This collection celebrates all things equine on New Zealand screens. Since the early days of the colony, horses have been everything from nation builders (Cobb & Co) to national heroes (Phar Lap, Charisma) to companions (Black Beauty) to heartland icons. Whether work horse, war horse, wild horse, or show pony, horses have become a key part of this (Kiwi) way of life.
Sports broadcasters turned entertainers Glyn Tucker and Ernie Leonard invite viewers to 'Walk Right In' in this ill-fated variety show. There are performances from singers including Bridgette Allen and Glyn Tucker himself; and belly dancing from the Elektra Dancers. It’s FA Cup Night, so Glyn interviews the manager of English football team Norwich City (with dimly lit footage of them playing a local selection) and Ernie has a rather odd chat with aviator Fred Ladd (who insists on answering in rhyming couplets). Equally curious is ‘The Silver Shot’ ...
This all-singing, all-dancing variety show is remembered as one of NZ TV’s great fiascos (along with Melody Rules). Presenters Glyn Tucker and Ernie Leonard had light entertainment experience, but were better known for their expertise in horse racing and wrestling respectively. Broadcast live on Saturday night, The Club Show aspired to be the TV equivalent of an RSA talent quest — but not even the geniality of its hosts could save it. It did have ‘The Silver Shot’ — an early attempt at interactivity via a viewer on the phone and a blindfolded cameraman.
Appearing on magazine show New Zealand Today in 1992, the Patea Māori Club perform their single 'Ngoi Ngoi'. The track appeared on the same album as their legendary hit 'Poi E'. The video sees the group performing on stage while maestro Dalvanius Prime sings backup, while holding his dog. Prime is strikingly dressed in purple and sporting a fairly unique pair of sunglasses. The song honours Ngoi Pēwhairangi. She was instrumental in helping Dalvanius learn about Māoritanga, and wrote lyrics for both 'Poi E' and Prince Tui Teka's earlier hit 'E Ipo'. She passed away in 1985.
The Patea Māori Club whare was in desperate need of repair when the Marae DIY team stopped by to give it a revamp. The catch — there’s only four days to do it. The renovations are given a personal note as the show’s regular builder Hare Annef is a Patea local. Also lending a hand are soldiers from the nearby School of Military Engineering. The pressure builds as mid-construction changes are made to the plans, while elsewhere local kuia reflect on the storied history of the club. As the clock ticks down, the race is on to finish, lest the iconic club go without a whare.
A unique Kiwi story about prepping for death has captured the attention of international media. The BBC, The Guardian and National Geographic have all interviewed elderly members of a build-your-own-coffin club, some of whom feature in this musical short film. Members of the Kiwi Coffin Club don sequins and top hats, while singing about what makes their club tick — death is not to be feared, but instead should be celebrated as a normal part of life. A lyric from this offbeat Loading Doc sums up things succinctly: "It's the final verse but life goes on."
Drawn together by economic hardship after the closure of the local freezing works, the Patea Māori Club earned a place in pop culture history in 1984 with the hit 'Poi E'. Led by charismatic singer/songwriter and producer, Dalvanius Prime, the Māori culture group melded poi and breakdancing and held the number one spot in the charts for four weeks. The song went on to become the year's biggest single and took the Patea Māori Club from small town Taranaki to national household name. The group went on to perform in a Poi E musical, and in 2016 were celebrated in an acclaimed big screen documentary.
Born "in a spirit of abandon" from late night jamming sessions by Neil Finn and his wife Sharon, Pajama Club released their debut album in 2011 (their only one to date). The couple were inspired by the idea of creating danceable music from instruments they were relatively new to: drums for Neil, and bass guitar for Sharon. Later co-producer SJD (Sean James Donnelly) added keyboard textures, while Alana Skyring (from Brisbane band The Grates) did time as a drummer when the group played live. Reviews for the Pajama Club album crossed the gamut, with a number praising its eclectic, experimental sound.
Also known as Aishah and the Fan Club, pop band Fan Club released a run of pop singles in the late 80s and early 90s that charted both in New Zealand and Aishah's native Malaysia ('Don’t Let Me Fall Alone' made the US Billboard Hot 100). The group was formed while Wan Aishah binti Wan Ariffin was studying in NZ. In 1991 the band collected International Artist of the Year at the NZ Music Awards. Aishah went on to a solo career in Malaysia and guitarist Paul Moss went on to judge TV singing contest Malaysian Idol. Fan Club released two albums: Sensation (1988) and Respect the Beat (1989).
This collection rounds up almost every music video for a number one hit by a Kiwi artist; everything from ballads to hip hop to glam rock. Press on the images below to find the hits for each decade — plus try this backgrounder by Michael Higgins, whose high speed history of local hits touches on the sometimes questionable ways past charts were created.