Christchurch-based Paua Productions set out to document the effects of the city’s 4 September earthquake in 2010 — then the 2011 quake hit on 22 February. Their initial focus was the experiences of everyday people coping with the destruction of large tracts of their city, but that was compounded as 2011 brought significant injuries and major loss of life. Liquefaction, ruined homes and thousands of aftershocks prolong the initial trauma. A number of interviewees were followed over a year, as they struggled to come to terms with their new normal.
Described as a "Māori Twilight Zone", Mataku was a series of half-hour dramatic narratives steeped in Māori experience with the "unexplained". Two South Pacific Pictures-produced series screened on TV3; a later series screened on TV One in 2005. Each episode was introduced by Temuera Morrison Rod Serling-style. The bi-lingual series was a strong international and domestic success; producer Carey Carter: "Our people are very spiritual ... and here we are ... turning it into stories so that the rest of the world can get a glimpse of that aspect of our culture."
Long-running travel series Intrepid Journeys took Kiwi celebrities (from All Blacks to music legends to ex-Prime Ministers) from the comfort of home to less-travelled paths in varied countries and cultures. The Jam TV series debuted in 2003 on TV One. With its authenticity and fresh, genre-changing take on a travel show (focusing on personal experience rather than objectivity), Intrepid Journeys was a landmark in local factual television. It managed to achieve the rare mix of high ratings and critical acclaim.