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.
Food, travel and television are synonymous with Peta Mathias. For 12 years she hosted TVNZ’s Taste New Zealand and its spin-off shows Toast New Zealand, Taste Takes Off and A Taste of Home. Mathias says her toughest TV moment came in Bolivia as part of the Intrepid Journeys series. It was a trip she describes as 'pure hell'. As well as her TV credits, Mathias has written several books about food and travel, and leads food tours to her favourite gastronomic hot spots around the world.
Hugh Macdonald’s long filmmaking career encompasses historical epics, Oscar-nominated shorts, and lots of time on the road. Macdonald is probably best-known for three-screen spectacular This is New Zealand, which got crowds queueing at World Expo in Japan, before playing for months back home. A two-decade long stint at the National Film Unit also saw him directing two episodes of historical epic The Governor, and producing the first of many animated shorts.
Jam TV is a boutique production company owned and run by Melanie Rakena and Jane Andrews. The duo met while working at TVNZ and formed the company to make Intrepid Journeys, the long-running TV ONE show that took local personalities out of their comfort zones and into challenging locations around the globe. Jam has also produced a range of other well-received factual series including Off the Rails, ICE, South, and Off the Radar, as well as the documentary Our Lost War.
Ngaire Fuata’s cover of classic song ‘To Sir with Love’ went to number one in Aotearoa in 1990. It was followed by album Ngaire. Fuata also has a long history of working for TVNZ’s Māori and Pacific programming unit, including on flagship Pacific show Tagata Pasifika. In 2011 she visited her father's homeland of Rotuma in documentary Salat se Rotuma.
From appearing alongside Lucy Lawless and baby ‘Stanley’ in the 90s ASB Bank ads, to headlining hit Aussie drama Packed to the Rafters, actor Erik Thomson has built a solid career and a loyal fan base on both sides of the Tasman. Along the way he has appeared in TV shows Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, The Alice and 800 Words, short films (Snap) and movies (We’re Here to Help, The Black Balloon).
Former Commonwealth Games athlete Kirk Torrance (Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairoa) struggled with asthma and school as a child, before realising his potential as an internationally competitive swimmer. Following his exploits at home and abroad in the pool, Torrance graduated from Toi Whakaari and embarked on a successful career in film and television. His most memorable performances to date include Toa in Fish Skin Suit, Lee Kapene in Shortland Street, Holden in award-winning feature film Stickmen, and detective Wayne Judd in the hit TV series Outrageous Fortune.
Pietra Brettkelly is an award-winning New Zealand filmmaker who travels the world to make her documentaries. The Art Star and the Sudanese Twins, her Sundance-selected film about international adoption, won best director and documentary at the 2009 Qantas Film and TV Awards. Māori Boy Genius was invited to the Berlin, Sydney and NZ Film Festivals.
Kiwi Pietra Brettkelly travels the globe making documentaries.
Aileen O’Sullivan has a significant screen pedigree, from acting to directing, producing and – most importantly – storytelling. Her work ranges from Gloss and The Billy T James Show to Holiday and The Great New Zealand Showdown specials. Under her production company Seannachie Productions, O'Sullivan's has helmed a number of well received documentaries including Witi Ihimaera, Black Grace – From Cannon’s Creek to Jacob’s Pillow, Life’s a Riot and Ngaio Marsh – Crime Queen.