New Zealand Stories - Battle at the Basilica

Television, 2011 (Full Length Episode)

This documentary follows the fight to save Christchurch’s “other” earthquake damaged cathedral, the Roman Catholic basilica. A team led by a heritage consultant and a structural engineer struggles to keep pace with fresh damage inflicted on the basilica by ongoing quakes. Drones and a Defence Force robot aid investigations into the interior of the now dangerous building. There are hard questions about the venture’s costs. But, as parishioners tell their stories, there’s also reminders that the basilica isn’t just an architectural treasure — it has been the heart of a community.

Collection

NZ Disasters

Curated by NZ On Screen team

This collection looks at some of New Zealand's most significant national tragedies. Spanning 150+ years, it tells stories of drama, caution, hope and recovery — from the 1863 wreck of the Orpheus at Manukau Heads, to Tarawera, the Wahine, Erebus, Pike River and Christchurch. In the backgrounder, Jock Phillips writes about the collection, and the "common sequence" to disaster.

Sunday - Sagrada Familia

Television, 1992 (Excerpts)

The timeline for building Barcelona cathedral La Sagrada Família spans decades. Architect Antoni Gaudí died in 1926, when it was less than a quarter complete. In 1992 arts show Sunday talked to Kiwi Mark Burry, a longtime principal architect on the famed basilica. Burry talks about being won over by Gaudí at university — when Gaudí was out of vogue — working on the project remotely, and trying to understand Gaudí's intentions for a design that has evolved with time. Meanwhile narrator Ray Henwood waxes lyrical over images of the cathedral and other Gaudí creations.

Amanda Evans

Producer, Director

The trio of documentaries surrounding the religious community of Gloriavale  generated huge TV ratings. Amanda Evans is the director and producer behind this mini-TV phenomenon. In her 30 year career she has produced and/ or directed documentaries, reality series and iconic Kiwi kids and arts shows.

Ivars Berzins

Cinematographer, Director

Ivars Berzins fell in love with photography aged eight, en route to TV assignments across NZ, in Norwegian fjords, and in East Timor. Berzins was chief cameraman in TVNZ's Wellington office before leaving in 1996 to start company Pacific Crews (now Pacific Screen), which he went on to run with his wife, producer Amanda Evans. These days he directs as well as films, including on documentary series New Zealand Stories.

Chris Nichol

Producer, Presenter, Director

Chris Nichol's CV is as diverse as it is long — from Presbyterian minister, musician and Praise Be presenter, to documentary director and university lecturer. Nichol's screen career began in 1986, when he joined TVNZ's Religious Programmes Unit. He went on to produce long-running religious series Praise Be from 1991 to 1994; from 2008, after the death of presenter Graeme Thomson, he hosted the show full time. Nichol was also the New Zealand producer for BBC Waitangi Day documentary A Land of Our Own, an interviewer for series My God, and a director on TV One's documentary series New Zealand Stories