Mike Rehu began his career as a breakfast DJ. After a sidestep into presenting children’s television, he headed overseas. The trip was cut short by an invitation to return to TV, this time on the other side of the camera. After a stint in management for TVNZ in Singapore, he did 16 years running sports for ESPN and Fox. Lured back to be Māori TV's Head of Content, Rehu later moved into sports commentating and radio.
Thingee began presenting children's television shortly after emerging from an egg in a 1987 episode of After School, quickly winning a keen following for his quick wit and woobly eyes. Thingee and Jason Gunn first met the following year and went on to present many shows together, before co-starring in road movie Jason and Thingee's Big Adventure. Thingee eventually returned to his home planet on an episode of What Now?.
Presenter, narrator, producer, director: Mark Leishman has done many things over his long broadcasting career. Starting out as a continuity announcer before moving to regional news. Leishman went on to make or host some of New Zealand's best-loved shows, including Top Town and Tux Wonderdogs. Animal shows featured heavily in his CV, along with sport and game shows.
Christchurch editor, artist and animator Ken Clark turned a childhood passion for magic and monsters into stop motion animation. After making student films, a decade at TVNZ saw him editing staples across news, sport, and children's programming. He also designed titles for After School and CGI for What Now?. Since 1990 Clark has tutored in animation; his shorts have shown in galleries and festivals.
Andrew Gunn spent 13 years working for TVNZ’s Children’s Unit. His writing credits range from extended contributions to What Now! to 1998 award-winner The Beginner’s Guide to Space Travel. In 2009 Gunn (who is brother to entertainer Jason Gunn) co-wrote trolley derby tale Kiwi Flyer with director Tony Simpson. 2014 saw his second feature 3 Mile Limit, based on the early days of pirate station Radio Hauraki.
Celia Jaspers directed and produced award-winning documentary Primeval New Zealand for NHNZ. She got into television early — thanks to a tangled camera cable — and has stayed, developing a range of skills from editing to directing.
Between 1975 and 1983, London-born variety artist Chic Littlewood entertained a generation of Kiwi kids, writing and presenting 500 plus episodes of his after school shows Now C Here, Chicaboom and Chic Chat — appearing with Alma Woods, puppet Willie McNabb, and as Gramps. In 1993 Littlewood enjoyed a primetime career revival, after starting a three year stint on Shortland Street. He passed away on 11 January 2015.
Olly Ohlson is a pioneer of Māori language and Māori content on local television. As longtime presenter on daily children's show After School, his catchphrase “Keep cool till after school” (with accompanying sign language) was known to a generation of New Zealanders.
Wellington-raised producer Debra Kelleher has more than three decades experience in the screen industry. She cut her production teeth in Australia (Neighbours, Sale of the Century), before returning home to work on Shortland Street, then cult teen show The Tribe. Kelleher was at the helm of breakfast TV show Good Morning, and five seasons of flagship TVNZ show Dancing with The Stars.
Sometime actor Taika Waititi has clearly sunk his teeth into directing. His 2005 short film Two Cars, One Night was Oscar-nominated. Second feature Boy (2010) became the most successful Kiwi film released on its home soil — at least until the arrival of Waititi's fourth movie, Barry Crump inspired adventure comedy Hunt for the Wilderpeople. In 2017 Marvel movie Thor: Ragnarok became an international hit.