Versatile director Mike Smith has made an enormous amount of New Zealand drama. Highlights of his lengthy television CV include Radio Waves, Duggan, Serial Killers, The Almighty Johnsons, Nothing Trivial, tele-movie Siege and docu-drama Nancy Wake: The White Mouse. Smith also had a big hand in creating Heroes (80s pop band on-the-make show), yokels comedy Willy Nilly, children’s drama The Lost Children and 2013 comedy Sunny Skies. He was also one of the key players in the launch of Outrageous Fortune.
When people think of Ginette McDonald, they often think of one of New Zealand’s most defiant and famed purveyers of Godzone English, Lynn of Tawa. But for McDonald, Lynn is only one part among many. Alongside an acting career which began when she was still a teenager, McDonald has also worked as a producer, director and presenter.
Tainui Stephens (Te Rarawa) is one of our foremost Māori broadcasters. He has worked as a reporter, writer, director, producer and executive producer. His credits include Maori Battalion March to Victory and The New Zealand Wars. Stephens was a stalwart of TVNZ’s Māori Programmes department in the 1980s and 90s, working on the regular series Koha, Waka Huia, Marae and Mai Time.
Actor Elizabeth McRae is best known as Marj the receptionist on Shortland Street. She began her TV career in the 70s on shows such as The Games Affair. Since then she has appeared in television dramas About Face, Terry and the Gunrunners, and Go Girls. Her film credits include Jubilee and Rest for the Wicked.
A dry spell on the acting front saw Albert Belz turn his hand to writing for theatre and television.
Pio Terei is an actor, singer and comedian, who has been involved in a wide range of TV shows such as Issues, Pete and Pio, Big Night In and Tangaroa with Pio. He had a small role in the feature film No. 2 and a dramatic role in Mataku. Terei has also hosted iconic quiz show It’s in the Bag for Māori Television.
Production manager Brian Walden proved a near unstoppable force during the mid 70s dawn of Kiwi TV drama. Known as 'the Sarge' to those who worked with him, Walden was on location to bring in a slew of classic dramas, on time and budget: among them were Hunter’s Gold, The Mackenzie Affair, Gather Your Dreams, Mortimer's Patch and legal classic Hanlon. In the mid 80s he left TVNZ to go freelance, and helped produce everything from vampire movie Moonrise to TV's The New Adventures of Black Beauty.