Judy Bailey is sometimes called the 'Mother of the Nation', thanks to nearly 20 years as newsreader on TV One’s prime time news bulletin. Bailey began as a TV/radio reporter for the NZ Broadcasting Corporation, before co-hosting regional magazine show Top Half with John Hawkesby. In 1986 she began her newsreading career on the Network News; after a long run working alongside Richard Long she took over the role solo in 2004. She has gone on to host a number of other shows, including Māori Television's Anzac Day coverage and travel show Judy Bailey’s Australia.
Beloved newsreader Judy Bailey co-presented TV One’s prime time news bulletin for nearly 20 years.
Rima Te Wiata won fame with her impersonations of famous New Zealanders in comedy shows Laughinz and More Issues. Her most famous parody was of newsreader Judy Bailey. Te Wiata is also a successful dramatic actor, having appeared in Shark in the Park and Shortland Street. Her film credits include Via Satellite and — after this interview was conducted — Housebound and Hunt for the Wilderpeople.
Bill Ralston has had a long, varied, and sometimes controversial career in New Zealand's media. He joined South Pacific Television as a news reporter in 1979 and went on to become political correspondent for TVNZ in the era of Muldoon and Lange. Moving to TV3, Ralston was the channel’s Political Editor and hosted a current affairs slot on their nightly news bulletin. Ralston joined the Nightline team and later hosted popular panel discussion show The Ralston Group, then arts/media series Backch@t. In 2003 he became Head of News and Current Affairs for TVNZ.
John Harris was the long-time owner of one of New Zealand’s biggest production companies: Greenstone Pictures. He began his television career at TVNZ working in news and current affairs and helped launch Top Half. Moving into the private sector he produced a number of TV shows including That’s Fairly Interesting and Heroes. In 1994 he created Greenstone Pictures, and went on to produce a huge range of TV shows such as The Zoo; Epitaph; Motorway Patrol; and Neighbours at War. In 2010 Greenstone acquired the production company Cream Media, and more recently Harris has sold Greenstone.
Journalist and academic the late Paul Norris had a major role in changing the landscape of television news and current affairs in New Zealand. He cut his teeth with the BBC, but moved back to New Zealand to run TVNZ’s News and Current Affairs division in 1987. In that role, he revamped the evening news on TV One, and launched the Holmes show in 1989. Norris left TVNZ in 1996 to head the New Zealand Broadcasting School in Christchurch. Norris died in February 2014.
Susan Wood spent over two decades reporting, presenting, and newsreading for TVNZ.
Rima Te Wiata has impersonated Judy Bailey, sung ridiculous birthday songs in a hit Taika Waititi movie, and done her share of dramatic acting too.
Rima Te Wiata created a name for herself impersonating famous New Zealanders in comedy shows Laughinz and More Issues. Te Wiata has acted in everything from Australian soap Sons and Daughters to movie Via Satellite and — after this interview was conducted — Housebound and Hunt for the Wilderpeople.