Collection

Kiwi Ingenuity

Curated by NZ On Screen team

'No 8 wire' Kiwi ingenuity is defined by problem solving from few resources (No 8 wire is fencing wire that can be adapted to many uses, an ability that was particularly handy for isolated NZ settlers). Embodied in heroes from Richard Pearse to PJ, Kiwi ingenuity is a quality dear to our national sense of self. It has been memorably celebrated, and sometimes satirised, on screen.

Country Calendar - Ron Hintz

Television, 1991 (Full Length Episode)

Some men joke about wanting a 'man cave'. Te Puke contractor Ron Hintz grabbed a shovel and dug one out by hand. This episode of the legendary TV series sees reporter/director Tony Benny experiencing Hintz's sometimes thrilling, sometimes whimsical outdoor home projects, including a flying fox, swing bridges and a cable car running down to the Mangorewa river. Hintz is a self-taught designer and inventor, a multi-skilled 'Renaissance man' ably supported by his partner Colleen, who can often be found behind the wheel of a tractor or bulldozer.

The Adventures of Massey Ferguson - Jen Genny (Series One, Episode Four)

Television, 2004 (Full Length Episode)

This animated kids series revolves around Massey Ferguson the tractor and other farm machines, who live near the town of Kumara Cove. The icon of Kiwi farming uses his rural wits to solve farm challenges. The series is narrated by broadcaster Jim Mora (Mucking In) who created it with Brent Chambers. In this episode the arrival of ‘Scrapper’ the scrap metal truck puts the fear up Jen the generator. But it’s revenge of the farm machines, when Jen proves her worth after a power cut.

The Real New Zealand

Television, 2000 (Full Length)

Made before websites like Airbnb spurred a massive jump in homestay-style accommodation options, this documentary from 2000 visits New Zealanders who have chosen to open their houses to tourists. From Warkworth to Stewart Island, from farm stays to a gay-friendly house in Golden Bay, Kiwis talk about the positives of homestays — and the long hours. Two of the couples mention how their own relationship benefits from having visitors. Narrated by Jim Mora, The Real New Zealand was directed by Shirley Horrocks (hit documentary Kiwiana). 

The Adventures of Massey Ferguson - Beaut's Rival (Series One, Episode Three)

Television, 2004 (Full Length Episode)

This animated series stars a shed of friendly machines who live on Murray and Heather’s farm near Kumara Cove. In this episode Beaut the Ute goes through a midlife crisis when he meets a younger ute — Flash — in town, and worries his time might be over. But the machines soon learn that a slick new number plate isn't everything. The colour palette of this animated series makes it clear that the machines are the characters that matter. The show is narrated by broadcaster Jim Mora (Mucking In), who created it with Brent Chambers.

U Can't Resist Us

King Kapisi, Music Video, 2003

This energetic, good-natured clip takes hip hop to the farm, with King Kapisi donning a black singlet and making some dangerous moves both in the shearing shed, and with a lethal weapon constructed from a pair of jandals. The clip is loaded with cameos: aside from musical help from Che Fu, the first minute sees appearances by legendary All Blacks Michael Jones and Peter Fatialofa, while among the eel hunters are Oscar Kightley and Nathan Rarere. All this, and a bonus sequence where the crew attempt to freestyle on the theme of 'gidday'. 

The Adventures of Massey Ferguson - Fire (Series One, Episode Two)

Television, 2004 (Full Length Episode)

This animated series for young Kiwis follows plucky Massey Ferguson the tractor, and other farm machine characters on Murray and Heather’s farm. This second episode is set in the height of summer. Murray’s new smoke alarm wakes the machines in the shed, and Rusty the clapped-out old car has to be helped outside by his friends. But when the fire engine is called back for a real fire, we learn that Rusty has a secret. The series was created by broadcaster Jim Mora (Mucking In) and Brent Chambers from Flux Animation; Mora also narrates.

The Adventures of Massey Ferguson - Chicks (Series One, Episode 11)

Television, 2004 (Full Length Episode)

Screening on TVNZ, this animated series for young kids follows the adventures of Massey the farm tractor and his machine mates on Murray and Heather’s farm. In this episode from the first series Massey gets distracted en route to fencing by Slo Mo, an uppity mobility scooter who doesn’t like collecting eggs. When the chicks follow Slo Mo to the shed — where no animals are allowed — the gang come up with a plan, and a cunning disguise for Slo Mo. The series is narrated by broadcaster Jim Mora (Mucking In), who created it with Brent Chambers of Flux Animation.

The Adventures of Massey Ferguson - Gracie's Check-up (Series One, Episode Eight)

Television, 2004 (Full Length Episode)

In this animated show whose main stars are talking tractors and farm vehicles, the latest news down on the farm is that Gracie the Quad Bike is due for a check up at the garage. Only she doesn't want to go. Gracie has been talking with old Rusty, who believes that once your mechanical problems have been found out, you end up stuck in the shed. It's up to Massey Ferguson to save the day once again, by helping persuade Gracie there's no reason to be scared of the doctor. 

Ngaio Marsh Theatre - Died in the Wool

Television, 1978 (Full Length Episode)

Died in the Wool was part of a TV anthology adapting the murder mysteries of Dame Ngaio Marsh. MP Flossie Rubrick has been found dead in a wool bale, and it's up to Inspector Roderick Alleyn (UK actor George Baker — Bond, Z Cars, I, Claudius) to unravel the secrets of a South Island sheep station. The tale of a cultured Englishman amidst World War II spies, Bach and seamy colonial crimes — like Marsh's books — found a global audience: it was the first NZ TV drama to screen in the US (on PBS). Includes a Cluedo-style sitting room inquest and a wool shed reveal.