This extended episode of First Hand sees a couple at an economic crossroads, and making the decision to move into self-employment. After finding their jobs in Auckland compromised, Alec and Sheena McDonald set out to find and buy their own dairy in a small North Island town. They end up in Awakeri, near Whakatāne. The lifestyle transition is far from trouble-free, as the couple must negotiate the worlds of bureaucracy and banking to insure their new business stays afloat. The documentary provides insights into running a small business during a time of economic reform.
This silent film from 1945 showcases the making of “to-day’s great drink” (beer!), at Dominion Breweries’ Waitemata Brewery in the Auckland suburb of Otahuhu. Post-war, beer consumption was about to boom, with DB set to meet the demand. The film extols automation throughout the production process (though humans are seen contributing to the craft). Beer was still being brewed on the Otahuhu site 70 years later. Made by pioneering commercial filmmaker Robert Steele, the 16mm silent film was likely made for screening at trade fairs or winter shows.
Lotto was first broadcast on 1 August 1987 from Auckland. The live draw was hosted by Doug Harvey and Ann Wilson, and the seven balls (six regulation numbers and a bonus) were picked from 40 by 'The Barrel' — the automated number picker. Lotto is the oldest weekly draw run by the Crown-owned Lotteries Commission; over the years several billions of dollars in profits have been distributed to community projects by the Lottery Grants Board. The draw later moved south to Avalon and presenters have included longtimer Hilary Timmins, Grant Kereama, Grant Walker and Marise Wipani.
This is the first edition of Lotto, New Zealand's oldest state-run weekly lottery. It was broadcast live from Auckland on 1 August 1987 (tickets went on sale on 22 July). The draw was hosted by Doug Harvey and Ann Wilson and overseen by independent scrutineers, with the seven balls picked (from 40) by "The Barrel" — the much-hyped automated number picker. The inaugural numbers were — spoiler alert! — 4, 29, 16, 40, 8 and ... 32, and the bonus number was 30. The prize pool for the first draw was $1,028,024 and Division One was $359,808, which was split four ways.
This documentary pays tribute to New Zealand's lighthouse keepers, the extraordinary men and women who lived in extreme isolation and operated lighthouses in places as far afield as Puyseger Point in Fiordland National Park, to Northland's Mokohinau Islands. Interviews reveal resourceful, pragmatic and practical individuals; they revisit their lights and talk about a romantic lifestyle that ended last century with the advent of automated technology. Their stories are filled with down-to-earth humour and nostalgia for a bygone world.
Ronald Sinclair began his movie career at age 11 as Ra Hould, when he appeared in Down on the Farm (1935), a contender for New Zealand’s first feature-length drama made with sound. The following year he went to Hollywood, where MGM changed his name to Ronald Sinclair for movie Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry. After war service with the US Army he worked for more than two decades as a film editor.
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.
John McKay is a veteran sound editor, sound designer, and mixer. He abandoned an early focus on directing to build a diverse, respected career in post-production. His credits include significant contributions to iconic films The Quiet Earth, Footrot Flats, Kitchen Sink, and Lord of the Rings. McKay is notable for an approach which combines creativity with a high level of technical craft and organisational rigour.
From trainee reporter to TVNZ’s Head of Television and then on to Managing Director of Australia’s Special Broadcasting Service, Shaun Brown’s career spanned 45 years. And all but four of those years were linked directly to public broadcasting. While the latter half of his career saw him increasingly taking on executive roles, he brought with him the experience of having worked at almost every level of the business.
The career of pioneering documentarian Bill Saunders began in the early days of New Zealand television. He went on to champion a fly on the wall documentary style and win Feltex Awards for acclaimed films on Moriori, and the elderly. Saunders was the final remaining member of TVNZ’s documentary unit when it was disbanded in 1988, and an outspoken advocate of public service broadcasting until his death in 1995.