrant and Niwa Whatuira feature prominently. Whatuira states the obvious when meeting some Diwali drummers, singers Anika Moa and Ria Hall need some practice as a presenting duo, Tarrant drops the mic (but not in a good way), actor Shavaughn Ruakere has trouble with Shortland Street’s sliding doors, Stan Walker provides a dodgy intro to his music video, Fat Freddy members Dallas and Ian fluff their lines, and Whatuira chats up an interviewee. Plus there are festival and playground photo bombs.