Ray Woolf’s career as a performer spans from rock’n’roll to jazz, including touring shows of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and The Sound of Music. Born in England, but New Zealand-based since the early 60s, Woolf’s television work includes singing, acting, and hosting his own talk show. He was New Zealand Entertainer of the Year in 1975.
Unitec graduate Tainui Tukiwaho has multiple short films and television shows under his belt, including hosting Māori Television talk show O Whakaaro. In 2011 he took on the challenge of playing legendary entertainer Billy T James, for telemovie Billy. His other acting roles include Tangiwai - A Love Story, playing Dave's boss in TV series Step Dave, and co-starring in feelgood fishing movie The Catch, as a man trying to win a Kaipara fishing contest. Fluent in te reo, Tukiwaho was awarded a place in artistic mentoring programme Art Venture in 2015.
David Brechin-Smith is an award-winning screenwriter. Nominated for Lovebites and The Strip, he won awards for The Insider's Guide to Happiness and prequel The Insiders Guide to Love. He created and wrote drama series The Hothouse and worked on thriller series The Cult. Teen comedy-drama series Paradise Café and movie The Hopes and Dreams of Gazza Snell are also among his credits.
Paul Holmes, KCNZM, helped change the face of New Zealand broadcasting. In 1989 the actor turned radio host began presenting primetime news and magazine show Holmes in spectacular style, when guest Dennis Conner walked out of his interview. Holmes balanced the TV show and a popular radio slot for 15 years, followed by a stint with Prime TV and current affairs show Q+A. He passed away on 1 February 2013.
Michael Scott-Smith’s four decade career as a producer/director spanned everything from Compass and Close to Home to Crime Watch. In the 1970s he helped open the doors of television to many of the decade's emerging independent filmmakers. As head of drama for TV1, he oversaw a rush of new production — before stints in information programmes, and back at the production coal face.
The voice and face of Ian Johnstone are a familiar part of the New Zealand television landscape. Since the early 60s, his work as a reporter, presenter and producer has allowed him to document many key events from the first four decades of local television.
Rangi Rangitukunoa has a background in performing, kapa haka and theatre — he has shared stages with Te Waka Huia, Mika, and Moana and the Tribe. His screen credits include acting roles (indie comedy Crackheads) and presenting Māori Television motoring show Meke My Waka. Behind the scenes work as a cameraman led to a run of directing gigs on Māori TV programmes, from preschool to talk shows, to setting the tone for The Stage - Haka Fusion, as director of the first episode. In 2016 he created and directed Māori warrior series Kairākau, which dramatises legendary stories and skills from the past.
Ian Wishart has been described by The Listener as “the country’s most influential journalist”. The outspoken editor of Investigate magazine has written several bestsellers examining Kiwi crime cases. Wishart gained renown as the reporter who led the investigation into The Winebox Affair, fronting a Frontline documentary on corporate fraud. He also presented 1997 found footage show Real TV.
Former journalist Nevan Rowe made a high profile big screen acting debut as Gloria, the estranged wife of Sam Neill’s Smith in landmark feature Sleeping Dogs (1977). She also co-starred in 1980 kids movie Nutcase, as mad scientist Evil Eva. Rowe worked off-screen in casting and as a production manager, and in 1989 directed short film Gordon Bennett, starring Andy Anderson. She passed away in April 2016.
Wellington-raised producer Debra Kelleher has more than three decades experience in the screen industry. She cut her production teeth in Australia (Neighbours, Sale of the Century), before returning home to work on Shortland Street, then cult teen show The Tribe. Kelleher was at the helm of breakfast TV show Good Morning, and five seasons of flagship TVNZ show Dancing with The Stars.