This interview with Prime Minister John Key is taken from the January 2014 debut episode of Paul Henry’s late night TV3 show. Displaying the informal style that marked his tenure, Key banters with Henry about playing golf in Hawaii with US President Barack Obama, and responds to the hard questions, eg whether it would have been better in hindsight for John’s son Max to have not beaten the President. It’s election year and the pair discuss coalition options: the Māori Party, Peter Dunne and Winston Peters. Henry pulls out four photos, and asks which of them can be trusted.
This extraordinary moment in New Zealand political history occurred during the 2014 election campaign. Kim Dotcom, a colourful German-born file-sharing mogul exiled in NZ, had helped form a political party — Internet Mana — to “disrupt” the campaign. The party’s 24 August launch went awry when Dotcom fled from reporters keen to follow up a remark made during his speech (he hinted he could hack Prime Minister John Key’s credit rating). Internet Mana press secretary Pam Corkery infamously berated reporters, calling TV3's Brook Sabin a “puffed up little s**t.”
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.
This 2014 documentary celebrates Māori Television’s first decade. It begins by backgrounding campaigns that led to the channel (despite many naysayers). Interviews with key figures convey the channel's kaupapa – preserving the past and te reo, while eyeing the future. A wide-ranging survey of innovative programming showcases the positive depictions of Māoridom, from fresh Waitangi, Anzac Day, basketball and 2011 Rugby World Cup coverage, to Te Ao Māori takes on genres like current affairs and reality TV (eg Native Affairs, Homai Te Pakipaki, Kai Time on the Road, Code, and more).
New Plymouth-born Patrick Gower studied politics at Victoria University, then journalism at AUT. After a stint at the NZ Herald, he began filing political stories for 3 News. Gower rose to become TV3’s political editor in 2012, forging a reputation for his hard-nosed style. He covered the 2012 US election and achieved web fame in 2014 when a 16-second long ‘thug life’ parody (“This is the f***ing news”) went viral.
Tamati Coffey first brought his distinctive smile to television as part of the madcap team on kid's staple What Now? His work on the show saw him nominated for a 2006 NZ Screen Award. The political science graduate then began weather presenting and associated duties on Breakfast. In 2009 Coffey was the proud winner on Dancing with the Stars. Three years later he presented TVNZ's primetime reboot of New Zealand's Got Talent for two seasons. After representing the Labour Party in the Rotorua electorate in 2014, Tamati won the Māori electorate of Waiariki in the 2017 elections.
In 1996 Tony Sutorius got his hands on a new digital video camera, days before the start of an election campaign in Wellington Central. Made on the proverbial shoestring, this feature-length documentary chronicles five of those battling for the crown as a new political age — MMP — dawns. Richard Prebble joins a new party called Act, the National candidate joins United New Zealand… and one of the five will be sacrificed by their own party. Sutorius sat through 55 hours of footage to forge the result, which won enthused, sellout audiences at the 1999 NZ Film Festival.
Veteran newsman Richard Harman began his career at Auckland University student mag Craccum. As a long-time political reporter for TVNZ, he reported on the Rainbow Warrior bombing and the passing of the baton from Muldoon to Lange — also the subject of his award-winning documentary Five Days in July. In 1999 Harman founded company Front Page, where he launched current affairs shows Agenda and The Nation.
Reporter Garth Bray’s education encompasses Kaitaia College, AUT, DJing on far north station Te Hiku 97.1 FM, and newsreading on Auckland’s 95bFM. On screen, the self confessed "politics tragic" has covered multiple elections for One News, served as a TVNZ correspondent in Australia and Europe, and was nominated for a Qantas TV Award for a 2005 Sunday report. In 2014 he joined the team on Fair Go.
After 19 years working in news and current affairs at the BBC, Paul Norris returned to New Zealand in 1987 to lead TVNZ’s news and current affairs team during a period of major change (including the launch of hit show Holmes). Nine years later he left to head the NZ Broadcasting School in Christchurch. A widely respected and passionate advocate for public broadcasting, Norris died in February 2014.