These New Zealanders was a series presented by Selwyn Toogood (one of his first television roles) looking at six Kiwi towns. Here Toogood travels to Benmore Dam, to find out what it was like to live and work on NZ’s (then) largest construction project. He interviews engineers, workmen and housewives, discussing work and pay, social opportunities and family life. As the town had the highest birthrate in the country, facilities for children were also important. The itinerant workers earned good money — about 25 pounds a week, and enjoyed a low cost of living.
The second, but prequel, series to The Insiders Guide to Happiness is chaos theory in action: seven young strangers whose lives intersect are linked together by a bizarre incident. Produced by the Gibson Group, The Insiders Guide mix of meta-tangle story-telling with fresh shooting and faces, saw Love become a hit with the same youth demographic as Happiness. The show went on to win a clutch of Screen Director's Guild Awards and most of the major drama gongs at the 2006 Qantas Film and TV Awards, including Best Drama, Director, Script, Actor and Actress.
Eclectic certainly describes Louise Wallace’s screen career: from baseball cap-wearing host of Mobil Sport, to presenting and reporting for current affairs programmes 60 Minutes and 20/20, to headline-grabbing reality TV host and participant (The Weakest Link, Celebrity Treasure Island) and acting (as a judge in Street Legal). In 2016 she was cast in Real Housewives of Auckland.
Since graduating from Australian acting school NIDA in 1995, Brit-born Charles Mesure has worked largely in NZ television. A role in the short-lived City Life won early attention; playing Detective Kees Van Dam in Street Legal won him an NZ TV award. Mesure went on to star as the bewildered hero of This is Not My Life, then headed to North America for sci-fi tale V, the final season of Desperate Housewives, and to play Blackbeard on Once Upon a Time.
After working on a selection of music documentaries and shows, Hayley Cunningham won a Qantas Television award in 2009 for producing the first series of award-winning comedy The Jaquie Brown Diaries. In 2017 she was nominated for a NZ Television award for her work on the Kiwi version of Dancing with the Stars. She has also been on the production team of The X-Factor New Zealand, The Real Housewives of Auckland, and multiple international incarnations of The Amazing Race. In 2015 she produced Loading Docs short Conversations with Pets.
Justin Hawkes knew from age 10 that he wanted to work in television. He was an avid collector of international TV guides, and at age 13, sent TV3 a new programming schedule. Hawkes began his career as a tape operator at TVNZ, before honing his directing skills at music channel M2. Hawkes has directed for Netflix travel show Dark Tourist, and edited a run of documentaries (e.g. Stan, Awa: Born This Way).